Frozen Royalty’s Gann Matsuda Appears On Inside Sports’ From The Arena

Following the Los Angeles Kings’ second consecutive 1-0 shutout loss, this time, to the Calgary Flames on February 18 at Staples Center, I appeared, along with LAIst.com’s Jimmy Bramlett and The Fourth Period.com’s Dennis Bernstein, on Inside SportsFrom The Arena, recorded live following the game, talking about the Kings, their current woes, and what they need to do to turn things around. Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings Can’t Afford To Keep Giving Points Away

Los Angeles Kings Forward Trevor Lewis earned some solid praise from head coach Darryl Sutter after practice on January 20, 2012, at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California.
Photo: David Sheehan

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — 48 games into the 2011-12 National Hockey League season, the Los Angeles Kings have a 23-15-10 record, good for 56 points. That puts them in second place in the Pacific Division, one point behind the San Jose Sharks (through games played on January 20), and in seventh place in the Western Conference, four points ahead of the Colorado Avalanche, their next opponent (Saturday, January 21, 7:30 PM PST, Staples Center).

San Jose is third in the conference, and the Chicago Blackhawks, with 64 points, leads the West. As such, the Kings remain in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race, and could still come out on top of the Pacific Division, even though the Sharks have four games in hand. Read more of this post

2011 Holiday Season Has Los Angeles Kings Looking To Darryl Sutter As Their Savior

Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi (left)
and newly-hired head coach Darryl Sutter (right), shown here
during a December 21, 2011 press conference.
Photo: Gann Matsuda

EL SEGUNDO AND LOS ANGELES, CA — On this Christmas Day 2011, families around the world are celebrating the holiday season, while young children, who have been dreaming for weeks about what Santa Claus might bring them, are, hopefully, waking to find that their dreams have come true.

For the Los Angeles Kings, they are hoping that Santa will bring them the extra goal or two per game that they have sorely missed all season long. They are also hoping that they have found their savior in new head coach Darryl Sutter, the 53-year-old native of Viking, Alberta, who was hired on December 20, replacing Terry Murray, who was fired on December 12, after the Kings slipped and slid their way through the last few weeks. Read more of this post

More Than Just A Banana Peel Was Hurled At Philadelphia Flyers Forward Wayne Simmonds

Philadelphia Flyers right wing
Wayne Simmonds
Photo: National Hockey League

LOS ANGELES — With National Hockey League training camps having started this week, this is a time when North American hockey fans in particular should be celebrating the fact that the 2011-12 NHL season is just two weeks away.

We should also be celebrating the extraordinary career of one of the all-time greats, center Mike Modano, who will officially announce his retirement at a press conference later today.

NHL fans could also be celebrating new interpretations of rules governing hits from behind and contact with the head, along with pioneering efforts by NHL Senior Vice President of Player Safety and Hockey Operations Brendan Shanahan, to educate players, coaches, general managers, and fans alike through the use of video to explain his decisions in supplementary discipline cases, such as in the recent hitting from behind incident involving Calgary Flames forward Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, and a separate incident involving Philadelphia Flyers forward Jody Shelley.

Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings’ 2011 Late-Round Draft Picks Working To Beat Long Odds

EL SEGUNDO, CA — The National Hockey League Entry Draft is one huge crapshoot in terms of teams landing prospects who will make it to the NHL level to stay, let alone big stars, even for those who are lucky enough to be first round picks.

Left wing prospect Joel Lowry spoke to the media
during the Los Angeles Kings 2011 Development Camp
at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California,
July 11-12, 2011.
Photo: Gann Matsuda

For those who end up being selected in later rounds, the odds of making it to the NHL are much, much longer. Nevertheless, every so often, they not only make it to the NHL, but they thrive there.

The most notable cases in point among Kings draft picks (not including active NHL players) would be:

  • Butch Goring, Center (fifth round, 51st overall, 1969)
  • Billy Smith, Goaltender (fifth round, 59th overall, 1970)
  • Dave Taylor, Right Wing (15th round, 210th overall, 1975)
  • Mark Hardy, Defenseman (second round, 30th overall, 1979)
  • Bernie Nicholls, Center (fourth round, 73rd overall, 1980)
  • Kevin Stevens, Left Wing (sixth round, 108th overall, 1983)
  • Luc Robitaille, Left Wing (ninth round, 171st overall, 1984)
  • Rob Blake, Defenseman (fourth round, 70th overall, 1987)
  • Alexei Zhitnik, Defenseman (fourth round, 81st overall, 1991) Read more of this post
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