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2013 Western Conference Finals: Goaltending, Physical Style Should Help LA Kings Advance Past Chicago Blackhawks

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Heading into Game 1 of the 2013 Western Conference Finals, the Los Angeles Kings face their greatest challenge yet this season in the President’s Trophy-winning Chicago Blackhawks.

Having lost two of the three games against Chicago in the regular season might be a red flag for many. But the Kings won the last contest between the two teams on March 25, 5-4, at a time when the Kings were different team than the one the Blackhawks faced earlier in the season.

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Hockey In Southern California Would Be A Shell Of Its Current Self Without Dr. Jerry Buss

The 1985-86 Los Angeles Kings. Dr. Jerry Buss, who
owned the team, is seated at center.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo courtesy Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES — As has been reported across the Los Angeles area, Dr. Jerry Buss, owner of the National Basketball Association’s Los Angeles Lakers, died on February 18, due to complications of cancer, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Buss was 80 years old.

“Dr. Buss was our partner, our mentor and our friend,” said President and Chief Executive Officer of the Anschutz Entertainment Group Tim Leiweke, who also serves as Governor of the Los Angeles Kings. “He was kind enough to allow us into his world, and much of the success we enjoyed at Staples Center and LA Live is directly attributed to him. I do not believe we will ever find anyone quite like him. Our prayers and thoughts are with Jeanie and the entire Buss family.”

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Sluggish Start By Los Angeles Kings Was All Too Predictable

LA Kings left wing Dustin Penner (right), shown here with goaltender
Jonathan Quick (left), during a recent practice session.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — Following the Los Angeles Kings’ third period collapse, resulting in a 3-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche in Denver on January 22, based on the reaction across the World Wide Web, one would think the sky is falling, Dustin Penner is back to being the worst player in the history of the game, and the Kings are doomed.

Of course, in an abbreviated season, every game counts that much more, and there is almost no time for a team to catch up if they dig themselves into a hole early in the season.

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LA Kings Can’t Flip The Switch After Stanley Cup Banner/Ring Ceremony

LA Kings television play-by-play announcer Bob Miller,
the Voice of the Kings, visited the press box
at Staples Center, which is named in his honor,
and showed off some pretty fancy jewelry
that he had recently acquired.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — In the days prior to their season opener at Staples Center on Saturday, to a man, the Los Angeles Kings talked about “flipping a switch” after the on-ice ceremony in which they would receive their 2012 Stanley Cup Championship rings, and raise the Stanley Cup banner to the rafters.

Somewhat predictably, that switch remained in the “off” position for the vast majority of the game that followed, and the visiting Chicago Blackhawks took full advantage, handing the Kings a 5-2 defeat in front of a standing room only crowd of 18,545 fans.

During the pre-game festivities, the Kings received their rings, carried the Stanley Cup around the ice, and raised the banner to the rafters in what had to be an emotional ceremony that was televised nationally.

Fortunately for the Kings, NBC switched to regional coverage after the ceremony, sparing much of the country from seeing the Kings’ poor effort.

“We’re ready to close that chapter [winning the Stanley Cup last season] and start a new one,” said winger and team captain Dustin Brown. “But we weren’t nearly as sharp as we wanted to be.”

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