Rough, Physical Play Showing That LA Kings Are A Team, Perhaps Now More Than Ever Before

LA Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell drops the gloves with Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steve Downie on
November 4, 2010 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Photo: Newscom

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — To this point in the 2010-11 season, if anything is clear about the Los Angeles Kings, it is that other teams view them as one of the best teams in the NHL, and that is showing up in terms of physical play, as many opponents are going into games against the Kings trying to get them off their game through physical intimidation.

To be sure, despite the fact that right wing Kevin Westgarth, the Kings’ heavyweight enforcer, has not been in a fight yet this season, perhaps due to the fact that he broke Colorado Avalanche heavyweight David Koci’s jaw in a pre-season scuffle back in September, teams seem to be going into games against the Kings with the intent of knocking them around, both with big hits and their fists.

“There were a few hits, a few confrontations,” head coach Terry Murray said after his team’s very physical 1-0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on November 4. “A little old time hockey with the scrums that were going on. It was a very competitive game out there—two first place teams. The battle heats up.” Read more of this post

LA Kings Forward Brad Richardson Hopes To Lose Utility Man Label Someday

LOS ANGELES — With the Los Angeles Kings back home from a five-game road trip in which they earned a solid 3-2-0 record, they now find themselves in a rather lofty position, atop the Western Conference standings and second in the overall National Hockey League standings (through games played on October 29).

As one might expect, players such as Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar, Justin Williams, Ryan Smyth, Jarret Stoll and Jonathan Quick have played key roles in the team’s strong 7-3-0 start through ten games. But role players are making solid contributions as well, including versatile forward Brad Richardson, whose strong play has earned him a promotion to the Kings’ top line, skating alongside Brown and Kopitar.

But at the start of that five-game road swing, beginning with a 4-2 loss at Phoenix on October 21, Richardson found himself in his usual spot on the fourth line.

Little did he know that big changes were in store for him, and they came rather unexpectedly early in the second period at Colorado on October 23.

In that game, Richardson, 24, started the game on the fourth line, but Kings head coach Terry Murray, as he is wont to do, decided to tinker with his line combinations, moving Richardson up to play left wing on the first line, while moving rookie forward Andrei Loktionov down to center the fourth line. Read more of this post

LA Kings Find Their Power Play In 6-4 Win At Colorado On NHL Video

Brad Richardson recorded the first hat trick of his National Hockey League career to lead the Los Angeles Kings to a 6-4 victory over the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center in Denver on October 23.

Richardson started the game centering the Kings’ fourth line and scored his first goal while centering Brayden Schenn and Kevin Westgarth. But he was moved up to left wing on the first line with center Anze Kopitar and right wing Dustin Brown during the second period, replacing Andrei Loktionov.

Richardson made the most of his opportunities, scoring two goals in the third period, one of them a shorthanded goal not long after the Avs scored during a five-minute major power play, the result of Kings right wing Wayne Simmonds striking Avalanche forward T.J. Galliardi with the butt end of his stick.

The Kings also found their power play in the game, scoring twice on five power play opportunities. Read more of this post

Frozen Royalty Audio: Catching Up From Frozen Fury XIII In Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS, NV — The 2010 exhibition season for the Los Angeles Kings, along with their 2010 training camp, has come and gone, and the time has come to finalize the opening night roster for the 2010-11 season.

But Frozen Royalty has some loose ends to tie up, including making audio interviews from Frozen Fury XIII in Las Vegas available, so here they are… Read more of this post

LA Kings Looking For Kevin Westgarth To Be An Upgrade As Enforcer

EL SEGUNDO, CA — The Los Angeles Kings rid themselves of the sloth-like skating and one-bad-penalty-after-another performances by left wing enforcer Raitis Ivanans when they passed on signing him to a new contract this past summer.

That left the enforcer spot open, and it is all but a foregone conclusion that 6-4, 228-pound right wing Kevin Westgarth will be promoted from the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, the Kings’ primary minor league affiliate. Read more of this post


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