No Time To Waste For Los Angeles Kings To Solve Offensive Zone Problems

What impact has newly-acquired forward Jeff Carter had
on the Los Angeles Kings’ offensive attack in his
first three games with the team?
Photo: David Sheehan

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — With 18 games remaining in the Los Angeles Kings’ 2011-12 season, the numbers are certainly not their friend.

Last season, the eighth place Chicago Blackhawks earned the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with 97 points, and if you look at that as a benchmark of sorts for this season, it doesn’t take much to figure out that the Kings are in deep, deep trouble in terms of earning an invitation to the National Hockey League’s post-season party.

Although it does not appear that it will take 97 points this season, as the teams ranked from sixth to 13th in the conference have been up and down in recent games, for argument’s sake, if they all continue at their current pace, the Phoenix Coyotes would finish atop the Pacific Division with 96 points, which would rank them third in the Western Conference.

The Vancouver Canucks and Detroit Red Wings are likely to battle it out for the conference championship, with the St. Louis Blues right behind them, possibly sneaking into the top spot in the conference. In any case, those three teams would take the first, second and fourth spots in the West. Read more of this post

Forward Prospects Dwight King, Jordan Nolan Give LA Kings Energy, Added Net Presence

Forward prospects Dwight King (left) and Jordan Nolan (right) scored
their first NHL goals on February 12, 2012 at Dallas.
Photo: David Sheehan

EL SEGUNDO, CA — A few nights ago, people in the small Canadian city of Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan shared reasons to celebrate with residents of the Ojibway (one of Canada’s First Nations) reserve in Garden River, Ontario.

On February 11, Meadow Lake’s Dwight King, and Garden River’s Jordan Nolan, each made their 2011-12 debut with the Los Angeles Kings—for Nolan, it was his National Hockey League debut as well—in a 2-1 overtime loss to the New York Islanders.

Although the loss may have tempered the celebratory mood, both King and Nolan gave the folks back home more reasons to celebrate less than 24 hours later, when they both scored their first NHL goals in a 4-2 victory over the Dallas Stars in Dallas. Read more of this post

LA Kings: Kevin Westgarth Celebrates First NHL Goal With Teammates, Family, Friends And Fans

Rugged right wing Kevin Westgarth.
Photo: David Sheehan

EL SEGUNDO, CA — 23 games into the 2011-12 regular season, the Los Angeles Kings have earned a 12-8-3 record, good for 28 points, one point behind the Dallas Stars for the Pacific Division lead, and just three points behind the Western Conference-leading Chicago Blackhawks.

But remaining in contention for the top spots in their division and conference has been more of a struggle than expected, giving fans a lot to rant and rave about.

Fortunately, one feel-good story came out last week, providing a bit of a respite from the constant moaning and groaning about everything that people perceive to be wrong with the Kings. Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings: Smarter, Better, More Disciplined Play Needed From Ethan Moreau

Los Angeles Kings veteran left wing Ethan Moreau has been
noticeable for all the wrong reasons lately.
Photo: David Sheehan

EL SEGUNDO, CA — When the Los Angeles Kings signed rugged, checking winger Ethan Moreau to a one-year, unrestricted free agent contract on August 20, 2011, the expectation was that he would bring energy, physical play, solid forechecking and strong defensive play to the Kings’ third and fourth lines.

The 36-year-old, 6-3, 223-pound native of Huntsville, Ontario, a former captain of the Edmonton Oilers, also brings veteran leadership, and years of National Hockey League experience.

But so far this season, Moreau has played well in spurts, but has not given the Kings anywhere near enough of what is needed or expected.

“His role is basically to be that fourth line left winger—grit, size, experience, and to give us that harder game, and that’s been there…in and out,” said head coach Terry Murray. “But there’s been times that it’s been very good, and I think, in the last couple of games, I’ve seen more of it [from him while playing with right wing Kevin] Westgarth and [center Colin] Fraser, and that’s stuff that we need.” Read more of this post

Frozen Royalty Audio: Jonathan Quick Sets Two Team Records, Leads LA Kings To 1-0 Win Over Dallas Stars

LOS ANGELES — Jack Johnson fired a one-time knuckleball shot, beating screened Dallas Stars goaltender Andrew Raycroft at 15:02 of the third period to give the Los Angeles Kings a 1-0 victory in front of a sell-out crowd of 18,118 fans at Staples Center on October 22.

The goal was Johnson’s third of the season, and his third game-winning goal of the year. But the big story was Kings netminder Jonathan Quick, who his third shutout of the season, and the 17th of his National Hockey League career. It was also his third shutout in as many games, setting a new Kings franchise record. Read more of this post

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