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The Hard Is What Makes It Great: Sharks: 2, Kings: 1

LOS ANGELES — In the 1992 movie, A League Of Their Own, about the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League that played during World War II when Major League Baseball was shut down temporarily, there is a scene where Geena Davis, who played Rockford Peaches star catcher Dottie Hinson, leaves the team to return home to Oregon with her husband, who had just returned from duty in Europe.

In that scene, Tom Hanks, who played former Major League star and Peaches manager Jimmy Dugan, tells Davis that she will miss playing for the team. When Davis denies it and tells Hanks that her situation became too hard to deal with, Hanks replied, in part, “…the hard is what makes it great.”

Fast forward to 2008 and that phrase is being applied to the Los Angeles Kings, who dropped a 2-1 decision to the white-hot San Jose Sharks in front of an announced crowd of 16,784 fans at Staples Center on Tuesday night. Read more of this post

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Cloutier Shines In 2-1 Overtime Loss To Canucks

LOS ANGELES — Prior to Monday night’s game between the Vancouver Canucks and the Los Angeles Kings, news out of the Kings’ practice facility was that goaltender Dan Cloutier would get the start in goal.

Once that news came out, if you listened carefully enough, you could probably hear a collective groan from Kings fans across the region.

Seriously speaking, Cloutier has been anything but good for the Kings since his arrival in Los Angeles last season. In fact, the term “sieve,” would probably be considered too positive a description by some.

But you wouldn’t know it on Monday night, when Cloutier made 38 saves and almost single-handedly kept his team in the game. But in the end, the Canucks escaped Staples Center with a 2-1 overtime victory in front of an announced crowd of 14,653 fans. Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings Preview 2007-08

LOS ANGELES — The 2006-07 season was yet another disappointing one for the Los Angeles Kings, who have not qualified for the playoffs since the 2001-02 season.

But while the team was a near-cellar-dweller last season, the 2007-08 Kings should be an improved team, even though they it would take a small miracle for them to be a Stanley Cup contender.

To be sure, last season was a disaster on the ice for the Kings, who finished with a 27-41-14 record, good for just 68 points. They ranked 14th in the fifteen-team Western Conference, a whopping 28 points out of playoff contention.

But while the Kings stumbled and bumbled their way through many games last season, President/General Manager Dean Lombardi and his staff were hard at work, reloading the team’s depleted system with some talented, young prospects.

Now in the second year of their first real rebuilding process, the Kings are already starting to reap the benefits as their younger players are starting to assume leadership roles on the team, and even young prospects are starting to fill key roster spots with the big club.< Read more of this post

Short Camp, Distant Travels

LOS ANGELES — After an incredibly brief nine-day training camp, the Los Angeles Kings left Southern California with 31 players remaining on their 2007 training camp roster heading for Denver, Las Vegas and then Salzburg, Austria and London, England. Read more of this post

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