What’s It Going To Take For The LA Kings To Make The Playoffs – By The Numbers: March 9, 2015 Edition

VIDEO: Watch videos of interviews with Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown and head coach Darryl Sutter after practice on March 9, 2015.


LA Kings forward Dustin Brown, shown here at a recent practice.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Right after the National Hockey League All-Star break in late January, Frozen Royalty reported that, based on projections at the time, the Los Angeles Kings would likely need to reach the 96 or 97-point mark to secure third place in the Pacific Division, or 93 points to qualify for one of the wild card spots in the Western Conference playoff race—that’s a winning (points) percentage in their remaining games of .586 for the wild card spot and .583 for third place.

At the time, the Kings were 20-15-12, with 52 points. Fast forward to the present, and they have earned a 31-21-13 record, good for 75 points.

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Sutter Issues Challenge To LA Kings Center Prospect Nick Shore

AUDIO: Includes an interview with Los Angeles Kings center prospect Nick Shore.


LA Kings center prospect Nick Shore, shown here at a recent practice.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — On March 2, 2015, a day when 24 trades involving 43 players were made in the National Hockey League, the Los Angeles Kings decided to stand pat, having already acquired veteran defenseman Andrej Sekera on February 25, in exchange for a conditional first round draft pick and defenseman prospect Roland McKeown.

With no trade deadline deals to analyze, let’s take a look at center Nick Shore, who is working to lock down a permanent roster spot with the Kings during what has become a huge struggle to make the playoffs.

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Frozen Royalty Video: Greene, Brown, Carter and Sutter After LA Kings Drop 4-2 Decision at Anaheim

ANAHEIM, CA — For the second consecutive game, the Los Angeles Kings were sloppy with the puck, and ended up spending a lot of time in their own zone. The result: a come-from-ahead 4-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center in Anaheim on February 27.

The Kings took a 2-0 lead into the third period, but that lead was deceiving, as it was the Ducks who were in control, with the exception of the final ten minutes of the first period.

In the third, the Ducks capitalized on turnovers and sloppy play by the Kings to score four unanswered goals (the fourth goal was an empty-net goal) to secure the win.

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LA Kings Have Re-Discovered “Kings Hockey,” Perhaps Just In The Nick Of Time

AUDIO: Includes audio of media interviews with Matt Greene, Jake Muzzin and head coach Darryl Sutter after practice on Feburary 23, 2015.


LA Kings defenseman Matt Greene, shown here during a recent practice.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — After winning seven straight games to move themselves, for at least one day, anyway, into third place in the Pacific Division, the Los Angeles Kings are firing on all cylinders, and as previously reported in this space, they’re doing it by playing Kings Hockey, a term used by the players off and on since last season.

Kings Hockey is when they smother opposing teams in the defensive zone, recovering pucks and breaking out quickly from their zone. That allows the Kings to generate speed through the neutral zone on attack. That speed is critical to their ability to beat opposing defensemen to loose pucks deep in the attacking zone, allowing them to get in on the forecheck, and create scoring chances off of that.

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Reasons Behind LA Kings’ Recent Success Might Not Be What You Think

LA Kings center Jarret Stoll, shown here during a recent practice.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Perhaps the most obvious reason that the Los Angeles Kings have won five straight games is because they have scored timely goals and have gotten the balanced scoring they have lacked all season long.

But that’s just the easy answer. The real starting point, when looking for the root cause of the Kings’ recent success lies 200 feet away, in their own zone.

Indeed, much-improved defensive play and penalty-killing have been the fundamental differences and the most important, most significant reasons behind the Kings’ current five-game winning streak.

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