LA Kings Darryl Sutter: “The Stanley Cup Train Was Last Year. Some Guys Have To Get Off That Train”

Los Angeles Kings head coach Darryl Sutter
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — With one game left before the National Hockey League’s All-Star break, the Los Angeles Kings find themselves on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoff picture.

Indeed, if the Stanley Cup Playoffs were to begin tomorrow, the defending Stanley Cup Champions would not qualify for the post-season party.

So what’s to blame for the Kings’ “malaise,” a term used by President/General Manager Dean Lombardi in a recent Canadian radio interview?

Although the recent losses of forwards Tyler Toffoli (mononucleosis) and Tanner Pearson (fractured fibula) are playing a role, the problems have been present since the season began last October. As such, you can chalk it up, in large part, to instability on the Kings’ blue line, with veteran defenseman Robyn Regehr in and out of the lineup due to various injuries, along with the loss of Slava Voynov to his ongoing suspension.

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Is LA Kings Rookie D Brayden McNabb Finding His Game Just In The Nick Of Time?

LA Kings rookie defenseman Brayden McNabb (right), shown here during a recent practice with Martin Jones
in goal and forward Andy Andreoff (left) just barely in the picture.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography


EL SEGUNDO AND LOS ANGELES, CA — Rookie defenseman Brayden McNabb was in his coaches’ doghouse.

Indeed, he was a healthy scratch in four of the Los Angeles Kings’ last seven games, and in three straight games prior to returning to the lineup on January 10, in a 5-4 shootout loss to the Winnipeg Jets at Staples Center in Los Angeles. But the 23-year-old, 6-4, 208-pound native of Davidson, Saskatchewan took quite the leap forward on January 12, and perhaps just in the nick of time, helping the Kings shutout the Toronto Maple Leafs, 2-0, at Staples Center.

Against the Maple Leafs, McNabb played what was, arguably, his best game of the season with solid positional play, smart reads, good, quick decisions and strong physical play.

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You Might Be Wondering, “What Now,” But Not The LA Kings

LA Kings center prospect Nick Shore, shown here with the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Blake Gumprecht

EL SEGUNDO AND LOS ANGELES, CA — After losing right wing Tyler Toffoli to mononucleosis, seeing left wing Tanner Pearson slide, feet first, into the end boards, suffering a fractured fibula, and knowing that the Los Angeles Kings are not playing well in their own zone, many are probably wondering…

What now?

But the Kings are not asking that question, at least, not publicly.

“It hurts losing those guys,” said defenseman Jake Muzzin. “They bring a lot of energy and a lot of offensive ability, but we’ve got other guys who can step up, no problem.”

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Frozen Royalty Video: Interviews With Doughty, Muzzin, Sutter After Practice, 1/7/15

LA Kings head coach Darryl Sutter
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — After a day off on January 6, the Los Angeles Kings returned to practice ice working on pushing their game back in the right direction as they hit the halfway point of the season against the New York Rangers on January 8 (7:30 PM PST, Staples Center in Los Angeles).

But the big news of the day was reports that head coach Darryl Sutter, and his assistant coaches, are expected to be coaching in the NHL All-Star Game on January 25, in Columbus.

Defensemen Drew Doughty and Jake Muzzin talked about that after practice, as did Sutter, and you can watch those interviews below.

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LA Kings Tip A King 2015 – In Photos

LA Kings left wing Tanner Pearson getting some rather special attention
from one member of a family at Tip A King 2015, held at the LA Live
Event Deck, on January 3, 2015.
Photo: Gann Matsuda/

LOS ANGELES — Although the Los Angeles Kings disappointed their fans in a 7-6 overtime loss to the Nashville Predators earlier in the afternoon on January 3, the mood was still rather festive at Tip A King 2015, held at the LA Live event deck hours later.

Tip A King is an annual event held by the Kings, benefitting the Kings Care Foundation, where fans can “tip” players, coaches and broadcasters for the opportunity to get an autograph or take a photo.

Here’s a photo essay capturing some of the sights from the event.

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