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Los Angeles Kings: Still In The Playoff Hunt

LOS ANGELES — A little over two weeks ago, the Los Angeles Kings were circling the drain as they often do around this time of year, spiraling quickly out of playoff contention.

After their last game at Staples Center before leaving the friendly confines for a three-game road trip, the Kings knew they were about to embark on do-or-die mission to Dallas, Minnesota and Colorado.

“We need to win these next three games, that’s the bottom line,” said left wing Patrick O’Sullivan. “Otherwise, it starts to slip further and further away and it gets to the point where it’s impossible to recover. It’s really important to win these three games and come back with some momentum after the All-Star break.”

“We’ve got to find a way to win,” center Anze Kopitar stressed. “This is a time when teams show what they’re made of. This is going to be the ultimate test for us and we’ve got to respond. This road trip is huge for us. We’ve got to find a way to win.”

Although they lost the first game at Dallas, they earned a point in the standings in the 3-2 shootout loss. And with wins at Minnesota and Colorado, the Kings returned to Los Angeles picking up five out of a possible six points in the standings.

In short, they were still alive. Read more of this post

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Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi Excited About Defense

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: As we end 2008 and ring in the New Year, I sat down with Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi to talk about his team, their progress in their rebuilding plan and much more. Part 2 is coming soon right here on Frozen Royalty.


LOS ANGELES — As the Los Angeles Kings near the midpoint of the 2008-09 season, they continue to surprise many because they have managed to avoid the bottom of the league standings and are still in contention for a playoff spot. After ending the 2007-08 season tied in points with the last-in-the-league standings Tampa Bay Lightning, that is a considerable improvement.

Of course, with just slightly more than half the schedule remaining and with a torturous road schedule ahead of them—27 of their final 39 games will be on the road—the Kings could still find themselves plummeting in the standings as their road record this season has not been good. Nevertheless, this team has already shown growth and progress over last season, and their future looks even brighter at this point in time than conventional wisdom would seem to dictate. Read more of this post

Kings Take Advantage of Undisciplined Ducks

LOS ANGELES — Southern California’s National Hockey League teams are both off to slow starts this season. The two teams met at Staples Center on Tuesday night and obviously, something had to give.

The Stanley Cup-contending but underachieving Anaheim Ducks have looked like anything but a contender in the very young 2008-09 season, while the young, inexperienced Los Angeles Kings have met expectations with their 0-2 start.

But when the ice chips finally settled late Tuesday night, it was the Kings who broke through with their first win of the season, a 6-3 trouncing over the undisciplined Ducks, in front of a relatively sparse crowd of 14,451 fans. Read more of this post

2008-09 Los Angeles Kings: Defense and Goaltending Will Be Key

SEASON PREVIEW: A comprehensive, detailed look at what might be for the 2008-09 Los Angeles Kings.

LOS ANGELES — Immediately upon being hired by the Los Angeles Kings as their new head coach on July 17, 2008, Terry Murray clearly stated that the top priority for his new team would be improving their defensive play, noting that the 2007-08 Kings gave up several boatloads of quality scoring chances and goals.

This new mandate could not have been made more clear on the first day of the Kings’ 2008-09 training camp. Indeed, when the players took to the ice for the first time, they saw five dots, a bit smaller than the face-off dots, painted on the ice in the slot, representing the “home plate” area Murray wants his players to focus on in terms of their defensive positioning.

Indeed, the Kings were atrocious in their own zone for the vast majority of the 2007-08 season and their goaltending was not much better. These two areas will certainly be keys to the success or failure of the 2008-09 Kings, who will have several young players, some of them rookies, in their lineup, raising serious doubt on the Kings’ ability to improve significantly upon their tied-for-last-place-in-the-league finish in 2007-08. Read more of this post

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