Los Angeles Kings: Playoff Contention Slipping Away

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Kings are, for all intents and purposes, out of playoff contention.

After winning just eight games between November 1 and December 31, the Kings now find themselves deep in the National Hockey League’s Western Conference cellar, fifteen points behind eighth-place Anaheim with forty games left in the regular season.

Last year, it took 96 points to make the playoffs in the Western Conference, and since the 2001-02 season, a team has had to earn a minimum of 91 points in the standings to qualify for the post-season.

With just thirty points after 42 games, the Kings need 61 points to reach the 91-point plateau. That means they would need to win three out of every four games the rest of the way, and even though they accomplished just that over the last week, realistically speaking, winning three out of every four games is an insurmountable task for the young Kings. Read more of this post

2007-08 Los Angeles Kings: An Obituary

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Kings, a professional hockey team in the National Hockey League that has done little more than play mediocre (or worse) hockey throughout its history, died at home on Monday night. The Kings were forty years old. Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings 2007 Training Camp Days 2 and 3

EL SEGUNDO, CA — The second and third days of the Los Angeles Kings 2007 training camp were highly competitive affairs as players fighting for roster spots in the very short camp were battling it out, both in scrimmages and in drills, trying to make a good impressions on the coaches and scouts in attendance at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California on Tuesday and Wednesday.

On the second day of camp, the Kings got an idea of what their line combinations and defensive pairings might be on opening night.

Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings 2007 Camp Underway

EL SEGUNDO — The Los Angeles Kings are starting their 2007 training camp a bit earlier than other National Hockey League teams, with the exception of their neighbors about 35 miles to the south.

Why? They start the season with two games against their Stanley Cup Champion neighbors, the Anaheim Ducks, in London, England on September 29 and 30, and before that, they will play two exhibition games in Salzburg, Austria on September 25 and 26.

As such, the Kings (and Ducks) were given a head start on the rest of the league, and on Monday, they opened their training camp at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California. But the Kings will spend just nine days in Southern California before they leave town for their first road pre-season game at Colorado on September 19.

And even before that, they begin their pre-season schedule just three days into training camp at Anaheim on September 13.

With just three days before their first exhibition game, Kings head coach Marc Crawford and his staff have had to plan very carefully, and they wasted no time in drilling the systems the Kings will play this season into their players’ heads. Read more of this post

LA Kings GM Dean Lombardi Is Dodging Bullets

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi has been dodging a lot of bullets lately.

Whether they are being fired by the media or by Kings fans, Lombardi has been taking heavy fire since June 22, the first day of the 2007 National Hockey League Entry Draft, when he defied conventional wisdom by selecting defenseman Thomas Hickey with the fourth overall pick.

The selection of Hickey, who was not among the top ten prospects according to all the major scouting services, was widely panned by the media and fans alike.

And then on July 1, the first day that NHL teams could sign unrestricted free agents, Lombardi once again drew heavy criticism from fans for his failure to sign any of the attractive free agents that day, including forwards Daniel Briere, Chris Drury and Scott Gomez. Read more of this post

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