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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It’s Time For LA Kings To Back Up Words With Action, Results

LA Kings defenseman Alec Martinez
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO AND LOS ANGELES, CA — One look at the National Hockey League standings will instantly tell you that the Los Angeles Kings are currently in the Western Conference playoff picture. But they will also show that they are just about as close to being out of playoff contention as they are to being in the thick of it.

On January 8, the Kings will play their 41st game of the season (against the New York Rangers, 7:30 PM, Staples Center), the halfway mark, and given their precarious playoff position, the time is now for them to back up their words with action and results, something they’re well aware of.

“We really need to turn it around quickly here,” said defenseman Drew Doughty. “We’re not happy with how we’re playing. It’s halfway through the season, and we’re just barely in a playoff spot. We want to have a lot more ground in front of other teams.”

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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/FrozenRoyalty.net

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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Frozen Royalty Video: Doughty, Kopitar, Sutter Interviews After LA Kings Beat San Jose, 3-1

LOS ANGELES — Tyler Toffoli, Anze Kopitar and Jake Muzzin scored goals while Jonathan Quick stopped 21 shots to lead the Los Angeles Kings to a 3-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks at Staples Center in Los Angeles on December 27.

Joe Pavelski scored for the Sharks at 2:37 of the first period after the Kings turned the puck over in their own zone, but that would be the only San Jose goal.

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