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LA Kings GM Dean Lombardi’s Focus On Character and Leadership Is Paying Dividends

LA Kings winger and captain Dustin Brown
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Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — With the Los Angeles Kings on the verge of winning their second Stanley Cup Championship in the last three seasons, perhaps as soon as tonight, much has been said about their character and leadership qualities that have been on display throughout the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Indeed, leading the New York Rangers in the 2014 Stanley Cup Final, 3-0 in the best-of-seven series, the Kings could win the whole enchilada as soon as tonight, when the two teams face-off in Game 4 at Madison Square Garden in New York (5:00 PM PDT; televised on NBCSN in the United States and on CBC and RDS in Canada).

Character and leadership are usually not even a thought in anyone’s mind while watching their favorite hockey team, and especially here in the Los Angeles area, those characteristics were often scoffed at by pundits and fans alike, who believed that skill and talent were all that mattered.

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LA Kings: Dean Lombardi’s Gamble On Justin Williams Is Paying Off Many Times Over

LA Kings right wing Justin Williams
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Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — Back in early March 2009, when the Los Angeles Kings acquired veteran right wing Justin Williams, many people, including yours truly, expressed concern about the deal, given Williams’ lengthy injury history.

Indeed, before joining the Kings, Williams had played a full, 82-game season just twice. From 2000-01 to 2008-09, he suffered injuries that include broken fingers and hands, a broken wrist, shoulder strains and sprains, a torn anterior cruciate ligament and a torn Achilles tendon.

When he was acquired by the Kings, Williams was on injured reserve after suffering another broken hand.

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LA Kings And NY Rangers: 2014 Stanley Cup Final Preview/Prediction

The Stanley Cup
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Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — After eight months, the National Hockey League has finally reached the peak of its crescendo, with the New York Rangers here on the left coast to face-off against the Los Angeles Kings in 2014’s quest for hockey’s version of the Holy Grail, the Stanley Cup.

Players, head coaches and general managers of both teams met the media on June 3 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, where the players spent a lot of time analyzing their opponent.

“[The Kings are] a big team,” said Rangers forward Brad Richards. “Straightforward, experienced, and they obviously don’t give up. We’ve seen that over the last few years, and especially this year. You know that their will is there. We’re going to have to get to that, and match that. After that, there’s not a lot of surprises. It’s straightforward hockey, and they’re going to come. Besides that, we’ll see where it goes.”

“They’re obviously a very, very good team,” said Rangers forward Chris Kreider. “That’s why they are where they are, at this point in the season. That’s why they’ve had so much success over the past few years.”

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LA Kings Have 77 Reasons To Be Comfortable, Confident Heading Into Game 7 In Chicago

2014 WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL – GAME 7: The last thing the Los Angeles Kings wanted to do was return to Chicago for Game 7 of the Western Conference Final. But even though they’re in the Windy City, preparing for tonight’s game, they are doing so with comfort and confidence. Final segment of a two-part story.


LA Kings right wing Justin Williams
(click above to view larger image
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — As reported in Part 1 of this two-part story, the Los Angeles Kings wanted anything but to return to Chicago, but that is exactly what they had to do after losing Game 6 of their 2014 Western Conference Final series against the Chicago Blackhawks on May 30 in Los Angeles.

Despite that, the Kings are not uncomfortable about being back in the Windy City for tonight’s Game 7 (5:00 PM PDT). After all…

  • The Kings are 6-4 all-time in Game 7’s.
  • They have a combined 77 games of Game 7 experience.
  • Kings players have a combined record of 70-7 in Game 7’s. Read more of this post
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