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LA Kings vs. San Jose Sharks: 2014 First Round Playoff Preview/Predictions

LA Kings defenseman Drew Doughty
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Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — It’s that time of year again.

It’s the time of year when hockey fans all over are either at games, or are glued to a television set somewhere watching Stanley Cup Playoff games, and probably not just games in which their favorite team is playing in.

Indeed, this is the best time of year for hockey fans, and that sentiment is shared by National Hockey League players and coaches as well.

“This is the best time of the year,” said Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar. “Everybody gets excited for it, and it’s no different for us.”

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Frozen Royalty Video: Doughty And Stoll Look Ahead To First Round Playoff Series vs. San Jose

LA Kings defenseman Drew Doughty spoke to the media on April 11, 2014, talking about his condition after suffering a suspected left shoulder injury on April 4, at San Jose, along with his team’s outlook heading into their upcoming first round playoff matchup against the San Jose Sharks.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — It was a slow day around the Los Angeles Kings practice facility after the team arrived at Los Angeles International Airport at 2:00 AM on April 11, following their 3-0 win at Edmonton just hours before, on April 10.

With the late arrival at LAX, most players opted for off-ice workouts. But rookie left wing Tanner Pearson, rookie defenseman Andrew Campbell, and goaltender Jonathan Quick skated.

Joining them was defenseman Drew Doughty, who suffered a suspected left shoulder injury on April 3, at San Jose.

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Are The LA Kings On The Right Track For 20-Game Sprint To The Finish?

AUDIO: Includes audio interviews with Drew Doughty, Alec Martinez, Willie Mitchell, Jake Muzzin, Jarret Stoll and Justin Williams.


LA Kings right wing Justin Williams: “This time of year is when we play our best hockey. These last twenty games is playoff time.
It’s time to show up.”
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — Even though the Los Angeles Kings have won all three of their games since the National Hockey League returned to the ice following the Olympic break—they have won four straight games overall—they know their game is not yet where it needs to be. Nevertheless, there is little doubt that they have picked up their game since the break ended.

“We wanted to have a good start coming out of the break,” said defenseman Alec Martinez. “It’s no secret that we weren’t happy with our game before the break started.”

“We’re scoring goals, and we’ve been playing our game, the last three games,” added Martinez. “That’s certainly a good sign, but we’ve got twenty more to go. We’ve got to keep it going.”

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LA Kings Anze Kopitar Talks Olympics, Sprint To The Finish

LA Kings center Anze Kopitar
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Well before the Los Angeles Kings hit the ice on February 24, an unusually large throng of local media had already gathered at their practice facility, the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California. In fact, with all the television and radio news media present, it looked like we had skipped over the final 23 games of the regular season for the Kings and moved right into the playoffs, which is when the local broadcast media start to show up at practices.

But on this day, center Anze Kopitar returned to the Kings’ practice ice for the first time since the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia ended, and he did so as an Olympic hero, of sorts. After all, even though he did not win a medal, he led Slovenia to a nearly miraculous 3-1 win over Slovakia in the preliminary round. Slovenia also shutout Austria in the Qualification Round, 4-0, to reach the Quarterfinals.

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