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Down On The Farm With The Manchester Monarchs: Blue Line Corps May Be Their Greatest Asset

DOWN ON THE FARM: Between goaltending and their defensive corps, the Manchester Monarchs’ greatest strength will be on their side of the red line in the 2011-12 season.


Thomas Hickey is beginning to look like he might develop
into the defenseman the Los Angeles Kings were hoping
for when they selected him with the fourth overall pick
in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
Photo: Steve Babineau/Manchester Monarchs

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — The Manchester Monarchs, the primary minor league affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings, are 1-1 after their first two games of the 2011-12 season, allowing just three goals in those games. They return to action tonight against the Providence Bruins, the start of a three-games-in-three-nights road trip in which they will also face the Portland Pirates on October 15, and the Springfield Falcons on October 16.

Although no one in their right mind, would draw conclusions about a team based on just two games, especially so early in a season, the Monarchs figure to be one of the stingier teams in the American Hockey League.

Indeed, with goaltenders Martin Jones and Jeff Zatkoff expected to improve upon solid seasons in 2010-11, the rest is up to the skaters in front of them. Read more of this post

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LA Kings 2011 Training Camp: Goalie Prospect Jeff Zatkoff Approaches 2011-12 Season With Renewed Focus

LA Kings goaltender prospect Jeff Zatkoff.
Photo: David Sheehan

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Outside of the years superstar and should-be-Hall-of-Fame netminder Rogie Vachon dominated while toiling between the pipes, goaltending has traditionally been the weakest link for the Los Angeles Kings.

Even goaltender Mario Lessard only had one outstanding season with the Kings in 1980-81. He even played in the 1981 National Hockey League All-Star Game that year, along with the Kings’ “Triple Crown Line,” which featured Marcel Dionne, Charlie Simmer and Dave Taylor.

Kelly Hrudey backstopped the Kings during the Gretzky Era, and helped lead the Kings to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1992-93. But that team won by outscoring its opponents, not because of its defense and goaltending. Read more of this post

Making Do Without Doughty: Los Angeles Kings Open 2011 Training Camp

TRAINING CAMP COVERAGE: Frozen Royalty’s coverage of the Los Angeles Kings’ 2011 Training Camp begins with details on who might get ice time as a replacement for holdout defenseman Drew Doughty, Anze Kopitar’s ankle and how it held up on the first day, more on Dustin Penner’s conditioning, and on Dustin Brown trying to build chemistry with new line mates. Includes 15 audio interviews from Day 1 of training camp.


LA Kings left wing Dustin Penner lost more weight during the 2011 off-season than originally believed.
Photo: David Sheehan.

EL SEGUNDO, CA — The Los Angeles Kings hit the ice for the first time during their 2011 Training Camp on Saturday, September 17, and, unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, or vacationing in a desolate, primitive area, isolated from the hockey world, you know that defenseman Drew Doughty is in the midst of a contract dispute with the Kings, and is now a holdout.

Indeed, the 21-year-old defenseman was nowhere to be found when the Kings hit the ice at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California, their practice facility.

With no end in sight in the Doughty saga, the story was not just his absence, but who might fill his skate boots should he continue to holdout.

“The plans [for training camp] do not change at all,” said head coach Terry Murray. “We’re going to miss Doughty. I wish he was here to be a part of it. He’s a very important player, he’s a big part of the locker room, and a fun guy to be around. He’s a great player for us, but the plans do not change for the training camp. We have to get ready for the start of the year.” Read more of this post

Frozen Royalty Audio: Phoenix Coyotes vs. Los Angeles Kings – Rookie Tournament 2011, Game 2

Logo courtesy LA Kings/NHL

EL SEGUNDO, CA — After falling asleep at the wheel in the third period in Game 1 of their annual Rookie Tournament against the Phoenix Coyotes, the Los Angeles Kings redeemed themselves with a 4-3 victory in Game 2 on Thursday afternoon at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California, the Kings’ practice facility.

The Kings rookies big line of Brandon Kozun, Linden Vey and Jordan Nolan accounted for most of the Kings’ scoring, accounting for three of their four goals, including two by Nolan, and four assists.

Center Jordan Weal also scored for the Kings rookies.

Nolan’s second goal capped a five-on-three power play in the waning seconds of the game, giving the Kings rookies their margin of victory.
Read more of this post

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