2010-11 Los Angeles Kings Year-In-Review: Coaches And Front Office Had Their Ups and Downs, Too

2010-11 YEAR IN REVIEW: Part 3 of a series.


LOS ANGELES — Despite earning a 46-30-6 (98 points, seventh place in the Western Conference) record this season, just three points less than their 46-27-9 (101 points, sixth place in the Western Conference) record in 2009-10, the Los Angeles Kings, along with just about everyone who follows them and the rest of the National Hockey League, expected the team to not only make the playoffs this season, but to at least advance to the second round.

Los Angeles Kings head coach Terry Murray certainly isn’ the next coming of legendary coaches Toe Blake or Scotty Bowman, but his achievements
with the Kings outweigh his failures and weaknesses.
Photo: Victor Decolongon/Getty Images via the Los Angeles Kings

Extenuating circumstances, namely, the loss of star center, leading scorer and top defensive forward Anze Kopitar to a serious ankle injury and not having right wing Justin Williams at full strength—both were injured in late March—severely diminished the Kings’ chances of winning their first round playoff series against the much more talented San Jose Sharks.

But even without Kopitar, and with Williams playing with a separated right shoulder, the Kings exposed the Sharks’ weaknesses and could have won the series if they adhered to their system and structure. But they failed miserably in that regard, dropping the series in six games. Read more of this post

2010-11 Los Angeles Kings Year-In-Review: Evaluating The Forwards

2010-11 YEAR IN REVIEW: Part 1 of a series.


Anze Kopitar (right) and Justin Williams (left) led the way among Los Angeles Kings’ forwards this season.
Photo: David Sheehan

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Kings suffered an earlier than desired exit from the 2010-11 season, when they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the San Jose Sharks, who won the series 4-2.

To be sure, another first round exit from the post-season party was not what the Kings had in mind this year, as expectations, both their own and just about everyone else’s, was for them to at least advance to the second round.

Although they faced extenuating circumstances that affected their ability to enjoy post-season success, namely, the loss of leading scorer and top defensive forward Anze Kopitar to a devastating ankle injury in late March, the Kings showed that if they had the discipline to adhere to their system and structure, they could have won that series, advancing to the Western Conference Semi Finals. Given that, it doesn’t matter how you slice it. The fact remains that the Kings did not meet expectations for the 2010-11 season. Read more of this post

Time For The Los Angeles Kings To Be Patient With Dustin Penner Is Up

EL SEGUNDO, CA — To anyone who has watched the Los Angeles Kings fairly regularly over the last seven weeks, left wing Dustin Penner has been very, very noticeable…

…for all the wrong reasons.

Veteran left wing Dustin Penner has been a non-factor for the
Los Angeles Kings since his arrival in Los Angeles Will he ever
figure it all out and get his game in gear?
Photo: David Sheehan

Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi acquired Penner in a trade deadline day deal on February 28, 2011, in a deal that sent defenseman prospect Colten Teubert to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange, along with a first round selection in the 2011 National Hockey League Entry Draft, and a conditional third round pick in the 2012 draft that will become a second round selection should the Kings win the Stanley Cup this season.

Penner was acquired to score goals and create space for center Anze Kopitar. But with Kopitar out until next season with a broken ankle and torn ligaments, Penner, who is one of the most skilled forwards on the team, was expected to step up and give the Kings a lift.

But Penner ended the regular season scoring just two goals and adding four assists for six points in 19 games with the Kings. Even worse, he ended the regular season without a point in the final twelve games, and he last scored a goal on March 13 at Dallas.

That was 16 games (including playoffs and regular season) ago. Read more of this post

No Time To Lose For Dustin Penner To Figure Things Out With LA Kings

EL SEGUNDO, CA — With star center Anze Kopitar and right wing Justin Williams out of action with serious injuries, the Los Angeles Kings are struggling, even more than before, to score goals. As such, there is a ton of added pressure on their defense and goaltending to keep the puck out of their own net, knowing that their offense is sorely lacking.

The Los Angeles Kings need more from left wing Dustin Penner (left),
but he is struggling to learn the Kings’ system.
Photo: John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images and the Los Angeles Kings

Although he was brought in to play alongside Kopitar and create space to free Kopitar up to produce more offensively, left wing Dustin Penner was also expected to contribute his share of goals when the Kings acquired him in a trade deadline day deal.

Penner, 28, was acquired from the Edmonton Oilers on February 28, in exchange for defenseman prospect Colten Teubert, a first round selection in the 2012 National Hockey League Entry Draft, and a conditional third round pick in the 2012 draft (the pick becomes a second round pick in 2012 should the Kings win the Stanley Cup this season).

So far, things have certainly not gone as expected, or hoped. Read more of this post

Wayne Gretzky’s Arrival Changes Everything For LA Kings And Retired Trainer Pete Demers

FROZEN ROYALTY EXCLUSIVE: Retired Los Angeles Kings head athletic trainer Pete Demers has seen more than most after a 41-year career in professional hockey that includes 37 years in the Los Angeles Kings’ organization, three with their minor league affiliate in Springfield, and 34 with the Kings. During the vast majority of those years, Demers had to suffer, along with everyone else, from a lot of mediocre, or worse, hockey. But everything changed, almost overnight, on August 9, 1988, when Wayne Gretzky arrived in Los Angeles to stay. Part six of a series.


Los Angeles Kings head athletic trainer emeritus Pete Demers (left) with
The Great One, Wayne Gretzky, who scored his record-setting
802nd NHL goal on March 23, 2009.
Photo: Demers Family Collection

LOS ANGELES — During his career with the Los Angeles Kings, retired head athletic trainer Pete Demers toiled long hours, starting early in the morning, and often working into the wee hours of the following morning.

Demers spent 34 years with the franchise, and for the vast majority of his career, the team had little success.

“Over the years, it has been frustrating and disheartening, whatever you want to call it,” said Demers. “Every guy who walks though [the dressing room] door puts his heart and soul into it, and then it doesn’t happen, whether we just didn’t have the talent, some stuff was missing, who knows.” Read more of this post

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