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

Frozen Royalty Audio And NHL Video: LA Kings Near Perfect In 2-0 Win Over Boston

LOS ANGELES — Back on January 4, 2011, this reporter wrote, “…the [Los Angeles] Kings’ inconsistency is so often apparent that it can be maddening, and is a stark contrast to where they need and want to be.”

]No one can say that the Kings have successfully addressed that issue yet this season, given the fact that they lost ten out of their previous twelve games before winning two straight, including a brilliantly-played 2-0 victory over the Boston Bruins in front of an announced sellout crowd of 18,118 fans at Staples Center in Los Angeles on January 24. Read more of this post

Frozen Royalty Audio and NHL Video: LA Kings Still Can’t Put It All Together In Shootout Loss To Oilers

LOS ANGELES — In recent weeks, if it’s not one thing, it’s another, for the Los Angeles Kings.

Indeed, whether it has been uninspired play, too many penalties, poor puck support and the inability to generate a forecheck, or not getting traffic and pucks to the net, the Kings have been struggling to find their game, and that was evident once again in a 4-3 shootout loss to the lowly Edmonton Oilers during a matinee affair on April 10 at Staples Center. Read more of this post

Has Dean Lombardi Solved The LA Kings’ Goaltending Woes?

LOS ANGELES — With the exception of should-be-a-Hall-of-Famer Rogie Vachon, Mario Lessard and Felix Potvin (for about one season), “goaltending” and “Los Angeles Kings” should not be used in the same sentence unless the idea is to cause uncontrollable laughter or crushing despair, depending on who you might be talking to. Read more of this post

Lombardi Talks About Goaltending, Top Defenseman Prospects

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW – PART 2: After taking New Year’s Day off, Frozen Royalty is back with more from an exclusive interview with Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi. In this installment, Lombardi focuses on his team’s future in goal and two of his top defenseman prospects. Check back on Tuesday, January 6 for Part 3 of this series and if you missed Part 1, check out Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi Excited About Defense.


LOS ANGELES — Throughout the over forty-year history of the Los Angeles Kings, goaltending has arguably been their biggest Achilles Heel.

The only Kings goaltender who could be considered to be in the truly elite category was Rogie Vachon, who backstopped the Kings from 1971-72 to 1977-78, winning many games all by himself while playing on mostly horrid teams. Indeed, Vachon was so good that it is a heinous crime that he still has not been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Sure, the Kings got stretches of solid goaltending from the likes of Mario Lessard, Kelly Hrudey and for a little more than one season, Felix Potvin. But outside of that, Kings goaltenders have been mediocre at best, and they often fell far short of that mark.

Much to the dismay of the Kings and their fans, in recent seasons, their goaltending woes have continued, but that might be changing sooner rather than later. Read more of this post

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