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Even With 2-0 Series Lead, Los Angeles Kings Know They Need To Be Much Better

Los Angeles Kings right wing and team captain Dustin Brown says his team needs to improve heading into Game 3 of their first
round playoff series against the Vancouver Canucks.
Photo: David Sheehan

EL SEGUNDO, CA — After returning to the Los Angeles area with a surprising 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven, quarter final round playoff series against the Vancouver Canucks, winners of the President’s Trophy for earning the best record in the National Hockey League this season, one might expect to see huge smiles, lots of laughter, and joking around by the players, showing excitement, and even joy, about their good fortune so far in the playoffs.

But instead of floating on Cloud Nine, the Kings appear to have their feet planted firmly on the ground, knowing that despite having a considerable lead in the series, they did not play all that well in Game 2 on April 13, in Vancouver.

“If you look at Game 2, we had too many turnovers,” said right wing and team captain Dustin Brown. “They had some good chances [off those turnovers], and [goaltender Jonathan] Quick had to make some big saves. We turned the puck over just inside our blue line, [instead of] getting pucks out.”

“I thought we turned too many pucks over last night, and gave them a lot of opportunities, which allowed them to play in our zone a whole lot,” said center Mike Richards. “In the first game, we got pucks in deep. We didn’t try to make those [risky] plays in the neutral zone.” Read more of this post

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LA Kings Defenseman Willie Mitchell Warns Against Overconfidence

Los Angeles Kings veteran defenseman Willie Mitchell knows his
former team, the Vancouver Canucks, all too well.
Photo: David Sheehan

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Despite their underdog status going into their first round playoff series against the Vancouver Canucks, the Los Angeles Kings, lead the series, 1-0, after winning Game 1 on April 11, 4-2, in Vancouver.

The Kings went into the series saying all the right things about not being concerned about being the underdog, and expressing confidence that they could get the job done against the heavily favored Canucks.

Of course, the Kings were heavy underdogs two seasons ago, when they faced the Canucks in the first round, and it was the same thing against the San Jose Sharks in the first round last season. Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings’ 2011 Late-Round Draft Picks Working To Beat Long Odds

EL SEGUNDO, CA — The National Hockey League Entry Draft is one huge crapshoot in terms of teams landing prospects who will make it to the NHL level to stay, let alone big stars, even for those who are lucky enough to be first round picks.

Left wing prospect Joel Lowry spoke to the media
during the Los Angeles Kings 2011 Development Camp
at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California,
July 11-12, 2011.
Photo: Gann Matsuda

For those who end up being selected in later rounds, the odds of making it to the NHL are much, much longer. Nevertheless, every so often, they not only make it to the NHL, but they thrive there.

The most notable cases in point among Kings draft picks (not including active NHL players) would be:

  • Butch Goring, Center (fifth round, 51st overall, 1969)
  • Billy Smith, Goaltender (fifth round, 59th overall, 1970)
  • Dave Taylor, Right Wing (15th round, 210th overall, 1975)
  • Mark Hardy, Defenseman (second round, 30th overall, 1979)
  • Bernie Nicholls, Center (fourth round, 73rd overall, 1980)
  • Kevin Stevens, Left Wing (sixth round, 108th overall, 1983)
  • Luc Robitaille, Left Wing (ninth round, 171st overall, 1984)
  • Rob Blake, Defenseman (fourth round, 70th overall, 1987)
  • Alexei Zhitnik, Defenseman (fourth round, 81st overall, 1991) Read more of this post

LA Kings Drew Doughty Honored At NHL Awards…Just Not With The Norris Trophy

LAS VEGAS AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — At the 2010 National Hockey League Awards, held at the Palms in Las Vegas, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty finished third in the voting for the James Norris Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to the league’s best defenseman during the regular season. Read more of this post

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