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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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Martin Jones Isn’t The Only One Raising Eyebrows For LA Kings

LA Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin, shown here during a recent practice.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Although Los Angeles Kings rookie goaltender Martin Jones’ dazzling feats in goal have dominated the headlines in recent days, another player is garnering significant attention as well.

In fact, following the Kings’ practice on December 20, a few members of the local media talked about this particular player, extolling his virtues.

Prior to the Kings’ 3-2 shootout victory over the Colorado Avalanche on December 21, scouts for other National Hockey League teams—all regulars at Staples Center—could be heard in the press elevator, raving about that same player.

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LA Kings Linden Vey On His NHL Debut: “I’ve Never Had So Many Text Messages”

Los Angeles Kings forward prospect Linden Vey, shown here
during the Kings’ 2013 Training Camp.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — Over the years, most hockey fans have probably read or heard their share of stories about a young player making his National Hockey League debut, probably enough to think that it’s not a big deal.

Indeed, in the grand scheme of things, a player making his NHL debut pales in comparison to many of the stories we see, read and hear in the news. But make no mistake…it still is a big deal, no question about it.

To be sure, when you consider the fact that a minuscule number of young players from all over the world ever get close to making it to the NHL, it is a blessed event when one does, a cause for celebration, something that young Los Angeles Kings forward Linden Vey was doing, albeit in rather subdued fashion, after making his NHL debut in a 2-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres on November 7 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

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Win Over San Jose Brought Out Best From LA Kings

Los Angeles Kings right wing Jeff Carter will be out of action for awhile due to what is believed
to be a foot or ankle injury.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — As reported in this space on October 24, the Los Angeles Kings’ game is built around establishing a strong, relentless, smothering forecheck.

The only problem is that through 14 games this season, their forecheck has not always been there.

“The biggest part of our game is the forecheck, and it hasn’t been there every night,” winger and captain Dustin Brown told Frozen Royalty on October 23. “It’s been really inconsistent. When we’re really good, and hard to play against, it’s because our forecheck is really good.”

One week after Brown made that remark, his team put in their best effort of the season, despite glaring blunders on two goals against, to beat the National Hockey League’s best team to date, the San Jose Sharks, 4-3, in overtime, at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

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