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LA Kings: Muzzin To Make 2014-15 Season Debut vs. Buffalo; So Far, So Good For McNabb

LA Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin
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Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Heading into Thursday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres (7:30 PM PDT, Staples Center), the Los Angeles Kings got some much-needed good news, that defenseman Jake Muzzin had been cleared to play by doctors after being examined on October 21.

Muzzin, who has not played yet this season, was suffering from an upper body injury.

“It’s exciting,” he said. “I’m good to go. I got cleared, and I’m excited for tomorrow night. It’s not 100 percent, but it’s good to go.”

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LA Kings Leaning On Strong Team Culture To Push Past Distraction Created By Voynov Incident

ALSO; Defenseman Jake Muzzin likely to return to the lineup against Buffalo Sabres on October 23.


LA Kings defenseman Slava Voynov
Photo courtesy National Hockey League

EL SEGUNDO, CA — One day after defenseman Slava Voynov was arrested by Redondo Beach Police on suspicion of violating California Penal Code section 273.5(a)-Domestic Violence, the Los Angeles Kings held a routine practice.

In fact, the only way one could tell something was amiss was the size of the media contingent present—it was the kind of media presence the Kings only get during the playoffs.

Indeed, reporters and camera crews from most of the local television news outlets joined the usual reporters who cover the team to cover the Voynov story and how his situation would affect the team.

The practice session, which looked no different from any other non-game day full practice for the Kings, was an indication that they are going to go about their business as they always do.

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LA Kings Blue Liner Jake Muzzin Is Starting To Look And Sound Like An NHL Veteran

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin

EL SEGUNDO AND LOS ANGELES, CA — Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past four months, you know that the Los Angeles Kings won the 2014 Stanley Cup Championship last June.

The Kings spent this past summer enjoying the fruits of their labor, celebrating their second Stanley Cup win in the last three seasons, and like the rest of his teammates, defenseman Jake Muzzin got to spend a day with hockey’s version of the Holy Grail.

“This summer was an exciting one, that’s for sure,” said the 25-year-old, 6-3, 213-pound native of Woodstock, Ontario. “It was pretty busy. We had a lot going on. The day with the Cup was pretty special.”

“We did a lot,” added Muzzin. “I was a busy man that day. We brought it to both sides of the family, my Mom’s side and my Dad’s side. We had a parade through Woodstock, we had a key to the city ceremony, I signed [autographs for] the public for two-and-a-half hours or so, we had a reunion with the old team I played with in Woodstock, and we had a party that night.”

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LA Kings: It May Not Be About Dean Lombardi Now, But At One Time, It Was

COMMENTARY/ANALYSIS: How much truth is there behind Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi’s claim that, “…it ain’t me,” when discussing his role in his team winning two Stanley Cup Championships in the last three seasons? One look at the Kings’ team culture, which extends well beyond the dressing room, and has become just as important as the talent level of the team, will provide much of the answer. Final installment of a three-part series.


LA Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi, shown here addressing the crowd at their 2014 Stanley Cup Championship rally at Staples Center in Los Angeles on June 16, 2014.
(click to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty..net

EL SEGUNDO AND LOS ANGELES, CA — It didn’t take Dean Lombardi very long after his arrival in Southern California to lay out his plan for building the Los Angeles Kings into a perennial Stanley Cup contender. But what would probably surprise many, as reported in Part 2 of this series, acquiring high-end, skilled players was not at the top of the to-do list, even though that would have to happen at some point.

Instead, Lombardi stressed that his team would be built by drafting young players and taking the time to develop them—their skills and their character—in the minor leagues. He would build a team in which, as he said when he was hired on April 21, 2006, “…every one of them who puts on a Kings jersey, no matter where they go, feels ‘once a King, always a King.’”

As the Kings fought their way through the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, overcoming adversity became a common theme. Indeed, they had to claw and scratch their way back from a 3-0 series deficit in the opening round against San Jose to win that series, 4-3. They won three seven-game series in which they faced elimination, and they came back from two-goal deficits to win games time after time after time.

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