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LA Kings Justin Williams: “Just Win” and “Puck Luck Is For Cop-Outs”

LA Kings right wing Justin Williams
(click above to view larger image
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — The Los Angeles Kings had a long night after their 2-1 loss to the New York Rangers in Game 4 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final in New York on June 11.

Indeed, the Kings headed to John F. Kennedy International Airport right after the game, boarding their charter for the nearly 5 1/2-hour, coast-to-coast flight back to Los Angeles.

“[The flight] was fine. Had a good Chilean Sea Bass,” said center Jarret Stoll, eliciting laughter from the media. “It was good. Food was great. Really good catering last night. Got a good three hours of sleep.”

The Kings eat quite well on their charter flights. But rest is often an entirely different matter, and as Stoll indicated, they did not get much sleep on the plane, and probably not much more that morning, given their 3:36 AM PDT arrival at Los Angeles International Airport. As such, it was surprising to see that some players chose to skate on Thursday afternoon, despite the lack of rest.

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LA Kings GM Dean Lombardi’s Focus On Character and Leadership Is Paying Dividends

LA Kings winger and captain Dustin Brown
(click above to view larger image
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — With the Los Angeles Kings on the verge of winning their second Stanley Cup Championship in the last three seasons, perhaps as soon as tonight, much has been said about their character and leadership qualities that have been on display throughout the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Indeed, leading the New York Rangers in the 2014 Stanley Cup Final, 3-0 in the best-of-seven series, the Kings could win the whole enchilada as soon as tonight, when the two teams face-off in Game 4 at Madison Square Garden in New York (5:00 PM PDT; televised on NBCSN in the United States and on CBC and RDS in Canada).

Character and leadership are usually not even a thought in anyone’s mind while watching their favorite hockey team, and especially here in the Los Angeles area, those characteristics were often scoffed at by pundits and fans alike, who believed that skill and talent were all that mattered.

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LA Kings Have 77 Reasons To Be Comfortable, Confident Heading Into Game 7 In Chicago

2014 WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL – GAME 7: The last thing the Los Angeles Kings wanted to do was return to Chicago for Game 7 of the Western Conference Final. But even though they’re in the Windy City, preparing for tonight’s game, they are doing so with comfort and confidence. Final segment of a two-part story.


LA Kings right wing Justin Williams
(click above to view larger image
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — As reported in Part 1 of this two-part story, the Los Angeles Kings wanted anything but to return to Chicago, but that is exactly what they had to do after losing Game 6 of their 2014 Western Conference Final series against the Chicago Blackhawks on May 30 in Los Angeles.

Despite that, the Kings are not uncomfortable about being back in the Windy City for tonight’s Game 7 (5:00 PM PDT). After all…

  • The Kings are 6-4 all-time in Game 7’s.
  • They have a combined 77 games of Game 7 experience.
  • Kings players have a combined record of 70-7 in Game 7’s. Read more of this post

Anze Kopitar’s Improvement In Face-Off Circle Is A Key Factor In LA Kings’ Playoff Success

LA Kings center Anze Kopitar (right), shown here being pursued by
Chicago Blackhawks left wing Patrick Kane.

EL SEGUNDO, CA — One of the reasons the Los Angeles Kings have made it all the way to Game 7 of the 2014 Western Conference Final has been their ability to possess the puck, and as players and coaches will tell you, puck possession begins in the face-off circle.

Kings Center Jarret Stoll has been one of the best in the National Hockey League in the face-off circle since his days with the Edmonton Oilers. But star center Anze Kopitar, now one of the best face-off men in the league, has had to really work on face-offs, a part of his game that was rather deficient when he started out.

In 2006-07, his rookie season, Kopitar won just 46.1 percent of his draws. It took him five seasons before he really improved, jumping up to 53.8 percent in the 2011-12 season, even though his percentage dropped to 48.6 percent during the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, when the Kings won the Stanley Cup.

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