Los Angeles Kings Getting Offense From Surprising Source

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Going into the Los Angeles Kings’ first round playoff series against the San Jose Sharks, if someone predicted that their third line of Kyle Clifford, Brad Richardson and Wayne Simmonds would account for six goals and seven assists for 13 points after five games, they would be quickly dismissed as being insane.

Kyle Clifford (left), Brad Richardson (right), and Wayne Simmonds
(center, facing away) are the unexpected leaders of the Los Angeles Kings’
offensive attack in their first round playoff series against the San Jose Sharks.
Photo: David Sheehan

Further, if anyone predicted that Clifford, a wet-behind-the-ears, twenty-year-old rookie who is known for more for throwing his weight around, would lead the team in playoff scoring with three goals and two assists for five points, they would probably be laughed at.

But those nutty predictions have proven to be prescient, as Clifford, Richardson and Simmonds have been the Kings’ top line, not their third line that is only expected to be an energy line, a checking line. Indeed, they have led the way offensively for the heavily defensive-oriented Kings, who trail the Sharks in the series, 3-2, with Game 6 scheduled for tonight at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings Will Need A Miracle To Win First Round Series Against San Jose

Los Angeles Kings right wing Justin Williams (right) will return to the lineup for Game 1 of his team’s first round playoff series against the San Jose Sharks on April 14, 2011 at HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.
Photo: David Sheehan

EL SEGUNDO, CA — With less than 16 hours left, at the time of this writing, before the Los Angeles Kings open their first round playoff series against the San Jose Sharks at HP Pavilion in San Jose (7:00 PM PDT, televised in Southern California on Fox Sports West, nationally on Versus, and in Canada on TSN and RDS), one thing is clear…

…without star center Anze Kopitar, it will take a miracle for the Kings to win this series and advance to the second round. Read more of this post

Dean Lombardi: Anze Kopitar Must Learn To Handle Success

LOMBARDI ON KOPITAR: Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi talks about his star center, Anze Kopitar, and his struggles this season after starting the year on fire. Part 2 of a series. Look for part 3 early next week.


LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Kings started the 2009-10 season on fire, as did center Anze Kopitar.

The Kings were scoring goals in bunches, as the line of left wing Ryan Smyth, right wing Justin Williams and Kopitar were torching just about every opponent they faced.

Kopitar was largely responsible for that, as he opened the season on a serious tear with fourteen goals and seventeen assists for 31 points in the team’s first 21 games (October 3 – November 14, 2009).

Indeed, with Smyth going hard for loose pucks and consistently parking himself in front of the opposition’s net, Kopitar found himself with more room to maneuver in the offensive zone, giving him more scoring chances.

But it was much more than Smyth that made Kopitar the scoring terror that he was early in the season.

Off-season conditioning and strength work added muscle and endurance to Kopitar’s 6-3, 222-pound frame. That gave him more speed and power to get past defenders and to help him win more loose puck battles. Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings: A Mixed Bag After Two Games

LOS ANGELES — Two games into the 2009-10 season, the Los Angeles Kings are right where most everyone expected them to be, sporting a 1-1-0 record.

But that did not happen, to coin a phrase, according to Hoyle.

Indeed, the Kings were expected to easily defeat the bankrupt, owner-less Phoenix Coyotes on October 3 and then lose three days later to the class of the Pacific Division, the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Kings looked more like the Keystone Kops than a National Hockey League team in an embarrassing 6-3 loss to the Coyotes and then turned right around and defeated the Sharks on October 6, 6-4.

Against the Coyotes, one word describes the Kings’ performance.

Disastrous. Read more of this post

2008-09 NHL Playoffs – Joe Thornton: Too Little, Too Late…Again

LOS ANGELES — When San Jose Sharks superstar center Joe Thornton dropped the gloves with Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf just two seconds into Game 6 of their Western Conference quarterfinal playoff series, it was too little, too late.

Thornton, who scored just one goal and contributed four assists in the six-game series, failed to show any fight in his game until it was too late, helping lead his team down the drain, losing the series in six games.

The Sharks have a reputation of being playoff busts, failing to get out of the second round in four straight seasons. This is also a team that reached the Western Conference Finals in 2003-04 and has been among the elite teams in the conference since then. Read more of this post

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