Defense Is The Catalyst For The Los Angeles Kings

ALSO: Something important that you might not know about Marian Gaborik, praise for Alec Martinez, and video not available anywhere else of post-practice interviews on December 19, 2014, with Los Angeles Kings forwards Dustin Brown and Justin Williams, defenseman Jake Muzzin, and head coach Darryl Sutter.


LA Kings winger Marian Gaborik
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — A common refrain heard among those who follow the Los Angeles Kings is that scoring is down and their top players are not producing as they should.

Although they are not clicking at the 3.38 goals per game rate they achieved during the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs (top team in the playoffs), the Kings are not exactly terrible either, scoring an average of 2.70 goals per game, ranked 16th in the National Hockey League this season—right in the middle of the pack.

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LA Kings: Players Lament Lack Of Consistency, But Darryl Sutter Is Looking At His Best Players

LA Kings center Anze Kopitar has struggled this season, and head coach
Darryl Sutter tried to light a fire under him, and other players, after
practice on December 7, 2014, at the Toyota Sports Center
in El Segundo, California.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — One day after they got off to another slow start against a lesser opponent and paid for it with a loss, the Los Angeles Kings were already looking ahead to their upcoming five-game road trip, one in which they know that they need to start stringing together some wins to keep themselves in a playoff spot, and, they hope, improve their position in the standings.

As mentioned, a big problem has been slow starts.

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Frozen Royalty Video: Greene, Williams, Stoll, Sutter After LA Kings Drop 2-1 Decision To Flyers

LOS ANGELES — Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds scored goals while Steve Mason stopped 37 shots to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to a 2-1 win over the slow-starting Los Angeles Kings during a matinee affair at Staples Center in Los Angeles on December 6.

Justin Williams scored the lone goal for the Kings.

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Frozen Royalty Video: Williams, Toffoli, Sutter Interviews After 2-0 Loss To Dallas

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Kings showed marginal improvement one day after a very poor showing at Anaheim (don’t let the score in a 6-5 shootout fool you), the Kings were caught chasing the game again, dropping a 2-0 loss to the Dallas Stars at Staples Center in Los Angeles on November 13.

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LA Kings: Justin Williams Escapes Serious Eye Injury; Status Is Day-To-Day

LA Kings right wing Justin Williams (right), shown here talking
with head coach Darryl Sutter (left) during a recent practice.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — On November 5, the day after the Los Angeles Kings won their first road game of the season in Dallas, the top priority was not about how to build on that win. The reason: it was also the day after right wing Justin Williams suffered what could have been a serious eye injury during the win at Dallas.

Williams was accidentally clipped with a high stick by Dallas Stars defenseman Brenden Dillon at 16:12 of the third period. Williams immediately covered his eye with his hand, and went directly to the dressing room. He did not return to the game.

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