Rough, Physical Play Showing That LA Kings Are A Team, Perhaps Now More Than Ever Before

LA Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell drops the gloves with Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steve Downie on
November 4, 2010 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Photo: Newscom

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — To this point in the 2010-11 season, if anything is clear about the Los Angeles Kings, it is that other teams view them as one of the best teams in the NHL, and that is showing up in terms of physical play, as many opponents are going into games against the Kings trying to get them off their game through physical intimidation.

To be sure, despite the fact that right wing Kevin Westgarth, the Kings’ heavyweight enforcer, has not been in a fight yet this season, perhaps due to the fact that he broke Colorado Avalanche heavyweight David Koci’s jaw in a pre-season scuffle back in September, teams seem to be going into games against the Kings with the intent of knocking them around, both with big hits and their fists.

“There were a few hits, a few confrontations,” head coach Terry Murray said after his team’s very physical 1-0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on November 4. “A little old time hockey with the scrums that were going on. It was a very competitive game out there—two first place teams. The battle heats up.” Read more of this post

LA Kings Find Their Power Play In 6-4 Win At Colorado On NHL Video

Brad Richardson recorded the first hat trick of his National Hockey League career to lead the Los Angeles Kings to a 6-4 victory over the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center in Denver on October 23.

Richardson started the game centering the Kings’ fourth line and scored his first goal while centering Brayden Schenn and Kevin Westgarth. But he was moved up to left wing on the first line with center Anze Kopitar and right wing Dustin Brown during the second period, replacing Andrei Loktionov.

Richardson made the most of his opportunities, scoring two goals in the third period, one of them a shorthanded goal not long after the Avs scored during a five-minute major power play, the result of Kings right wing Wayne Simmonds striking Avalanche forward T.J. Galliardi with the butt end of his stick.

The Kings also found their power play in the game, scoring twice on five power play opportunities. Read more of this post

LA Kings Looking For Kevin Westgarth To Be An Upgrade As Enforcer

EL SEGUNDO, CA — The Los Angeles Kings rid themselves of the sloth-like skating and one-bad-penalty-after-another performances by left wing enforcer Raitis Ivanans when they passed on signing him to a new contract this past summer.

That left the enforcer spot open, and it is all but a foregone conclusion that 6-4, 228-pound right wing Kevin Westgarth will be promoted from the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, the Kings’ primary minor league affiliate. Read more of this post

Gann Matsuda On TheHockeyWriters.com: Los Angeles Kings’ Fourth Line Already Taking Shape

EL SEGUNDO AND LOS ANGELES, CA — As the Los Angeles Kings skate through the second week of their 2010 training camp, most of their opening night lineup appears to have already been set.

Indeed, there are no surprises regarding the 37 players still in camp after the first round of roster cuts came on September 24, with more on the way after their next pre-season game on September 28 when they host the Anaheim Ducks.

Still up for grabs are spots on the fourth line, although some favorites are already apparent.

Perhaps the strongest candidate to center that line is the 5-11, 192-pound Brad Richardson, who scored eleven goals and tallied 16 assists for 27 points in 81 regular season games with the Kings last season. He also contributed a goal and an assist in six playoff games.

The 25-year-old native of Belleville, Ontario played both center and left wing last season, his versatility making him that much more valuable.

“I feel comfortable in any position,” said Richardson. “Whereever I end up, left wing or center, that’s fine with me.”

“I’ll do whatever I can and whereever I fit in, that’s fine,” added Richardson. I’ll just try to be a good teammate, and, hopefully, work my way up.” Read more of this post

LA Kings Make Final 2009-10 Training Camp Cuts

EL SEGUNDO, CA — On September 28, the Los Angeles Kings made their final training camp roster cuts. Read more of this post

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