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Are The LA Kings On The Right Track For 20-Game Sprint To The Finish?

AUDIO: Includes audio interviews with Drew Doughty, Alec Martinez, Willie Mitchell, Jake Muzzin, Jarret Stoll and Justin Williams.


LA Kings right wing Justin Williams: “This time of year is when we play our best hockey. These last twenty games is playoff time.
It’s time to show up.”
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Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — Even though the Los Angeles Kings have won all three of their games since the National Hockey League returned to the ice following the Olympic break—they have won four straight games overall—they know their game is not yet where it needs to be. Nevertheless, there is little doubt that they have picked up their game since the break ended.

“We wanted to have a good start coming out of the break,” said defenseman Alec Martinez. “It’s no secret that we weren’t happy with our game before the break started.”

“We’re scoring goals, and we’ve been playing our game, the last three games,” added Martinez. “That’s certainly a good sign, but we’ve got twenty more to go. We’ve got to keep it going.”

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LA Kings Anze Kopitar Talks Olympics, Sprint To The Finish

LA Kings center Anze Kopitar
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Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Well before the Los Angeles Kings hit the ice on February 24, an unusually large throng of local media had already gathered at their practice facility, the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California. In fact, with all the television and radio news media present, it looked like we had skipped over the final 23 games of the regular season for the Kings and moved right into the playoffs, which is when the local broadcast media start to show up at practices.

But on this day, center Anze Kopitar returned to the Kings’ practice ice for the first time since the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia ended, and he did so as an Olympic hero, of sorts. After all, even though he did not win a medal, he led Slovenia to a nearly miraculous 3-1 win over Slovakia in the preliminary round. Slovenia also shutout Austria in the Qualification Round, 4-0, to reach the Quarterfinals.

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Sprint To The Finish Gives LA Kings Almost No Time To Fix What’s Broken

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr, shown here during a recent practice at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California.
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Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — When we last left the Los Angeles Kings, they had just defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets, 2-1 in overtime, on February 6, at Staples Center.

The win ended a four-game losing streak. But looking at the bigger picture, there were still a lot of things in their game that were broken, as their 6-13-2 record over their last 21 games indicates.

Center Mike Richards hopes that the Olympic break gave the Kings enough of a respite that they will be able to break loose offensively when they return to the ice at Colorado on February 26.

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LA Kings Goalie Prospect J.F. Berube Is Taking Full Advantage of Opportunity With Manchester Monarchs

Los Angeles Kings goaltender prospect Jean-Francois Berube, shown here during a recent practice at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Generally speaking, professional hockey players don’t get to go on vacation until spring or summer, when their season ends, except during an Olympic year, when National Hockey League players who are not playing for their national teams get some time off during the Games. But the season continues for the rest of the professional leagues in North America during the Olympic break, and that is exactly what is happening during the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

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