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Frozen Royalty Audio: LA Kings Are Focused On Possibilities Despite 3-0 Series Deficit

LA Kings LA Kings left wing Marian Gaborik.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Looking way up at a 3-0 deficit in their first round playoff series against the San Jose Sharks, the Los Angeles Kings are facing elimination and all the pressure that goes along with it.

Despite that coming back to win a series after being down, 3-0, has been done before. It’s an extremely rare occurrence, but it has been done.

That their task is not impossible seems to be exactly the attitude the Kings are taking into tonight’s Game 4 at Staples Center.

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LA Kings Anze Kopitar Is Working His Way Back To Elite Status

LA Kings center Anze Kopitar

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — Following the 2013 Western Conference Final, when the Chicago Blackhawks unceremoniously bounced the Los Angeles Kings out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in five games, one thing was crystal-clear…

…Kings star center Anze Kopitar was nothing close to the unstoppable Anze Kopitar who shared the National Hockey League playoff scoring title with teammate Dustin Brown (eight goals, twelve assists for twenty points) in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, when the Kings won the Stanley Cup.

In fact, Kopitar’s paltry three goals and six assists for nine points in 18 playoff games last season was a far cry from his performance in the 2012 playoffs. Moreover, that explosive first step, the strength on the puck, the ability to protect it along the boards and in the corners—all those trademarks of Kopitar’s game were missing in action.

Last season, Kopitar’s prolonged slump began in late March, and extended 34 games, including the post-season. His shockingly poor performance led to widespread speculation that he was injured—it seemed the only logical explanation.

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Marian Gaborik Has Been Just What The Doctor Ordered For The LA Kings


LA Kings left wing Marian Gaborik
(click above to view larger image)

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — When players move from one team to another, especially at the National Hockey League’s trade deadline, the adjustment that a player has to make, both on the ice and off, is never easy. But veteran left wing Marian Gaborik seems to have made the transition from his old team, the Columbus Blue Jackets, to the Los Angeles Kings, with remarkable ease.

Since he was acquired on March 5, 2014, Gaborik has played in twelve games, scoring three goals and contributing five assists for eight points, with a +1 plus/minus rating, and four penalty minutes.

On the season, he has nine goals and 13 assists for 22 points, with a +1 plus/minus rating and ten penalty minutes in 34 games.

More important is the fact that before Gaborik arrived, the Kings, who are 8-3-0 with him in their lineup, were scoring a measly 2.17 goals per game (GPG). But since he joined the team, they have scored 2.75 GPG, which would rank them 14th in the NHL in goal scoring, if that was their full season average (Kings are ranked 24th, averaging 2.41 goals per game for the season).

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LA Kings: Gaborik Adjusting To New Surroundings While Brown, Kopitar Explain Formula For Recent Success

AUDIO: Includes audio interviews with Dustin Brown, Marian Gaborik, Anze Kopitar and Darryl Sutter.


Winger Marian Gaborik (second from right), celebrates a Jeff Carter
goal at Edmonton on March 9, 2014.
(click above to view larger image)

EL SEGUNDO, CA — After winning seven consecutive games coming out of the Olympic break, and with eight straight wins overall, it is now safe to say that the break worked wonders for the Los Angeles Kings, who are on the verge of tying a franchise record for consecutive wins in a season with nine as they prepare to skate against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Staples Center here in Los Angeles tonight (7:30 PM PDT).

“I think all of our guys came back from the break really sharp,” said head coach Darryl Sutter.

“I had lots of fun, [the Olympics] was a great experience for me, personally, for [Team Slovenia], and for every single athlete who was there,” said center Anze Kopitar. “Maybe it gives you a little boost. When I came back, Darryl gave me a few days off, too, so I didn’t have to skate and put on equipment, which helped a lot.”

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