LA Kings Goaltender Prospect J.F. Berube Will Need To Pick Up Development Pace In 2012-13

Goaltending prospect Jean-Francois Berube, shown here during the
Los Angeles Kings 2012 Development Camp, July 6-10, 2012,
at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California.
(click to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — With Jonathan Quick being a finalist for the 2011-12 Vezina Trophy, and the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the most valuable player in last season’s playoffs, leading the Los Angeles Kings to the first Stanley Cup Championship in the 45-year history of the franchise, the Kings have their first truly elite goaltender since Rogie Vachon starred for them from 1971-72 through 1977-78.

But even with Quick firmly established as the Kings’ top netminder, a National Hockey League team can never have enough goaltending. After all, no netminder can play all 82 regular season games, and then there are injuries to consider.

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2011-12 Year-In-Review: Quick, Blue Line Corps Were LA Kings’ Greatest Strengths

Los Angeles Kings superstar goaltender Jonathan Quick,
shown here during the team’s Stanley Cup Championship Rally
on June 14, 2012, at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
(click to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — While the Los Angeles Kings struggled mightily to score goals throughout most of the 2011-12 regular season, the addition of forward Jeff Carter, and the recalls of rookie left wings Dwight King and Jordan Nolan, along with rookie defenseman Slava Voynov, gave the team balance throughout their lineup. That balance allowed head coach Darryl Sutter to add a new wrinkle to their system, one that gave them the ability to play much more aggressively on the puck, while maintaining, if not strengthening, their already very solid defensive zone play.

The Kings were able to use those changes to their advantage during the final two months of the regular season to squeak into the playoffs, and then, make their dominating run through Vancouver, St. Louis, Phoenix and New Jersey during the playoffs, on their way to the first Stanley Cup Read more of this post

Down On The Farm With The Manchester Monarchs: Zatkoff Having An All-Star Season In Goal, While Jones Takes Small Step Backwards

Jeff Zatkoff (left) and Martin Jones (right), shown here during the
Los Angeles Kings 2011 Training Camp on September 23, 2011.
Photo: David Sheehan

LOS ANGELES — Although Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick is garnering more and more consideration as one of the National Hockey League’s best goaltenders—something that has been virtually unheard of when discussing Kings netminders over their 44-year history—and with Jonathan Bernier possessing the skills, if not the opportunity, to be a starting goalie in the NHL, as the old saying goes, a team can never have enough goaltending.

As such, the Kings have continued to draft and develop young goaltenders, and they have two young netminders having solid years with their primary minor league affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League. Read more of this post

Down On The Farm With The Manchester Monarchs: Can Jeff Zatkoff Reclaim Top Goalie Spot?

DOWN ON THE FARM: Los Angeles Kings goaltending prospects Martin Jones and Jeff Zatkoff are expected to improve upon solid 2010-11 seasons with the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League. But can Zatkoff, who got off to a bit of a slow start last season, and has likely been passed by Jones on the Kings depth chart, bounce back this season?


Goaltending prospect Jeff Zatkoff will likely need an outstanding
season to reclaim the number one goaltender position with
the Manchester Monarchs, which would also make him the
third-ranked goalie on the LA Kings’ depth chart.
Photo: Steve Babineau/Manchester Monarchs

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — As was reported in this space this past summer, with Jonathan Quick and Jonathan Bernier giving the Los Angeles Kings a one-two punch in goal that, arguably, they have never had before, the Kings are set in goal for the foreseeable future.

But with two netminders who are good enough to be number one goaltenders, something will eventually have to give. Read more of this post

Down On The Farm With The Manchester Monarchs: Blue Line Corps May Be Their Greatest Asset

DOWN ON THE FARM: Between goaltending and their defensive corps, the Manchester Monarchs’ greatest strength will be on their side of the red line in the 2011-12 season.


Thomas Hickey is beginning to look like he might develop
into the defenseman the Los Angeles Kings were hoping
for when they selected him with the fourth overall pick
in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
Photo: Steve Babineau/Manchester Monarchs

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — The Manchester Monarchs, the primary minor league affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings, are 1-1 after their first two games of the 2011-12 season, allowing just three goals in those games. They return to action tonight against the Providence Bruins, the start of a three-games-in-three-nights road trip in which they will also face the Portland Pirates on October 15, and the Springfield Falcons on October 16.

Although no one in their right mind, would draw conclusions about a team based on just two games, especially so early in a season, the Monarchs figure to be one of the stingier teams in the American Hockey League.

Indeed, with goaltenders Martin Jones and Jeff Zatkoff expected to improve upon solid seasons in 2010-11, the rest is up to the skaters in front of them. Read more of this post

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