2008-09 Los Angeles Kings: Defense and Goaltending Will Be Key

SEASON PREVIEW: A comprehensive, detailed look at what might be for the 2008-09 Los Angeles Kings.

LOS ANGELES — Immediately upon being hired by the Los Angeles Kings as their new head coach on July 17, 2008, Terry Murray clearly stated that the top priority for his new team would be improving their defensive play, noting that the 2007-08 Kings gave up several boatloads of quality scoring chances and goals.

This new mandate could not have been made more clear on the first day of the Kings’ 2008-09 training camp. Indeed, when the players took to the ice for the first time, they saw five dots, a bit smaller than the face-off dots, painted on the ice in the slot, representing the “home plate” area Murray wants his players to focus on in terms of their defensive positioning.

Indeed, the Kings were atrocious in their own zone for the vast majority of the 2007-08 season and their goaltending was not much better. These two areas will certainly be keys to the success or failure of the 2008-09 Kings, who will have several young players, some of them rookies, in their lineup, raising serious doubt on the Kings’ ability to improve significantly upon their tied-for-last-place-in-the-league finish in 2007-08. Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings Lose Shootout In Las Vegas

After spotting the Colorado Avalanche two first period goals, the Los Angeles Kings got goals from Matt Moulson, Vladimir Dravecky and Anze Kopitar, but it was not enough, as T.J. Hensick scored the lone shootout goal to give the Avalanche a 4-3 shootout win over the Kings in pre-season action at the MGM Grand Garden Arena at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on Saturday night. Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings Off To 3-0 Start In Pre-Season

Anze Kopitar scored late in the third period to tie the game and right wing prospect Teddy Purcell scored the lone shootout goal to lead the Los Angeles Kings to a 4-3 shootout victory over the Colorado Avalanche in pre-season action at the Pepsi Center in Denver on Wednesday night.

The Avs were the better team early, getting early first period goals from Ryan Smyth on the power play at 3:08, followed by an even-strength goal from Darcy Tucker at 8:25.

The Kings shook the cobwebs loose to start the second period and they dominated play the rest of the way, outshooting the Avs in the second period, 15-4 and 17-5 in the third period. But the Kings were unable to get on the scoreboard until center Jarret Stoll capitalized on a Colorado turnover and scored an unassisted goal at 18:20 of the second period. Read more of this post

It’s A Matter Of Trust For Dean Lombardi, LA Kings, AEG

As reported in the first installment of this series (see Lombardi Answers His Critics), the Los Angeles Kings and President/General Manager Dean Lombardi are under heavy fire from a vocal segment of their fan base who are furious about the direction of the team, but they also have those who support their rebuilding efforts.

In this, the second and final installment in the series, Frozen Royalty takes a close look at one of the root causes of the Kings’ disconnect with their fans.


EL SEGUNDO, CA — These days, one has to wonder if Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi has added “professional gambler” to his job title.

Indeed, given the serious gambling he has been doing, both with his roster and with his relations with Kings fans, it’s not hard to imagine Lombardi spending hours on end at a high-limit blackjack table at a Las Vegas strip casino.

But whether he is being dealt winning hands or losing ones is a debatable question.

For those who support the rebuilding efforts, Lombardi is clearly being dealt winning hands the majority of the time.

But for those who view his rebuilding efforts, his emphasis on youth, and his free agent acquisitions, among other actions, as a recipe for disaster, Lombardi is entering the third year of a losing streak that is so bad that he has not won a single hand while losing a fortune the size of the gross national product of United States. Read more of this post

Kings Re-Sign Ersberg, Gauthier, Moulson and Piskula

PROSPECTS SIGNED: Ersberg signs two-way deal

On July 16, the Los Angeles Kings re-signed forwards Gabe Gauthier and Matt Moulson, defenseman Joe Piskula and goaltender Erik Ersberg to new contracts. Read more of this post

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 147 other followers