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For The Los Angeles Kings, Black Friday Has A Totally Different Meaning

EL SEGUNDO, CA — When Terry Murray was hired as head coach of the Los Angeles Kings on July 17, 2008, his highest priority was to teach his young team how to play defense, something that seemed like a foreign concept to the Kings in the seasons just prior to his arrival.

Two years later, Murray’s mostly young charges had improved their defensive zone play in dramatic fashion by emphasizing coverage of the “home plate” area in front of their own net. That new focus, along with improved goaltending, resulted in a dramatically reduced number of shots against, far fewer quality scoring chances by opponents and, as a result, a lot less pucks ending up in their net.

That focus was on point to start the 2010-11 season, one that saw the Kings jump out to a 12-3-0 start. But their defensive focus went by the wayside in mid-November, and the Kings have been in a deep slump ever since, losing five of their last six games while allowing one glorious scoring chance after another and giving up goals in bunches. Read more of this post

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Los Angeles Kings: Problems Start In Front Of Their Net, Not In It

LOS ANGELES — On Thanksgiving Day 2010 in the United States, the Los Angeles Kings are thankful that they played so well early in the season that their current slump—losing five of their last six games—has not moved them to the lower echelon of the National Hockey League’s Western Conference standings.

Their latest debacle, an embarrassing 4-1 blowout loss to the Montreal Canadiens on November 24, was a game in which the Kings were totally dominated by the Habs. Their embarrassing performance shined a bright light on how the Kings have lost their focus, especially when it comes to their defensive assignments. Read more of this post

Former LA Kings And Montreal Canadiens Great Rogie Vachon Still On The Outside Looking In

FROZEN ROYALTY EXCLUSIVE: With the Hockey Hall of Fame inducting new members on November 8, 2010, it is appropriate to note that among the players who are deserving of induction but have been unjustly denied is former Los Angeles Kings superstar goaltender Rogie Vachon. The following story, which was originally published on November 28, 2009, is being re-published as a reminder that this travesty continues.


Rogie Vachon
Photo: LA Kings

LOS ANGELES — Many hockey fans in the Los Angeles area have at least heard of Rogie Vachon. They may know that he was the best goaltender ever to wear the jersey of the Los Angeles Kings. But few know of his accomplishments with the Kings and with the Montreal Canadiens prior to his arrival in Southern California.

Even fewer know that Vachon’s accomplishments rank him among the greatest goaltenders to have ever played the game, yet he continues to be denied the honor of being inducted into the hallowed halls of the Hockey Hall of Fame (HHOF).

A close look at Vachon’s career statistics shows that he ranks ahead of a considerable number of goaltenders who were inducted into the HHOF years ago (for details, see Time To Right A Wrong: Hockey Hall of Fame Must Induct Rogie Vachon). Read more of this post

Jay Wells: A Stalwart On The Blue Line For The LA Kings

Jay Wells
Photo: Los Angeles Kings

EL SEGUNDO, CA — As they reminisce about their team, hockey fans generally remember the skilled, offensively gifted players, the star netminders, or the heavyweight enforcers.

They also remember players who are memorable for the wrong reasons. But rarely do they remember the guys in the trenches, the unsung heroes who do a lot of the dirty work, making things possible for the skilled players, but go mostly unnoticed.

The same applies to the Los Angeles Kings, as their fans easily remember stars like Wayne Gretzky, Luc Robitaille, Marcel Dionne, Rogie Vachon and Rob Blake.

They also remember the players who were memorable for their sheer ineptitude, like Troy Crowder and Barry Potomski, among others. Read more of this post

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