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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.”
(click above to view larger image)
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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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.
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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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Transition To North American Game Hasn’t Been Easy For LA Kings Prospect Maxim Kitsyn

LA Kings left wing prospect Maxim Kitsyn, shown here during the team’s
2013-14 training camp in October 2013.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

ONTARIO, CA — While the National Hockey League is off the ice during the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, other North American leagues are still on the ice, including the ECHL, where Los Angeles Kings left wing prospect Maxim Kitsyn is working to hone his skills.

Almost four years ago, Kitsyn, a native of Novokuznetsk, Russia who was 18 years of age at the time, came to Los Angeles for the 2010 National Hockey League Entry Draft, held at Staples Center. He was selected by the Kings in the sixth round (158th overall).

Back then, Kitsyn was already playing in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League, and aside from a 32-game stint in the 2010-11 season with the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors of the Ontario Hockey League, he remained in the KHL. As a result, for many NHL followers, he was out of sight, out of mind. He became a mostly forgotten Kings prospect.

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