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Los Angeles Kings’ Playoff Success In Jeopardy After Losing Anze Kopitar

Los Angeles Kings star forward Anze Kopitar (center) suffered a broken right ankle late in the second period during a 4-1 win over
the Colorado Avalanche at Staples Center
in Los Angeles on March 26, 2011.
Photo: Noah Graham/NHLI via Getty Images and the Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES — Going into the 2010-11 season, the Los Angeles Kings were expected to be a playoff team, as they were last season. But expectations were higher this season, their benchmark for success being to make it into the second round, the Western Conference semi-finals, and with just eight games remaining, their prospects were looking good.

But all that may have come crashing down on March 26, during a decisive 4-1 win over the hapless Colorado Avalanche, as the Kings lost star center Anze Kopitar, who suffered a broken right ankle in a freakish fall late in the second period.

He will be out of the lineup for a minimum of six weeks.

Kopitar will undergo a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examination on March 28, when the full extent of his injury will become clear, and although there has been no further word from the Kings medical staff, no one should be surprised if Kopitar will be out of the lineup for much longer than six weeks.

At the 15:39 mark of the second period, Kopitar fell backwards, his right leg twisting while his skate remained firmly planted on the ice. Video of the incident, especially slow motion replay, was a gruesome sight to behold. Read more of this post

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New On KingsCast: Episode 97 – Screaming At Staples Center

Keith Korneluk and Chris Kaliszewski have been unusually productive this week, coming back with yet another edition of KingsCast just a few days after their last episode. Read more of this post

LA Kings Looking For Kevin Westgarth To Be An Upgrade As Enforcer

EL SEGUNDO, CA — The Los Angeles Kings rid themselves of the sloth-like skating and one-bad-penalty-after-another performances by left wing enforcer Raitis Ivanans when they passed on signing him to a new contract this past summer.

That left the enforcer spot open, and it is all but a foregone conclusion that 6-4, 228-pound right wing Kevin Westgarth will be promoted from the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, the Kings’ primary minor league affiliate. Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings Forward Prospect Oscar Moller: About To Take A Big Step?

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Two seasons ago, forward prospect Oscar Moller made the Los Angeles Kings’ roster out of training camp and after putting in some effective minutes where he showed a good scoring touch, it appeared that he could be on his way to solidifying a spot at the National Hockey League level.

Fast forward to 2010 and Moller now finds himself just trying to make the Kings roster.

The 5-10, 186-pound native of Stockholm, Sweden started the 2009-09 season with the Kings and showed some ability to finish right from the start, including his first multi-goal game in the NHL against Calgary on November 1, 2008.

Moller, who played in forty NHL games that season, also captained Sweden’s team in the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championships, but suffered a fractured clavicle during the tournament, forcing him out of the Kings’ lineup upon his return to the NHL. Read more of this post

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