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Los Angeles Kings Defensive Improvement A Surprise So Far

LOS ANGELES — Eighteen games into the 2008-09 National Hockey League season, the Los Angeles Kings are a surprising 8-8-2, good for eighteen points in the standings.

As of this writing, the Kings are third in the Pacific Division, eleventh in the Western Conference and twentieth in the overall NHL standings, all significant improvements.

Although they have not improved significantly over their 8-9-1 record after eighteen games in the 2007-08 season, it is rather easy to see where this season’s Kings have made the most improvement…on defense. Read more of this post

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LA Kings’ Improvements May Not Be Easy To See

LOS ANGELES — One month of the 2008-09 National Hockey League season is in the books and the Los Angeles Kings have been pretty much what was expected in terms of wins and losses.

As of this writing, the Kings have a 3-6-1 record, good for seven points. They are ranked last in the Pacific Division, already eleven points out of first place, and in the Western Conference standings, the Kings are also dead last—both are right where they were last season.

Against the rest of the league, the Kings are ranked 28th in the thirty-team NHL, just two points ahead of the last place New York Islanders.

The Kings ended the 2007-08 season in 29th place, tied in points with last-place Tampa Bay.

In short, the Kings are right about where most people expected them to be, showing no significant improvement in the standings over the previous season so far. But if you think the Kings have not improved over last season, guess again. Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings Dominant In Win At St. Louis

Kyle Quincey and Patrick O’Sullivan scored first period goals, followed by Jarret Stoll and Dustin Brown in the third period to lead the Los Angeles Kings to a 4-0 shutout victory over the St. Louis Blues in front of 19,150 fans at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Friday night.

Kings goaltender Jason LaBarbera had a relatively easy night, having to stop just fifteen shots, but he bounced back from a shaky performance on Tuesday against Colorado to record his third National Hockey League shutout. Read more of this post

Second Period Lapse Overshadows Rookie Milestones: Avalanche Squeak Past Kings, 4-3

LOS ANGELES — As in most professional sports, in the National Hockey League, one or two mistakes are often the difference between winning and losing, and the young Los Angeles Kings learned that lesson the hard way on Monday night in a 4-3 loss to the Colorado Avalanche in front of an announced crowd of 13,891 fans at Staples Center.

Ryan Smyth led the way for the Avs with two goals, including the game-winner scored at 16:32 of the second period, spoiling the night for Kings rookie forward Oscar Moller and rookie defenseman Drew Doughty, who both scored their first NHL goals.

Moller opened the scoring on the power play at 6:19 of the first period, only to see Smyth tie the game on a wrist shot from the left circle at 11:28. Smyth’s goal came as a result of the first and only strong shift by the Avs in the period.

Left wing Patrick O’Sullivan gave the Kings a 2-1 lead with a goal at 3:02 of the second period, but then the wheels fell off the Kings’ cart. Read more of this post

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