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San Jose Sharks Present A Whole New Post-Season Challenge For LA Kings

VIDEO INTERVIEWS: Includes video interviews with Los Angeles Kings Dustin Brown, Drew Doughty, Anze Kopitar, Matt Greene, Jarret Stoll, and head coach Darryl Sutter.


LA Kings center Jarret Stoll.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — The Los Angeles Kings are heading into Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the San Jose Sharks on May 14 (7:00 PM PDT, Staples Center) knowing that were not at the top of their game in the first round of the playoffs against the St. Louis Blues. To be sure, the Kings have not looked much like the team that won the 2012 Stanley Cup Championship.

“I don’t know if we’ve played like that yet,” said defenseman Drew Doughty. “I think we still have a long way to go. We were OK in the St. Louis series. We weren’t great. We didn’t play to the best of our abilities, so we’ve got a lot to work on, and we’ve got to start doing it in this series.”

“Our defensive zone coverage, composure with the puck under fast, quick pressure, heavy pressure, like we saw in the first round, I don’t think we handled it too well,” said center Jarret Stoll. “We need to be a lot better in that area. We relied on our goaltender too much. He was great, he was awesome for us, but we need to be better in that area, and just bearing down, offensively. We had some chances that went by. We scored some timely goals, but I think we could’ve put more pucks in the net, and we didn’t.”

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LA Kings GM Dean Lombardi Is Dodging Bullets

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi has been dodging a lot of bullets lately.

Whether they are being fired by the media or by Kings fans, Lombardi has been taking heavy fire since June 22, the first day of the 2007 National Hockey League Entry Draft, when he defied conventional wisdom by selecting defenseman Thomas Hickey with the fourth overall pick.

The selection of Hickey, who was not among the top ten prospects according to all the major scouting services, was widely panned by the media and fans alike.

And then on July 1, the first day that NHL teams could sign unrestricted free agents, Lombardi once again drew heavy criticism from fans for his failure to sign any of the attractive free agents that day, including forwards Daniel Briere, Chris Drury and Scott Gomez. Read more of this post

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