LA Kings Find Bright Spots During Failed First Test Without Mitchell, Richards in 2-1 Loss To Montreal Canadiens

LOS ANGELES — One game into a stretch in which they will have to do without the services of center Mike Richards and defenseman Willie Mitchell, already, the Los Angeles Kings have shown that there are big reasons for concern after struggling mightily in a 2-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens during a matinee affair at Staples Center on December 3.

Tomas Plekanec gave the Canadiens a 1-0 lead with a power play goal at 18:39 of the first period.

Andrei Kostitsyn finished off an odd-man rush at 10:48 of the second period, giving the Habs a 2-1 lead, taking advantage of Kings defenseman Matt Greene losing an edge and falling at the Montreal blue line, just inside right point.

The Kings cut the Canadiens’ lead in half at the 13:46 mark of the third period. But before you read on, be advised that California has not fallen into the Pacific Ocean, and you do not need to make sure that your affairs are in order.

Left wing Dustin Penner was the responsible party, scoring his first goal of the season, prompting concerns that some cataclysmic event was upon us.

But that was as close as the struggling Kings could get.

“I thought we had a good first twenty minutes,” said left wing Simon Gagne. “We had a lot of pucks on the net, a lot of shots. The second period, I thought, was not very good. We took a lot of bad penalties, and gave them chances to go on the power play. From that point, we found ourselves, down, 2-0.” Read more of this post

LA Kings: Injuries To Mitchell, Richards Give Drewiske, Penner Another Chance

Left wing Dustin Penner must find his game quickly and start pulling his weight on the scoresheet with the Los Angeles Kings facing some rather strong adversity with the loss of defenseman Willie Mitchell and center Mike Richards to injuries.
Photo: David Sheehan

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — While earning a 2-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on December 1 at Staples Center, the Los Angeles Kings paid a heavy price, and will face heavy adversity for the first time this season.

During that game, the Kings lost veteran defenseman Willie Mitchell during the first minute of the game. He was joined in the trainer’s room by center Mike Richards, who took a blow to the head late in the second period from Panthers’ forward Sean Bergenheim.

Mitchell (lower body injury) is expected to miss at least the next two games, while Richards, who has what is officially being called an upper body injury, has been placed on injured reserve.

Read more of this post

LA Kings: Kevin Westgarth Celebrates First NHL Goal With Teammates, Family, Friends And Fans

Rugged right wing Kevin Westgarth.
Photo: David Sheehan

EL SEGUNDO, CA — 23 games into the 2011-12 regular season, the Los Angeles Kings have earned a 12-8-3 record, good for 28 points, one point behind the Dallas Stars for the Pacific Division lead, and just three points behind the Western Conference-leading Chicago Blackhawks.

But remaining in contention for the top spots in their division and conference has been more of a struggle than expected, giving fans a lot to rant and rave about.

Fortunately, one feel-good story came out last week, providing a bit of a respite from the constant moaning and groaning about everything that people perceive to be wrong with the Kings. Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings Should Take The Great One’s Advice About Shooting The Puck

Los Angeles Kings rookie forward Andrei Loktionov will move back to center on November 28, 2011, when the Kings host
the San Jose Sharks at Staples Center.
Photo: David Sheehan

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — Some years ago, in the not too distant history of the Los Angeles Kings, there was a player who once graced the hockey world with his wisdom, not to mention his nearly infinite talent.

“You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take,” he said.

That player was none other than The Great One, Wayne Gretzky, who holds or shares 61 National Hockey League records, and is fourth on the Kings’ all-time scoring list.

Coming from Gretzky, who was not only the best player to ever play the game, but, arguably the smartest, those words carry several tons of weight.

Each of the Kings players should probably be forced to write those words on a chalkboard 100 times each after falling back into their bad habit of trying to pass the puck into the net, time and time again. Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings: Smarter, Better, More Disciplined Play Needed From Ethan Moreau

Los Angeles Kings veteran left wing Ethan Moreau has been
noticeable for all the wrong reasons lately.
Photo: David Sheehan

EL SEGUNDO, CA — When the Los Angeles Kings signed rugged, checking winger Ethan Moreau to a one-year, unrestricted free agent contract on August 20, 2011, the expectation was that he would bring energy, physical play, solid forechecking and strong defensive play to the Kings’ third and fourth lines.

The 36-year-old, 6-3, 223-pound native of Huntsville, Ontario, a former captain of the Edmonton Oilers, also brings veteran leadership, and years of National Hockey League experience.

But so far this season, Moreau has played well in spurts, but has not given the Kings anywhere near enough of what is needed or expected.

“His role is basically to be that fourth line left winger—grit, size, experience, and to give us that harder game, and that’s been there…in and out,” said head coach Terry Murray. “But there’s been times that it’s been very good, and I think, in the last couple of games, I’ve seen more of it [from him while playing with right wing Kevin] Westgarth and [center Colin] Fraser, and that’s stuff that we need.” Read more of this post

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 148 other followers