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Gann Matsuda On The Hockey Writers: Young Defenseman Alec Martinez A Surprise With LA Kings

LA Kings defenseman Alec Martinez has moved up from the AHL to become
a fixture on the Kings’ blue line.
Photo: David Sheehan

EL SEGUNDO, CA — So far this season, the Los Angeles Kings have been a surprise, but mostly for the wrong reasons.

Indeed, the Kings were expected to be among the top teams in the Western Conference. But after a stretch in November when they lost seven out of eight games, and an even more brutal stretch from late December through most of January when they lost ten out of twelve games, the Kings are struggling just to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot in the hyper-competitive Western Conference, even though they are 5-0-1 in their last six games, and 6-3-1 in their last ten.

Perhaps as big a surprise has been the play of young defenseman Alec Martinez, 23, who not only failed to make the Kings roster out of training camp, but was also a big question mark in terms of ever making the jump to the National Hockey League level. Read more of this post

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Gann Matsuda On The Hockey Writers: LA Kings Must Climb A Mountain Called “February” To Make Playoffs

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — After a dreadful 3-8-0 performance in January, not to mention a stretch where they lost ten of twelve games going back to December 29, the Los Angeles Kings are now looking up at a mountain in their schedule akin to some of tallest mountains and steepest cliffs in the world.

In fact, do not be surprised if you see Kings equipment managers adding rope, boots, crampons, gaiters, goggles, pitons and other mountain climbing gear to the usual hockey equipment, as the Kings will have to scale Mount February if they expect to make the playoffs this season.

Indeed, after the Kings return from the National Hockey League’s All-Star break on February 1, they will play ten consecutive road games before returning to Staples Center on February 24. Read more of this post

Gann Matsuda On The Hockey Writers: Los Angeles Kings: Players Must Turn It Around On Their Own…For Now

Photo: David Sheehan

LOS ANGELES — Having lost nine out of their last eleven games, the Los Angeles Kings are hurtling into an all-to-familiar abyss, one where they get an early summer vacation while the good teams continue on to the National Hockey League’s second season, the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Oh…by the way, the Kings have only been invited to the post-season party twice in the last decade, making it out of the first round in 2002. Read more of this post

Gann Matsuda On The Hockey Writers: Los Angeles Kings Need A Major Attitude Adjustment

LOS ANGELES — Although the Los Angeles Kings are just one game beyond the halfway point in their season and a lot of hockey is left to be played, they are in deep, deep trouble.

Despite a strong start to their season and a 9-3-0 run in December, the Kings have had a stretch in November when they lost seven out of eight games, and they are currently mired in a slump in which they have lost six of their last seven, with no end to their nose dive in sight. Read more of this post

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