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Gann Matsuda On The Hockey Writers: LA Kings: When Will They Become More Than Just A Tease?

LOS ANGELES — After riding the roller coaster that is the 2010-11 Los Angeles Kings, one can only wonder when they will become more than just a tease.

A tease is exactly what the Kings are right now, given their penchant for showing that they can dominate the National Hockey League’s best teams with stellar play in all three zones and in all facets of the game, only to turn right around and look completely lost for lengthy stretches of games. Read more of this post

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Gann Matsuda On The Hockey Writers: LA Kings’ Kyle Clifford Is Starting To Surpass Early Expectations

LOS ANGELES — Although the Los Angeles Kings have been rather inconsistent after a 12-3-0 start, they are now 6-3-1 in their last ten games, as of this writing.

The biggest reasons have been the superb play of goaltender Jonathan Quick and the more than solid play of Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown and Justin Williams, who have combined for 13 goals and 21 assists for 34 points in the last ten games.

Kopitar has caught fire, scoring six goals and adding seven assists for 13 points, while Williams has tallied three goals with four assists for seven points. But the big gun over the last ten games has been Brown, who has scored four goals with eleven assists for 15 points.

Defenseman Drew Doughty, who has struggled offensively this season, also appears to be getting untracked, having scored a goal with seven assists during that span.

But even with their best players producing, the role players must chip in here and there with a timely goal, and the Kings have been getting just that lately… Read more of this post

Gann Matsuda On The Hockey Writers: Los Angeles Kings Need To Solve Power Play Woes Soon

LOS ANGELES — After a blazing hot 12-3-0 start to the season, followed by a stretch where they lost seven out of eight games, the Los Angeles Kings are now in a 4-0-1 stretch heading into St. Louis, where they will skate on December 16 against the Blues, who trail the Kings by two points in the Western Conference standings going into action on December 15.

This season, the Kings have won games primarily on the strength of their defense and the goaltending of Jonathan Quick, who is in the top five of all major goaltending statistics as of this writing.

Penalty-killing has been a big part of that defensive effort, as the Kings are ranked fourth in the National Hockey League, with an 86.0 percent rating.

But as Kings head coach Terry Murray often says, while penalty-killing can lose you a game, the power play can win it for your team, and, so far this season, the Kings’ power play has been anything but powerful… Read more of this post

Gann Matsuda On The Hockey Writers: Defenseman Prospect Alec Martinez Is Making An Immediate Impact With LA Kings

LA Kings defenseman Alec Martinez (second from left) participates in a drill during practice on December 7, 2010 at the Toyota Sports Center
in El Segundo, Cailfornia.
Photo: David Sheehan

LOS ANGELES — Back in the spring of 2008, defenseman prospect Alec Martinez had just finished his third year at Miami University (Ohio) and had put his John Hancock on a three-year, entry-level contract with the Los Angeles Kings.

Several months later, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi predicted that his fourth round (95th overall) pick in the 2007 National Hockey League Entry Draft had a solid chance to win a job with the Kings. Read more of this post

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