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

Gann Matsuda On The HockeyWriters: LA Kings Problems Move From One End Of The Ice To The Other

ANAHEIM, CA — If it’s not one thing, it’s another for the Los Angeles Kings these days.

After losing five of their previous six games heading into their game against the Chicago Blackhawks on November 27, the general theme of those games for the Kings was too many blown defensive zone coverages, not playing physical in front of their own net and plenty of turnovers all over the ice.

The LA Kings worked on getting bodies and pucks to the front of their
opponent’s net during practice on November 30, 2010 at the
Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, Cailfornia.
Photo: David Sheehan

Fast forward two games and the Kings have now lost seven out of their last eight, with a 2-1 loss to Chicago and a 2-0 loss to the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center in Anaheim on November 29.

The Kings picked up their play in their own zone in the two defeats, cutting down on the blatant blunders and being more physical in front of their own net. But scoring just once in two games is not going to result in wins. Read more of this post

Gann Matsuda On The Hockey Writers: Los Angeles Kings: Fixing The Defense Must Be The Top Priority

LOS ANGELES — Despite ending their three-game losing skid with a 4-3 shootout victory at Boston on November 20, the Los Angeles Kings are not firing on all cylinders as they head into the Great White North to face the Ottawa Senators on November 22 and the Montreal Canadiens on November 24. Read more of this post

Gann Matsuda On The Hockey Writers: Defense And Goaltending Have Los Angeles Kings Sitting Pretty

LOS ANGELES — Coming into the 2010-11 National Hockey League season, conventional wisdom said that the Los Angeles Kings would be an improved team that is expected to make the playoffs and, this time, at least get into the second round.

So far, so good, as the Kings are tied in points atop the league-wide standings going into action on November 9, despite having a mostly dysfunctional power play that started near the bottom of the league rankings and is now at 18th, with a less-than-mediocre 14.3 percent rating. Read more of this post

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