Los Angeles Kings Spoil Blackhawks “Circus Trip”

LOS ANGELES — Since the Los Angeles Kings moved to Staples Center in 1999, there have been several times when they were forced to go on very long road trips while their arena was being used for other events.

But if you think the Kings are the only National Hockey League team that often has to play second fiddle at their own arena, guess again.

During a matinee affair on Saturday, the Kings handed the Chicago Blackhawks a 5-2 defeat in front of an announced crowd of 16,147 fans at Staples Center.

The loss culminated a 3-2-1 road trip for the ’Hawks, who hit the road with a circus occupying the United Center, their home arena, for two weeks. Read more of this post

Kopitar Leads Kings To Rare Winning Streak

LOS ANGELES — Believe it or not, the Los Angeles Kings are on a winning streak.

Sure, it is only two games and the two teams victimized by the Kings are among the bottom-feeders in the league standings. But for the fledgling Kings, none of that matters.

Wins are wins.

On Saturday night, Anze Kopitar scored a goal and contributed two assists, Alexander Frolov, Tom Preissing, Drew Doughty and Dustin Brown scored a goal and added an assist each, and Erik Ersberg looked sharp despite allowing three goals to lead the Kings to a 5-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues in front of an announced crowd of 17,182 fans at Staples Center.

Andy McDonald, Patrik Berglund and Brad Boyes scored for the Blues, who have now lost their last five games. Read more of this post

LA Kings’ Improvements May Not Be Easy To See

LOS ANGELES — One month of the 2008-09 National Hockey League season is in the books and the Los Angeles Kings have been pretty much what was expected in terms of wins and losses.

As of this writing, the Kings have a 3-6-1 record, good for seven points. They are ranked last in the Pacific Division, already eleven points out of first place, and in the Western Conference standings, the Kings are also dead last—both are right where they were last season.

Against the rest of the league, the Kings are ranked 28th in the thirty-team NHL, just two points ahead of the last place New York Islanders.

The Kings ended the 2007-08 season in 29th place, tied in points with last-place Tampa Bay.

In short, the Kings are right about where most people expected them to be, showing no significant improvement in the standings over the previous season so far. But if you think the Kings have not improved over last season, guess again. Read more of this post

Kings Take Advantage of Undisciplined Ducks

LOS ANGELES — Southern California’s National Hockey League teams are both off to slow starts this season. The two teams met at Staples Center on Tuesday night and obviously, something had to give.

The Stanley Cup-contending but underachieving Anaheim Ducks have looked like anything but a contender in the very young 2008-09 season, while the young, inexperienced Los Angeles Kings have met expectations with their 0-2 start.

But when the ice chips finally settled late Tuesday night, it was the Kings who broke through with their first win of the season, a 6-3 trouncing over the undisciplined Ducks, in front of a relatively sparse crowd of 14,451 fans. Read more of this post

2008-09 Los Angeles Kings: Defense and Goaltending Will Be Key

SEASON PREVIEW: A comprehensive, detailed look at what might be for the 2008-09 Los Angeles Kings.

LOS ANGELES — Immediately upon being hired by the Los Angeles Kings as their new head coach on July 17, 2008, Terry Murray clearly stated that the top priority for his new team would be improving their defensive play, noting that the 2007-08 Kings gave up several boatloads of quality scoring chances and goals.

This new mandate could not have been made more clear on the first day of the Kings’ 2008-09 training camp. Indeed, when the players took to the ice for the first time, they saw five dots, a bit smaller than the face-off dots, painted on the ice in the slot, representing the “home plate” area Murray wants his players to focus on in terms of their defensive positioning.

Indeed, the Kings were atrocious in their own zone for the vast majority of the 2007-08 season and their goaltending was not much better. These two areas will certainly be keys to the success or failure of the 2008-09 Kings, who will have several young players, some of them rookies, in their lineup, raising serious doubt on the Kings’ ability to improve significantly upon their tied-for-last-place-in-the-league finish in 2007-08. Read more of this post


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 160 other followers