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Los Angeles Kings: Playoff Contention Slipping Away

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Kings are, for all intents and purposes, out of playoff contention.

After winning just eight games between November 1 and December 31, the Kings now find themselves deep in the National Hockey League’s Western Conference cellar, fifteen points behind eighth-place Anaheim with forty games left in the regular season.

Last year, it took 96 points to make the playoffs in the Western Conference, and since the 2001-02 season, a team has had to earn a minimum of 91 points in the standings to qualify for the post-season.

With just thirty points after 42 games, the Kings need 61 points to reach the 91-point plateau. That means they would need to win three out of every four games the rest of the way, and even though they accomplished just that over the last week, realistically speaking, winning three out of every four games is an insurmountable task for the young Kings. Read more of this post

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LA Kings GM Dean Lombardi Is Dodging Bullets

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi has been dodging a lot of bullets lately.

Whether they are being fired by the media or by Kings fans, Lombardi has been taking heavy fire since June 22, the first day of the 2007 National Hockey League Entry Draft, when he defied conventional wisdom by selecting defenseman Thomas Hickey with the fourth overall pick.

The selection of Hickey, who was not among the top ten prospects according to all the major scouting services, was widely panned by the media and fans alike.

And then on July 1, the first day that NHL teams could sign unrestricted free agents, Lombardi once again drew heavy criticism from fans for his failure to sign any of the attractive free agents that day, including forwards Daniel Briere, Chris Drury and Scott Gomez. Read more of this post

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