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Los Angeles Kings Need Early-Season Version Of Mike Richards To Return

Center Mike Richards has struggled since returning from a concussion on December 22, 2011. The Los Angeles Kings desperately need him to regain his early-season form.
Photo: David Sheehan

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — With an assist on Dustin Penner’s goal at 17:46 of the second period, giving the Los Angeles Kings their final margin of victory in a 3-1 win at Tampa Bay on Tuesday night, center Mike Richards ended an eight-game point scoring drought.

Richards’ performance in this game may have been his best since returning to the lineup after missing eight games due to a concussion that he suffered on December 1, 2011, when the Kings handed the visiting Florida Panthers a 2-1 defeat.

But since returning on December 22 (a 3-2 shootout win against the Anaheim Ducks at Staples Center in Los Angeles), Richards has been a mere shell of his former self. Read more of this post

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Los Angeles Kings Should Take The Great One’s Advice About Shooting The Puck

Los Angeles Kings rookie forward Andrei Loktionov will move back to center on November 28, 2011, when the Kings host
the San Jose Sharks at Staples Center.
Photo: David Sheehan

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — Some years ago, in the not too distant history of the Los Angeles Kings, there was a player who once graced the hockey world with his wisdom, not to mention his nearly infinite talent.

“You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take,” he said.

That player was none other than The Great One, Wayne Gretzky, who holds or shares 61 National Hockey League records, and is fourth on the Kings’ all-time scoring list.

Coming from Gretzky, who was not only the best player to ever play the game, but, arguably the smartest, those words carry several tons of weight.

Each of the Kings players should probably be forced to write those words on a chalkboard 100 times each after falling back into their bad habit of trying to pass the puck into the net, time and time again. Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings: Smarter, Better, More Disciplined Play Needed From Ethan Moreau

Los Angeles Kings veteran left wing Ethan Moreau has been
noticeable for all the wrong reasons lately.
Photo: David Sheehan

EL SEGUNDO, CA — When the Los Angeles Kings signed rugged, checking winger Ethan Moreau to a one-year, unrestricted free agent contract on August 20, 2011, the expectation was that he would bring energy, physical play, solid forechecking and strong defensive play to the Kings’ third and fourth lines.

The 36-year-old, 6-3, 223-pound native of Huntsville, Ontario, a former captain of the Edmonton Oilers, also brings veteran leadership, and years of National Hockey League experience.

But so far this season, Moreau has played well in spurts, but has not given the Kings anywhere near enough of what is needed or expected.

“His role is basically to be that fourth line left winger—grit, size, experience, and to give us that harder game, and that’s been there…in and out,” said head coach Terry Murray. “But there’s been times that it’s been very good, and I think, in the last couple of games, I’ve seen more of it [from him while playing with right wing Kevin] Westgarth and [center Colin] Fraser, and that’s stuff that we need.” Read more of this post

Advantage Goes To Dean Lombardi, Los Angeles Kings In Drew Doughty Deal

LA Kings defenseman Drew Doughty speaks to the media on September 30, 2011, at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California after signing an eight-year contract.
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — At around 2:15 PM on the afternoon of September 30, 2011, defenseman Drew Doughty emerged from the dressing room for his first training camp skate. That moment was the first publicly visible sign that the Los Angeles Kings had become whole once again.

Late Thursday night, the Kings announced that they had reached a verbal agreement with their top defenseman, who missed virtually all of training camp as a contract holdout.

In the end, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi sweetened the pot by offering Doughty an average of $200,000 more per year above his reported original offer of $6.8 million per season, the same average annual value of center Anze Kopitar’s contract.

For their part, Doughty and agent Don Meehan reportedly budged on the length of the contract, so the deal ended up at $7 million per season for eight years. Read more of this post

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