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LA Kings Point To Mental Toughness, Confidence As Key Factors In Their Playoff Success

LA Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell
(click above to view larger image
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — After their 3-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final on May 18, the Los Angeles Kings were focused on what they needed to be better at in Game 2 on May 21.

“I think we can do a better job of getting in front of the net and making it harder on their goalie,” center Anze Kopitar told the media in Chicago after the game. “We had some pretty good shots, but nobody was hanging around, so [Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford] was able to see everything.”

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Dirty, Greasy Goals Would Be Just What The Doctor Ordered For LA Kings

AUDIO: Also includes audio interviews with Los Angeles Kings’ Drew Doughty, Trevor Lewis, Alec Martinez and Tyler Toffoli.


Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez, shown here during practice on January 24, prior to
the January 25 Stadium Series game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — After an optional skate and off-ice workout on February 2, the Los Angeles Kings gathered at an undisclosed location that afternoon to watch the National Football League’s Super Bowl XLVIII, which turned out to be an easy win for the Seattle Seahawks, who blew out the Denver Broncos, 43-8.

But as much as most of the Kings were apparently rooting for the Broncos, there may have been a more important motive behind the gathering.

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Anze Kopitar’s Two-Way Play Has Been Key To LA Kings’ Success

LA Kings center Anze Kopitar, shown here during a recent practice.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — With the Los Angeles Kings beginning a four-game road trip in Nashville tonight (5:00 PM PST, televised on Fox Sports West in Southern California), and with the news that goaltender Jonathan Quick is on the trip, and is practicing with the team, it appears that he is now within a week or two of returning to the lineup.

When he went down with a grade 2 groin strain—a partial tear—on November 12 at Buffalo, a collective groan could be heard rumbling through Kings Nation. Many expected that the team would struggle to keep their heads above water without their star netminder. Some even thought the Kings would plummet in the standings.

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Strange As It May Seem, Tyler Toffoli’s Play Without The Puck Might Be Key To Staying With LA Kings

Right wing Tyler Toffoli, shown here during a recent practice.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

 

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Los Angeles Kings rookie right wing Tyler Toffoli has certainly made his presence known by scoring timely goals, including four game-winners, and even though his game slipped a bit for a few games, he has bounced back, and has looked better than he did when he was recalled by the Kings on November 2.

In 21 games with the Kings, the 21-year-old, 6-1, 196-pound native of Scarborough, Ontario has scored eight goals and has tallied seven assists for 15 points, with a +11 plus/minus rating and two penalty minutes.

Toffoli is ranked tenth in rookie scoring, seventh in rookie goal scoring, and he leads all rookies in game-winning goals (four).

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