Gann Matsuda On The Hockey Writers: From Top To Bottom, LA Kings Must Raise Their Level Of Play

LOS ANGELES — Those who are old enough to remember the CBS television show from the late 1960’s, The Wild Wild West, starring Robert Conrad and Ross Martin, should be able to relate very easily to what’s been going on in the National Hockey League’s Western Conference this season.

Indeed, the The Wild Wild West would be more than an accurate description of how tight the Western Conference standings have been from day one of the 2010-11 season to now, and it is likely that the West will remain as wild as ever right up to the final day of the regular season.

The Los Angeles Kings will have to do without right wing Justin Williams
for at least the next 3-4 weeks...maybe longer.
Photo: David Sheehan

The Los Angeles Kings find themselves smack dab in the middle of the action in The Wild Wild West, in sixth place with 88 points going into action on March 23, six points behind Pacific Division-leading San Jose Sharks.

But what makes the West so wild is that five teams are behind the fifth-place Chicago Blackhawks (also with 88 points), and just three points separates the fifth place team from the out-of-the-playoffs tenth place club, the Calgary Flames. Read more of this post

Dustin Penner Spends First Day With LA Kings Adjusting To New Digs

EL SEGUNDO, CA — One day after arriving in Los Angeles, left wing Dustin Penner was hard at work, trying to get to know his new teammates, along with the system his new team plays.

Penner, 28, was acquired by the Los Angeles Kings from the Edmonton Oilers on February 28 in a trade deadline deal that sent defenseman prospect Colten Teubert, a first round selection in the 2012 National Hockey League Entry Draft, and a conditional third round pick in the 2012 draft (the pick becomes a second round pick in 2012 should the Kings win the Stanley Cup this season).

The Los Angeles Kings acquired left wing Dustin Penner from the Edmonton Oilers in a deadline day trade on February 28, 2011.
Photo: NHL/Edmonton Oilers

“Good guy, big body,” said defenseman Matt Greene, who played with Penner when they were both with the Oilers. “He’s got a lot of skill for a guy with his frame. He’s got a great touch around the net.”

“I think the big thing, too, is that he’s young, he’s getting better, and he’s got a great personality,” added Greene. “He works hard, I think he’s going to fit in real well with this team on the ice and off the ice, too.”

Penner arrived in Los Angeles on March 1, and spent some quality time with head coach Terry Murray.

“He made it in yesterday afternoon,” Murray said. “We spent some time with him in the afternoon yesterday, just reviewing some of the special teams play, and just getting to know him, getting to talk a little bit.” Read more of this post

LA Kings GM Dean Lombardi Makes Two Big Moves On Deadline Day

Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi
spoke to the media about the Penner trade at Staples Center
in Los Angeles on February 28, 2011.
Photo: Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images and the Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES — Nearly forty hours have elapsed, at the time of this writing, since the National Hockey League’s 2011 trade deadline at noon Pacific time on February 28. Now that the ice chips have settled, it is a good time to take a close, calm look at the trade that brought left wing Dustin Penner to the Los Angeles Kings.

Indeed, on that day, the Kings sent defenseman prospect Colten Teubert to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange, along with a first round selection in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, and a conditional third round pick in the 2012 draft.

That third round pick in 2012 will become a second round selection should the Kings win the Stanley Cup this season. Read more of this post

Frozen Royalty Audio and NHL Video: LA Kings Move Past Minnesota After 4-2 Win

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Kings made a triumphant return home to the friendly confines of Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 24, after playing their last ten games on the road.

Wayne Simmonds scored two goals, Anze Kopitar scored a goal and added an assist, Dustin Brown contributed two assists, and Drew Doughty scored the game-winner at 4:39 of the third period to lead the Kings to a 4-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild in front of an announced sellout crowd of 18,118 fans. Read more of this post

Gann Matsuda On The Hockey Writers: Strong Play On The Road Gets LA Kings Back In The Hunt

EL SEGUNDO, CA — The Los Angeles Kings have returned to Southern California following a six-game Eastern road swing in which they earned a respectable 3-1-2 record. But that was part of a larger nine-game stretch of games, all on the road, in which they emerged with a 5-1-3 record, earning 13 out of a possible 18 points. Read more of this post

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