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Torrid Pace Has Helped Anze Kopitar Put LA Kings On His Back

Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net
(click above to view larger image)

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Through the Los Angeles Kings’ first 29 games of the 2017-18 season, to say that center Anze Kopitar is on a torrid pace would be understating things by a long shot.

Indeed, Kopitar is so hot that he’s on pace to set new career highs in goals, assists and points.

In 29 games this season, Kopitar, who ranks fifth in the National Hockey League in overall scoring, has scored 15 goals and has contributed 19 assists for 34 points, with a +11 plus/minus rating. Not only are his numbers far cries from those he put up last season through the same number of games, but his goal total already exceeds the 12 goals he scored last season.

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From Slump to Streak: LA Kings Are Winning Again, But Still Need Work

Los Angeles Kings veteran winger Dustin Browni
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net
(click above to view larger image)

EL SEGUNDO, CA — The Los Angeles Kings have returned home in triumphant fashion after earning a perfect 4-0 record on a road swing through Detroit, Washington, St. Louis, and Chicago.

Before that, they defeated the Anaheim Ducks at Staples Center in a shootout on November 25—the Kings will try to extend their winning streak to six games tonight against the Minnesota Wild, the first game of a three-game home stand.

But before winning five straight games, the Kings were mired in a 1-6-1 slump in which they scored just 15 goals while giving up 22.

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A Positive Story, A Poignant Reminder: Brooks Laich

Former Los Angeles Kings forward Brooks Laich
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — On November 9, forward Brooks Laich earned his first point with the Los Angeles Kings.

Five days later, he would play his last game with them.

Being a healthy scratch four times after that, and with some player personnel changes forthcoming, the writing was on the wall for Laich, who was placed on waivers on November 24. He cleared waivers the next morning, and was, on paper, anyway, assigned to the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League.

The Kings gave Laich the option to play for the Reign, but he chose not to do so, with their blessing.

“I think that option was available,” said Kings head coach John Stevens. “I think in Brooks’ case, he wanted to try and continue to play in the National Hockey League. This is home for him, so I think it was kind of a win-win situation for him and for us, but I think he’s at the point in his career where I do think he has other things that he has a lot of interest in doing.”

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LA Kings: Torrey Mitchell Hopes Change Of Scenery Will Reboot His Season

Newly-acquired Los Angeles Kings forward Torrey Mitchell,
shown here deflecting a shot during a recent practice.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — On November 23, the Los Angeles Kings acquired veteran center Torrey Mitchell from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for a conditional fifth round pick in the 2018 National Hockey League Draft.

The conditions on the draft pick are that if the Kings make the playoffs this season, the pick becomes a fourth round pick in this year’s draft, one that was traded to the Kings by the Canadiens last season in exchange for left wing Dwight King.

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Jonny Brodzinski Hopes “Kick In The Butt” Launches His NHL Career With LA Kings

Los Angeles Kings forward prospect Jonny Brodzinski
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net
(click above to view larger image)

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Now that scoring his first National Hockey League goal is behind him, forward prospect Jonny Brodzinski is hopeful that he will soon be able to shed that “prospect” label in short order and remain with the Los Angeles Kings.

Indeed, on November 18, during a 4-0 win over the Florida Panthers at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Brodzinski scored at 2:23 of the second period, giving the Kings a 2-0 lead on a gorgeous backhand from the slot that beat Panthers goaltender James Reimer top shelf, glove side.

“That’s not how I expected my first one to go in, but I’ll take it,” said the 24-year-old, 6-1, 217-pound native of Ham Lake, Minnesota. “I’ve been imagining it for quite some time. I just thought it was always going to be a forehand shot, but I brought it to the backhand.”

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