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Sloppy, Careless Play Is “Definitely A Huge Concern” For LA Kings

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net
(click above to view larger image)

EL SEGUNDO, CA — One day after coming from ahead to drop a 4-3 decision to the Calgary Flames on January 4 in Calgary, the Los Angeles Kings went over their performance, especially their poor second period, during meetings at their practice facility, the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California.

“We weren’t very good in Calgary,” said head coach John Stevens. “That was one of our poorer games of the year, probably. I thought we got off to a good start, but we mismanaged the puck, didn’t match their level of urgency, and spent too much time in our zone. Even their third and fourth lines created a lot with their urgency.”

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For LA Kings Rookie Alex Iafallo, “It’s Wall Play”

Los Angeles Kings forward Alex Iafallo (center), shown here during a recent practice with
goaltender Jonathan Quick and defenseman Derek Forbort (right)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net
(click above to view larger image)

EL SEGUNDO, CA — After the Los Angeles Kings’ overtime loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on December 28 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, a reporter noted that rookie forward Alex Iafallo was not on the ice very much, and asked head coach John Stevens if Iafallo was hurt.

“He was not hurt,” said Stevens, very abruptly, and without elaboration.

That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement, to be sure.

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Vegas Golden Knights Start LA Kings On Critical Stretch vs. Western Conference

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

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Ever since 1967, when the National Hockey League held their first expansion draft, growing from their Original Six teams to twelve, expansion teams have been forced to select players from each NHL team who were, generally speaking, not very skilled. That meant the expansion teams would struggle for, at least, a few seasons, if not far longer, just to become a winning team, let alone a playoff team or a Stanley Cup contender.

That remained true through 2000, when the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Minnesota Wild entered the league. They struggled just to be relevant for years.

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Taking Stock Of The LA Kings At The Christmas Break

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net
(click above to view larger image)

EL SEGUNDO, CA — The National Hockey League’s Christmas break is always a time to take a long, hard look at a team to see where it has been that season, and where it is likely to go, and not just because the league takes a few days off at that time.

Indeed, by the time we reach December 25, NHL teams have played enough games to get a legitimate, realistic feel for what they’re made of, and the Los Angeles Kings are no exception.

With one game left to play before Christmas (tonight at San Jose), the Kings have played 36 games, earning a 22-10-4 record, good for 48 points, putting them in first place in the Pacific Division, two points ahead of the Vegas Golden Knights.

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Speed and Smarts Are Keeping Alex Iafallo On LA Kings Top Line

Los Angeles Kings rookie left wing Alex Iafallo
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net
(click above to view larger image)

EL SEGUNDO, CA — As his rookie season progresses through its third month, left wing Alex Iafallo continues to make a very solid impression with the Los Angeles Kings, and has, for the most part, remained a fixture on their top line with Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar.

“It’s been awesome, so far,” said Iafallo. “Three months into the the NHL season—it’s pretty cool. I’m loving it, loving every experience I get. I’ve just got to keep working hard.”

“Three months have flown by,” added Iafallo. “Right now, we’re in a tough part of our schedule, playing every other day. I’ve just got to prepare for it, mentally and physically.”

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