LA Kings Brayden McNabb Looks Like An Improved Player

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Brayden McNabb, shown here
during practice at the Toyota Sports Center
in El Segundo, California.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Last season, young defenseman Brayden McNabb got off to a somewhat rocky start to his second full season in the National Hockey League. In fact, he was a healthy scratch for the Los Angeles Kings in their season opener against the San Jose Sharks (5-1 loss) due to what head coach Darryl Sutter characterized as a “rough training camp.” The now-25-year-old, 6-4, 212-pound native of Davidson, Saskatchewan didn’t score his first goal that season until December 6, 2015, a 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

What a difference a year makes.

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LA Kings: No Quick? No Problem

Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, shown here
during practice at the Toyota Sports Center
in El Segundo, California.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Looking back to a cold, dark night in Buffalo, New York on November 12, 2013, Los Angels Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick suffered a grade 2 groin strain in a game against the Buffalo Sabres, forcing him to miss significant time.

Media, pundits and fans—just about everyone predicted that the Kings would go into a tailspin without their superstar goaltender. But what happened next surprised shocked the hockey world, as Ben Scrivens and Martin Jones stepped up to backstop the Kings to points in 17 of their next 19 games, putting the Kings in position to go on to win the 2014 Stanley Cup Championship.

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LA Kings Are Looking To Exorcise Their Demons From The 2015-16 Season

LA Kings center Anze Kopitar, shown here during an October 2016 practice at the
Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California.
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — With opening night for their 2016-17 National Hockey League season upon them, the Los Angeles Kings would like to exorcise their demons from last season by forgetting all about the way they played down the stretch.

Indeed, the Kings flew through much of the season, leading the Pacific Division for a long, long time. But not only did they blow a 14-point lead in the standings, once they clinched a playoff berth after a win over the Boston Bruins at Staples Center in Los Angeles on March 19, 2016, they went into the tank the rest of the way. In fact, they struggled to a poor 4-6-1 record in the final eleven games of the regular season. To make matters worse, three of those wins came against Pacific Division bottom-dwellers, the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers, with the fourth win coming against a disinterested Anaheim Ducks team that had already clinched the Pacific Division title.

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LA Kings D Brayden McNabb Has Re-Discovered His Identity

Defenseman Brayden McNabb (right) shown here during a practice drill with forward Tyler Toffoli (center) and goaltender Jonathan Quick (left) on October 11, 2015, at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Brayden McNabb began the 2015-16 National Hockey League season in street clothes, rather than on the bench with his teammates, in the Los Angeles Kings’ first game of the season on October 7 against the San Jose Sharks.

The reason? A sub-par training camp, one in which Kings coaches were rather critical of his performance.

“I think, in training camp, I got caught trying to perfect things,” said the 24-year-old native of Davidson, Saskatchewan. “I just wasn’t playing my game. It was kind of a wake-up call, not playing in the first game. It’s not fun. You always want to play. It’s frustrating, but at the same time, you want to be a good teammate. You hope the team wins, and that everything goes well. But you want to do everything you can to get yourself back in the lineup.”

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Frozen Royalty Video: McNabb, Muzzin and Toffoli After 2-1 Win Over Colorado

LOS ANGELES — Marian Gaborik scored at 13:38 of the first period, and Tyler Toffoli scored a breakaway goal at 16:20 of the second period to help lead the Los Angeles Kings to a 2-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday night.

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