Changing Of The Guard: LA Kings Name Anze Kopitar As New Captain

LA Kings center Anze Kopitar
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Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

LOS ANGELES — On June 17, the Los Angeles Kings made official what had been mostly a foregone conclusion for a few weeks…that right wing Dustin Brown was captain no more.

Indeed, the Kings announced a changing of the guard, with center Anze Kopitar being named their new captain.

Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi told the media during a conference call that the reasons for the change were two-fold. But he stressed that the primary reason was that it’s time to expand the horizons of other players and allow them further growth.

“There’s a number of things that go into this,” said Lombardi. “Number one, being a captain, there’s no doubt that you’re not only responsible for your own game, but 23 other players. That is an enormous responsibility. That’s an enormous amount of work to be responsible for twenty people. The second part of this—you know how I feel about culture and chemistry and the things that don’t necessarily show up on a chart, or anything of that nature. My feeling on this is that, at some point, there has to be an evolution in the growth of some of your other players, the players who have come through the system. It’s essentially their turn.”

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LA Kings Have Lots To Fix In Short Amount of Time Before Game 3 vs. San Jose

LA Kings forward Marian Gaborik
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Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — That the Los Angeles Kings are off to a dreadful start to the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs is not just surprising, but you could say that it is also understating the situation.

Sure, one could argue that they overcame greater odds in 2014 when they came all the way back from a 3-0 series deficit against the San Jose Sharks to win their first round playoff series, 4-3.

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LA Kings Vincent Lecavalier Wants To Make The Most Of Last Chance At Second Stanley Cup Win

LA Kings center Vincent Lecavalier
Photo courtesy Los Angeles Kings

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Since he arrived in Southern California, veteran center Vincent Lecavalier has been a huge, pleasant surprise for the Los Angeles Kings.

Ending the regular season with ten goals and seven assists for 17 points, with a +1 plus/minus rating and a 51.0 percent face-off winning percentage in 42 games with the Kings, Lecavalier gave the Kings a huge upgrade to their third line center position.

Lecavalier pointed to the fact that he was traded in January, not at the trade deadline, as a factor in his play.

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LA Kings Are Starting To Look Unstoppable

LA Kings right wing Tyler Toffoli
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Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — After they melted the ice with a 10-4-0 record in December, the Los Angeles Kings cooled off significantly in January and February, earning a 13-10-2 record over those two months—6-5-1 in January and 7-5-1 in February.

Although the Kings weren’t playing badly, their play during those two months was considerably less consistent in those two months, as their play was up and down in all three zones.

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Time For LA Kings To Press The Reset Button

Los Angeles Kings winger Dustin Brown
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography”]

EL SEGUNDO, CA — When the Los Angeles Kings practice at home, once their practice session ends, players trickle off the ice—Jeff Carter is usually the first—one here, two there, maybe three at a time.

But on February 5, after a lengthy practice session that lasted over an hour, those present at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California witnessed a very rare sight: all but five or six players streamed off the ice at once, heading into the dressing room.

The unusually rigorous skate was not punitive, even though the Kings dropped a 4-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks at Staples Center in Los Angeles the night before.

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