Down On The Farm With The Manchester Monarchs: Can Jeff Zatkoff Reclaim Top Goalie Spot?

DOWN ON THE FARM: Los Angeles Kings goaltending prospects Martin Jones and Jeff Zatkoff are expected to improve upon solid 2010-11 seasons with the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League. But can Zatkoff, who got off to a bit of a slow start last season, and has likely been passed by Jones on the Kings depth chart, bounce back this season?


Goaltending prospect Jeff Zatkoff will likely need an outstanding
season to reclaim the number one goaltender position with
the Manchester Monarchs, which would also make him the
third-ranked goalie on the LA Kings’ depth chart.
Photo: Steve Babineau/Manchester Monarchs

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — As was reported in this space this past summer, with Jonathan Quick and Jonathan Bernier giving the Los Angeles Kings a one-two punch in goal that, arguably, they have never had before, the Kings are set in goal for the foreseeable future.

But with two netminders who are good enough to be number one goaltenders, something will eventually have to give. Read more of this post

Down On The Farm With The Manchester Monarchs: Blue Line Corps May Be Their Greatest Asset

DOWN ON THE FARM: Between goaltending and their defensive corps, the Manchester Monarchs’ greatest strength will be on their side of the red line in the 2011-12 season.


Thomas Hickey is beginning to look like he might develop
into the defenseman the Los Angeles Kings were hoping
for when they selected him with the fourth overall pick
in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
Photo: Steve Babineau/Manchester Monarchs

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — The Manchester Monarchs, the primary minor league affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings, are 1-1 after their first two games of the 2011-12 season, allowing just three goals in those games. They return to action tonight against the Providence Bruins, the start of a three-games-in-three-nights road trip in which they will also face the Portland Pirates on October 15, and the Springfield Falcons on October 16.

Although no one in their right mind, would draw conclusions about a team based on just two games, especially so early in a season, the Monarchs figure to be one of the stingier teams in the American Hockey League.

Indeed, with goaltenders Martin Jones and Jeff Zatkoff expected to improve upon solid seasons in 2010-11, the rest is up to the skaters in front of them. Read more of this post

Frozen Royalty Audio: LA Kings Split Their Split-Squad Exhibition Openers Against Phoenix

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Kings earned a split in their split-squad, pre-season openers against the Phoenix Coyotes with a 3-2 win at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Arizona, and a 2-1 shootout loss at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

In Glendale, Tyler Toffoli scored a goal and added an assist, Trevor Lewis contributed three assists, and Dustin Penner scored the game-winning goal at 19:11 of the third period to lead the Kings to the win.

Ethan Moreau also scored for the Kings. Keith Yandle and Shane Doan scored for the Coyotes. Read more of this post

Strong Goalie Pipeline Is A First And A Sign Of Strength For The Los Angeles Kings

Goalie prospect Martin Jones speaks to the media during the
Los Angeles Kings 2011 Development Camp at the
Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California,
July 11-12, 2011.
Photo: Gann Matsuda

EL SEGUNDO, CA — With Jonathan Quick having established himself as a legitimate number one goaltender in the National Hockey League, and with Jonathan Bernier performing admirably in the backup role in his rookie year this past season, the Los Angeles Kings may have a one-two punch in goal that they have never had before.

Although Rogie Vachon is still the best goaltender in the history of the franchise, and Gary Edwards, the backup netminder during all but one of Vachon’s seasons with the Kings, was no slouch, the Kings’ current netminders have the potential to surpass the tandem of Vachon and Edwards.

Indeed, the Kings certainly appear to be set in goal for the foreseeable future. Read more of this post

Frozen Royalty Audio: LA Kings Swept By Phoenix Coyotes In Pre-Season Split-Squad Games

LOS ANGELES — Mikkel Boedker, Brett Maclean and Eric Belanger scored goals and Al Montoya made 19 saves to lead the Phoenix Coyotes to a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings in split-squad, pre-season action at Staples Center on September 23. Read more of this post