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LA Kings’ New Head Coach Gets Analytical About His Team’s Offensive Woes

LA Kings defenseman Drew Doughty (right) receives instruction from then-associate head coach John Stevens (left).
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

LOS ANGELES — As it was when the Los Angeles Kings introduced Rob Blake as their new general manager, offense, or more accurately, the lack thereof, was the most discussed topic when the team introduced their new head coach, John Stevens, who had been an assistant coach under Terry Murray and associate head coach under Darryl Sutter.

Early in the press conference on April 24 where he was introduced to the local media, Stevens said something that has been plainly evident for a long time: that the Kings don’t get pucks or bodies to the middle of the ice or the front of the net anywhere enough.

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It’s All About Opportunity For LA Kings RW Prospect Jonny Brodzinski

Los Angeles Kings right wing prospect Jonny Brodzinski, shown here playing for.
the AHL’s Ontario Reign.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — From the start of the 2016-17 season, Los Angeles Kings right wing prospect Jonny Brodzinski has had his sights set on a late season call-up from the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League to the National Hockey League and the Kings.

“It’s something you work for,” he said. “This is why you put all the hours in during the summer. You get to play with [future] Hall of Famers. It’s awesome.”

“Right at the beginning of the year, I wanted to [score] 35 [goals this season] in the American league,” he added. “That was my goal. I was getting close to it, and thought that if I was getting close I’d get a call-up. I just plugged away all year, worked hard, and got rewarded.”

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Derek Forbort Has Been A Pleasant Surprise For LA Kings

LA Kings defenseman prospect Derek Forbort
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Although he isn’t lighting up the league, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Derek Forbort has exceeded expectations to this point in the 2016-17 National Hockey League season.

The 24-year-old, 6-4, 216-pound native of Duluth, Minnesota has surprised many with one goal and eight assists for nine points, a +4 plus/minus rating and 34 penalty minutes in 28 games this season—numbers not expected from the stay-at-home defenseman who came into the season with low expectations.

Forbort, who was selected by the Kings in the first round (15th overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, has been seeing more ice time since defenseman Brayden McNabb suffered an upper body injury on October 29 at St. Louis, and so far, he has shown some improvement, even though, as it often happens with young players, he has his share of good and bad moments.

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Off-Season Work Is Producing Big-Time Results For LA Kings D Drew Doughty

LA Kings defenseman Drew Doughty (right) receives instruction from associate head coach John Stevens (left).
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty enjoyed his best year, in terms of goals, assists and points, in 2009-10, his second National Hockey League season, when he scored 16 goals and contributed 43 assists for 59 points, with a +20 plus/minus rating and 54 penalty minutes.

This season, the All-Star defenseman has played in 48 games, scoring nine goals and adding 18 assists for 27 points, with a +15 plus/minus rating and 36 penalty minutes.

Those numbers put Doughty on pace to score 15 goals and tally 31 assists for 46 points this season, matching his point total last season. But even though he had better offensive numbers back in 2009-10, if he continues on pace, 2015-16 could turn out to be the finest regular season offensive performance of his career, to date.

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LA Kings Tip A King 2015 – In Photos

LA Kings left wing Tanner Pearson getting some rather special attention
from one member of a family at Tip A King 2015, held at the LA Live
Event Deck, on January 3, 2015.
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — Although the Los Angeles Kings disappointed their fans in a 7-6 overtime loss to the Nashville Predators earlier in the afternoon on January 3, the mood was still rather festive at Tip A King 2015, held at the LA Live event deck hours later.

Tip A King is an annual event held by the Kings, benefitting the Kings Care Foundation, where fans can “tip” players, coaches and broadcasters for the opportunity to get an autograph or take a photo.

Here’s a photo essay capturing some of the sights from the event.

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