Frozen Royalty Audio/Video: Kopitar, Bernier Lead LA Kings To 2-1 Win Over Detroit

LOS ANGELES — Anze Kopitar scored a highlight reel goal at 15:12 of the third period while Jonathan Bernier was stopping 32 shots to lead the Los Angeles Kings to a 2-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings in front of a sell-out crowd of 18,118 fans at Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 27.

The Kings got off to a rather lethargic start, but Bernier was up to the task until Red Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey bounced a shot from the left wing boards off of Bernier’s mask. The puck then fluttered over and behind him, bouncing off his back and into the net at 9:42 of the first period.

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Redemption For Dean Lombardi: LA Kings Acquire Ryan Smyth

EL SEGUNDO, CA — After sitting at the station, watching the unrestricted free agent train pass him by on July 1 and then signing veteran free agent defenseman Rob Scuderi on July 2, which did nothing to fill the gaping hole the Kings had on left wing, Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi earned at least a bit of redemption on July 3 when he acquired left wing Ryan Smyth from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for defensemen Kyle Quincey and Tom Preissing and a fifth round pick in the 2010 National Hockey League Entry Draft.

The trade is contingent upon the results of physical examinations of the players involved in the deal.

Last season, Smyth scored 26 goals and added 33 assists for 59 points in 77 games. He led the Avalanche in assists and was second on the team in goals. He was also tied for the team lead in power play goals (10) and game-winning goals (3). He also led the team with 257 shots. Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings: Are The Young Players Ready To Bear The Burden?

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: PART 3 – In the third and final installment of this series, Los Angeles Kings head coach Terry Murray talks about some of his young players, their performance in the 2008-09 season and what he’s looking for from them in the coming year.

LOS ANGELES — The 2008-09 Los Angeles Kings placed a heavy load of responsibility on a roster laden with young talent at key positions. Predictably, the results were somewhat mixed and Kings head coach Terry Murray talked about a few of his key, young players in a recent interview.

Starting on the upside, goaltender Jonathan Quick did not start the season with the Kings, but after being recalled on December 16, 2008 and then winning the starting goaltender job after Jason LaBarbera was sent packing to the Vancouver Canucks on December 30, he showed that he just might be the answer in goal that has, outside of Rogie Vachon and Mario Lessard, eluded the Kings for most of their existence.

Quick (photo at left) played in 44 games, earning a 21-18-2 record, a 2.48 goals-against average, a .914 save percentage and four shutouts—all impressive numbers on a team that ended the season three games below the .500 mark. Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings Have Much To Learn, Much To Look Forward To

ANALYSIS: Youth and inexperience leading to inconsistent play will lead to the Los Angeles Kings missing out on the post-season party yet again this season. Nevertheless, the Kings are making progress and are on the upswing.

LOS ANGELES — When the Los Angeles Kings hit the ice tonight against the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Bruins at TD Banknorth Garden in Boston (4:00 PM PDT), they will find themselves in thirteenth place in the Western Conference, seven points out of the eighth and final playoff berth with thirteen games left in the regular season.

If you think that sounds tough, wait…it gets worse.

The Kings begin a six-game road trip tonight that not only starts against the third-best team in the National Hockey League, but each opponent on the trip is ahead of them in the overall standings, making their task that much more difficult.

That task is to win all six games—they are so far behind in the playoff race making anything less the likely final nail in their coffin.

Of course, the chances of that happening are worse than the short-term outlook for the economy in the United States and around the world.

Yes, it is time to write the epitaph for the Kings, who will miss the playoffs once again in the 2008-09 season. The big reason? Their lack of consistent play, in large part because of their relative youth and inexperience. Read more of this post

Home Cooking Too Rich For Kings

ANALYSIS: The Los Angeles Kings have been unable to get the job done at home in recent games and have blown a tremendous opportunity to move up in the standings and get themselves into playoff contention. Features audio interviews.

LOS ANGELES — Whether it is having all the comforts of home available, or being able to spend time with the family, or just being able to enjoy good home cooking, whatever the case might be, playing at home has brought out the worst in the Los Angeles Kings. Read more of this post