LA Kings Find Bright Spots During Failed First Test Without Mitchell, Richards in 2-1 Loss To Montreal Canadiens

LOS ANGELES — One game into a stretch in which they will have to do without the services of center Mike Richards and defenseman Willie Mitchell, already, the Los Angeles Kings have shown that there are big reasons for concern after struggling mightily in a 2-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens during a matinee affair at Staples Center on December 3.

Tomas Plekanec gave the Canadiens a 1-0 lead with a power play goal at 18:39 of the first period.

Andrei Kostitsyn finished off an odd-man rush at 10:48 of the second period, giving the Habs a 2-1 lead, taking advantage of Kings defenseman Matt Greene losing an edge and falling at the Montreal blue line, just inside right point.

The Kings cut the Canadiens’ lead in half at the 13:46 mark of the third period. But before you read on, be advised that California has not fallen into the Pacific Ocean, and you do not need to make sure that your affairs are in order.

Left wing Dustin Penner was the responsible party, scoring his first goal of the season, prompting concerns that some cataclysmic event was upon us.

But that was as close as the struggling Kings could get.

“I thought we had a good first twenty minutes,” said left wing Simon Gagne. “We had a lot of pucks on the net, a lot of shots. The second period, I thought, was not very good. We took a lot of bad penalties, and gave them chances to go on the power play. From that point, we found ourselves, down, 2-0.” Read more of this post

LA Kings: Injuries To Mitchell, Richards Give Drewiske, Penner Another Chance

Left wing Dustin Penner must find his game quickly and start pulling his weight on the scoresheet with the Los Angeles Kings facing some rather strong adversity with the loss of defenseman Willie Mitchell and center Mike Richards to injuries.
Photo: David Sheehan

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — While earning a 2-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on December 1 at Staples Center, the Los Angeles Kings paid a heavy price, and will face heavy adversity for the first time this season.

During that game, the Kings lost veteran defenseman Willie Mitchell during the first minute of the game. He was joined in the trainer’s room by center Mike Richards, who took a blow to the head late in the second period from Panthers’ forward Sean Bergenheim.

Mitchell (lower body injury) is expected to miss at least the next two games, while Richards, who has what is officially being called an upper body injury, has been placed on injured reserve.

Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings: Simon Gagne Hopes To Do A Lot More Than Look Good In Black

Long-time “Voice of the Kings,” Bob Miller (right) presented newly-acquired left wing Simon Gagne with his jersey number 12 during a media luncheon at the team’s offices in El Segundo, California.
Photo: Gann Matsuda

EL SEGUNDO, CA — After signing a two-year, $7 million contract with the Los Angeles Kings on July 2, 2011, veteran left wing Simon Gagne was in the Los Angeles area with his wife, Karine, looking for a new home for his family, which includes two-year-old son Matthew, and five-month old daughter Lily Ann. But he also took some time to stop by the Kings’ El Segundo offices at the Toyota Sports Center, where he met the local media.

“We’re here for two days, two and a half days,” said Gagne. “We’re not here on vacation. We’re definitely here to spend time looking for a place. We left the kids at home with my mom and her mom right now. We’re spending as much time as we can to find a place for our family.”

“Right now, we like what we see, we like the area a lot,” added Gagne. “We’re really excited about it. Hopefully today, we’ll find what we like, and get a little more time to look around.” Read more of this post

Retired LA Kings Trainer Pete Demers Recalls Record-Breaking, Injury-Filled Seasons, 2001-02 to 2005-06

FROZEN ROYALTY EXCLUSIVE: It was not so long ago that the Los Angeles Kings dressing room and training room might have looked more like a hospital ward than anything else. After all, back in 2002-03 and 2003-04, they set unofficial records for man-games lost to injury. Retired head athletic trainer Pete Demers had to treat all those injuries, and Frozen Royalty takes a long, hard look back at those disastrous seasons, as well as more of Demers’ thoughts on the mechanics of injuries, their treatment, and their prevention. Part ten of a series.


Los Angeles Kings retired head athletic trainer Pete Demers (left)
shown here treating forward Ian Laperriere.
Photo: Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES — Right wing Ziggy Palffy displayed great skill and speed when he played for the Los Angeles Kings from 1999-2000 to 2003-04.

Right wing Adam Deadmarsh was hard-nosed, physical, and was a very talented, determined, intense player for the Kings from 2000-01 to 2003-04. Read more of this post

2010-11 Los Angeles Kings Year-In-Review: Coaches And Front Office Had Their Ups and Downs, Too

2010-11 YEAR IN REVIEW: Part 3 of a series.


LOS ANGELES — Despite earning a 46-30-6 (98 points, seventh place in the Western Conference) record this season, just three points less than their 46-27-9 (101 points, sixth place in the Western Conference) record in 2009-10, the Los Angeles Kings, along with just about everyone who follows them and the rest of the National Hockey League, expected the team to not only make the playoffs this season, but to at least advance to the second round.

Los Angeles Kings head coach Terry Murray certainly isn’ the next coming of legendary coaches Toe Blake or Scotty Bowman, but his achievements
with the Kings outweigh his failures and weaknesses.
Photo: Victor Decolongon/Getty Images via the Los Angeles Kings

Extenuating circumstances, namely, the loss of star center, leading scorer and top defensive forward Anze Kopitar to a serious ankle injury and not having right wing Justin Williams at full strength—both were injured in late March—severely diminished the Kings’ chances of winning their first round playoff series against the much more talented San Jose Sharks.

But even without Kopitar, and with Williams playing with a separated right shoulder, the Kings exposed the Sharks’ weaknesses and could have won the series if they adhered to their system and structure. But they failed miserably in that regard, dropping the series in six games. Read more of this post

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