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LA Kings Are Showing Signs Of Shaken Confidence, Frustration, Tension

LA Kings Defenseman Drew Doughty
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

LOS ANGELES — After an embarrassing 4-0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings in front of a sell-out crowd of 19,230 fans at Staples Center on Thursday night, one has to wonder if the team unity and strength of character that the Los Angeles Kings have become so well known for since they won the Stanley Cup in 2012 has begun to fray.

Indeed, the frustration and tension seemed palpable as soon as the game ended.

As soon as the final horn sounded, Kings players skated to goaltender Jeff Zatkoff, as they usually do with whomever is in goal. But Zatkoff, who had been victimized by blatant turnovers and blown coverages by Kings skaters on all four Detroit goals, appeared to want to have nothing to do with that. In fact, he skated straight to the bench—quicker than usual—and into the dressing room, appearing to completely ignore his teammates.

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LA Kings’ Woes Aren’t Just Offensive

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, shown here
during practice at the Toyota Sports Center
in El Segundo, California.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Having to face the defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins while riding a three-game losing streak and a goal scoring drought of the same duration is not a position any team wants to be in, but that’s exactly what the struggling Los Angeles Kings have in store for them when they host the Penguins tonight at Staples Center (7:30 PM PDT).

Having been shutout in their last three games is the most obvious problem the Kings are facing.

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Tanner Pearson, Nic Dowd Give LA Kings Much Needed Spark

Los Angeles Kings left wing Tanner Pearson, shown here
during practice at the Toyota Sports Center
in El Segundo, California.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — With their 4-3 overtime win over the Dallas Stars on October 20 in Dallas, the Los Angeles Kings avoided the first 0-4 start in franchise history, and they did that, in large part, because of the spark provided by left wing Tanner Pearson and rookie center Nic Dowd.

After being a healthy scratch in the first two games of the season, Dowd made his season debut on October 18 at Minnesota, a 6-3 loss. But on October 20 at Dallas, he opened the scoring on the power play at 8:18 of the first period, finishing off a nifty passing with a deke move that Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen bit on, giving Dowd an open right side of the net to shoot at for his first National Hockey League goal.

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AUDIO: Frozen Royalty On Montreal Hockey Talk Radio: Pre-Game, Canadiens vs. LA Kings

On March 3, 2016, prior to the start of the Montreal Canadiens vs. Los Angeles Kings game at Staples Center in Los Angeles, I was a guest on MontrealHockeyTalk.com’s pre-game show during their Behind Enemy Lines segment, sharing what’s been happening with the Kings of late with hosts Kosta Papoulias (Coach K) and Tony Healey.

During the roughly 18-minute interview, we talked about Vincent Lecavalier, Jonathan Quick, Kris Versteeg, Rob Scuderi, Tanner Pearson, and more.

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LA Kings Looking For Improvement, Consistency After All-Star Break

LA Kings center Anze Kopitar
(click above for larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — With the National Hockey League’s All-Star break behind us, there is a bit of concern about the Los Angeles Kings as they enter February, a month in which they will play nine out 13 games on the road, including their annual Grammy road trip, a grueling seven-game road swing this time around.

Indeed, the team that led the Pacific Division by twelve points not so long ago has seen their lead drop to seven at the All-Star break.

The Kings’ lead over their division rivals has shrunk as they’ve sputtered in recent games—they have lost three out of their last five, and ended January winning just four of their last nine games.

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