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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LA Kings: No Quick? No Problem

Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, 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 — Looking back to a cold, dark night in Buffalo, New York on November 12, 2013, Los Angels Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick suffered a grade 2 groin strain in a game against the Buffalo Sabres, forcing him to miss significant time.

Media, pundits and fans—just about everyone predicted that the Kings would go into a tailspin without their superstar goaltender. But what happened next surprised shocked the hockey world, as Ben Scrivens and Martin Jones stepped up to backstop the Kings to points in 17 of their next 19 games, putting the Kings in position to go on to win the 2014 Stanley Cup Championship.

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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

Los Angeles Kings Bring In Rental Help For Playoff Push

UPDATED March 8, 2010 with details on the conditional draft pick in the trade for Fredrik Modin.

EL SEGUNDO, CA — The Los Angeles Kings capped what was, perhaps, the most uneventful National Hockey League trade deadline days in recent years by acquiring veteran forwards Jeff Halpern and Fredrik Modin. Read more of this post

Dean Lombardi: Can Purcell Build Confidence, Add Grit?

LOS ANGELES — On June 27, 2009, during the 2009 National Hockey League Entry Draft, then-Los Angeles Kings center prospect Brian Boyle was traded to the New York Rangers for a third round pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

Much was expected of Boyle, a 6-7, 248-pound center with a scoring touch who was selected by the Kings in the first round (26th overall) in 2003 NHL Entry Draft. At the time, former Kings General Manager Dave Taylor said that he would be a project, but in Boyle’s four years at Boston College, he excelled.

Even at the American Hockey League level, Boyle was a solid contributor offensively for the Manchester Monarchs, the Kings’ primary minor league affiliate, even though the Kings tried to convert him to a defenseman, an experiment that failed miserably.

But even with his great physical gifts, especially for a player with his size and strength, Boyle has still been unable to figure out, even with the Rangers, that he has to use his those gifts in order to succeed in the NHL, something the Kings tried to get him to learn. Read more of this post