Darryl Sutter Says LA Kings’ Top Players “Hit A Wall From The Last Three Years”

VIDEO: Includes video interviews with Los Angeles Kings forwards Marian Gaborik and Tyler Toffoli, along with head coach Darryl Sutter.


LA Kings left wing Marian Gaborik, shown here at a recent practice.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — As reported in this space on March 9, the Los Angeles Kings have been on quite the tear since the National Hockey League All-Star break, with a 13-6-1 record over their last 20 games, good for 27 out of a possible 40 points.

That’s a rather lofty winning percentage of .675.

“We just had to tune our game up and make sure that everybody does their thing, work on special teams, use our forecheck and speed, and make sure that we work as five guys out there,” said left wing Marian Gaborik. “We have been doing that really well lately.”

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Reasons Behind LA Kings’ Recent Success Might Not Be What You Think

LA Kings center Jarret Stoll, shown here during a recent practice.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Perhaps the most obvious reason that the Los Angeles Kings have won five straight games is because they have scored timely goals and have gotten the balanced scoring they have lacked all season long.

But that’s just the easy answer. The real starting point, when looking for the root cause of the Kings’ recent success lies 200 feet away, in their own zone.

Indeed, much-improved defensive play and penalty-killing have been the fundamental differences and the most important, most significant reasons behind the Kings’ current five-game winning streak.

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Believe It Or Not: Dwight King’s Critical Role In LA Kings’ Recent Success

AUDIO: Includes audio of media interview with Dwight King after practice on Feburary 17, 2015.


LA Kings left wing Dwight King, shown here during a recent practice.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Since he was called up to the Los Angeles Kings for good in the 2011-12 season when the Kings won their first Stanley Cup Championship in franchise history, left wing Dwight King has had his share of detractors.

Whether it was his perceived lack of speed or skating ability, his hands, puck-handling, goal scoring—you name it, King has probably been criticized rather heavily for it.

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What It’s Going To Take For The LA Kings To Make The Playoffs: By The Numbers

Los Angeles Kings forward and captain Dustin Brown
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

 

EL SEGUNDO, CA — With the All-Star break firmly in their rear view mirror, the Los Angeles Kings have been back to work for the last couple of days on practice ice, trying to right the ship heading into the last three months of the season, the final push to make the playoffs.

Given that the 20-15-12 Kings (52 points) are not in the playoff picture as of this writing, they know that there is a tremendous amount of work to do to get on a roll, and to do that right away.

“It’s that time of the year,” said right wing Tyler Toffoli. “We’ve got to be pushing now, to make the playoffs. We’ve got a couple of long [road trips] in this half of the season. We didn’t really take advantage when we were at home [during their last home stand] for seven games. It’s time to get back to winning games and being confident, as a group.”

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LA Kings Mike Richards On Waivers: Players Taking It In Stride

Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards (center, with Stanley Cup behind his right shoulder), shown here during the
the team’s 2012 Stanley Cup Championship rally at Staples Center in Los Angeles on June 14, 2012.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

 

AUDIO: Includes audio interviews with Los Angeles Kings Dustin Brown, Robyn Regehr, and President/General Manager Dean Lombardi.


EL SEGUNDO, CA — Returning to practice ice after the National Hockey League All-Star break usually isn’t all that eventful for a team, but that was not the case for Los Angeles Kings, who found out that one of their own, veteran center Mike Richards, had been placed on waivers earlier in the day on January 26.

As reported earlier in this space, Richards’ poor 2013-14 performance has carried into the current season, and he has shown no sign of breaking out of his deep funk. That left President/General Manager Dean Lombardi with no choice, even though Richards is a deeply respected veteran who played a critical role in the Kings winning the 2012 Stanley Cup Championship and contributed to their second Stanley Cup Championship last season.

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