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

LA Kings Defenseman Drew Doughty
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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 Anze Kopitar Is Finishing Very, Very Fast After A Slow Start

LA Kings center Anze Kopitar
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Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Although one could easily make a case for Drew Doughty or Jonathan Quick as the biggest reason that the Los Angeles Kings have been one of the very best teams in the Western Conference this season, center Anze Kopitar can put in his own claim as well after putting the team on his back, especially in the last 42 games.

In his first 33 games (through Christmas), Kopitar scored nine goals and tallied eleven assists for twenty points, with a +10 plus/minus rating. But since that time, he has scored 15 goals and has contributed 32 assists for 47 points, with a +21 plus/minus rating.

If you do the math, Kopitar has almost tripled his assists (compared to the first 33 games), and has nearly doubled his points per game average to 1.14 since Christmas (0.61 through the first 33 games).

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LA Kings Are Starting To Look Unstoppable

LA Kings right wing Tyler Toffoli
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Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — After they melted the ice with a 10-4-0 record in December, the Los Angeles Kings cooled off significantly in January and February, earning a 13-10-2 record over those two months—6-5-1 in January and 7-5-1 in February.

Although the Kings weren’t playing badly, their play during those two months was considerably less consistent in those two months, as their play was up and down in all three zones.

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Not Over-Thinking Things, Family Aspect Are Helping Milan Lucic To Fit With LA Kings

LA Kings left wing Milan Lucic, shown here during a recent practice at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California.
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Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Being the new kid in school is usually tough for any student. Indeed, after being uprooted from comfortable, familiar surroundings where you have established friendships, maybe even boyfriends or girlfriends, you are suddenly dropped into a new school in a new city or town where you are, almost literally, on a deserted island—you feel alone and isolated, having to fit in all over again.

Being the new kid in school is not all that unlike what a hockey player feels like, especially a veteran, when they move from one team to another, as Los Angeles Kings left wing Milan Lucic has done this season.

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Frozen Royalty Audio: Toffoli, Quick, Kopitar Lead LA Kings To 3-0 Win Over Carolina

LOS ANGELES — Tyler Toffoli scored two goals, Anze Kopitar added another, and Jonathan Quick made 40 saves to lead the Los Angeles Kings to a 3-0 shutout win over the Carolina Hurricanes at Staples Center in Los Angeles in October 23.

With the win, the Kings have won four straight games. It was also Quick’s first shutout of the season, and the 38th of his National Hockey League career.

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