Los Angeles Kings News: Regular Season and Preseason Updates
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3/6/14: Everyone knew that following the Sochi Olympics that it would be a sprint to the finish line to see who would make the playoffs. There are approximately 20 games left in the season and the top three in each Division in the West look secure in some order (St. Louis, Chicago, Colorado in Central, and Anaheim, San Jose, and L.A. in the Pacific). The Kings have been among the best teams in the league since returning from the Olympic break and just won their fourth consecutive game. They have a tendency to peak at the right time, and this is certainly the right time.
2/27/14: Team USA and L.A. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick was quick to criticize his team's play in the bronze medal game against Finland. The US was embarrassed and shut out 5-0 to the Finns, in a game where it looked like the team never showed up to play. The US was put into the bronze game after losing to Canada in the semi-finals. The Americans played on back to back days, which is common place in the NHL, but seemed deflated in not having a shot at the gold. Quick had a right to be upset. He was hung out to dry several times and Finns capitalized often. He was also upset with himself, and did take blame in the loss.
2/20/14: Real hockey fans are already familiar with Kings' defenseman Drew Doughty. He is a gritty defenseman that has some real offensive skills. While he is well-known in L.A. and the Pacific Division, he is making a name for himself on the international stage with his performance at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Through the first three games, Doughty has notched four goals (outstanding for a defenseman). That includes both goals in a 2-1 overtime win over Finland. Canada's offense has not produced yet, but with Doughty among the tournament leaders, they may not need to.
2/13/14: Smart teams make smart decisions and take smart risks. That appears to be what the Kings are doing heading into the Olympic break. L.A. is third in the Pacific Division, and is close to being on the bubble as a wild card team. They are also up against the salary cap, and may need some wiggle room to make a trade after the Olympics. They placed veteran Colin Fraser on waivers and hope he can play in the AHL during the Olympics. They do not have to pay him, so he does not count towards the salary cap. It also gives Fraser a couple more weeks to work on his game. Another team could claim him, but that looks like a risk that L.A. will take.
2/6/14: The L.A. Kings shut out the San Jose Sharks a couple of weeks ago, just before the Sharks got shut out again by former Kings goalie Ben Scrivens - a game in which the Sharks managed a whopping 59 shots on goal but none passed Scrivens. But the Sharks are not the only team having trouble putting the puck between the pipes. The Kings have been shut out three times in their last five games. This is really a time for L.A. to put some distance between themselves and the Vancouver Canucks, but they have eight losses in their last nine games. Perhaps they will be able to rebound after the Olympic break.
1/30/14: The Kings hosted the Anaheim Ducks in the first outdoor game in Southern California - heck, it was the first outdoor game in a warm weather environment anywhere. Playing in front of over 50,000 fans at Dodger Stadium, the Kings fell 3-0 to the rival Ducks. It was all part of the Stadium Series, and both teams wore very cool alternative uniforms. In the end, Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller proved to be too much. That being said, the ice was in good condition and this opens the door for the NHL playing more outdoor games in warm weather climates.
1/23/14: The Kings are getting back on track now that starting goalie Jonathan Quick has returned. L.A. shut down a potent St. Louis Blues team last week. The Kings also traded away their top goalie prospect Ben Scrivens to Edmonton. Scrivens played well in Quick's absence, and proved to be a valuable trading piece. Now the Kings are preparing to play the Anaheim Ducks at Dodger's Stadium this Saturday. It will be the first outdoor game played in the NHL in a warm weather city - which could make for interesting ice conditions if the league has any problems with the cooling elements.
1/16/14: The Kings have five players heading to Sochi, Russia to represent their respective teams at the Winter Olympics. The headliner, of course, is goalie Jonathan Quick. He is expected to be the starting goalie for Team USA, which is no small feat. The Americans took silver four years ago in Vancouver with Ryan Miller in net, and look to improve to gold this time around. Overall, it has been tough going for the Kings as they have lost five of six games. L.A. still holds the first wild card spot for the playoffs, but needs to solidify that standing over the next few months to get a chance at the Stanley Cup.
1/9/14: The Kings played great throughout most of December and were unbeaten in 10 games at one point. That seemed to show that the team could survive without star goalie Johnathan Quick. However, reality set in and the Kings lost five in a row, including a 5-0 disaster to the St. Louis Blues. Quick returned last Saturday and earned a 3-1 win over Vancouver (who had their star goalie, Roberto Luongo, returning). Hopefully, this will stabilize the team. In other news, the game against Vancouver was head coach Daryl Sutter's 1000th as a head coach in the NHL.
1/2/14: The Kings could have easily have folded when Conn Smyth winning goalie Jonathan Quick went down with injury, but have been bouyed by backup Ben Scrivens and rookie call-up Martin Jones. Jones in particular has been impressive. He stopped all nine shootout attempts against him in his debut then rolled of five consecutive wins. L.A. has been the hottest team in the league in December and seem unbeatable at this point. It will be interesting to see what head coach Daryl Sutter will do when Quick returns. However, it is never a bad thing to have two many goaltenders.
12/19/13: Say one thing for Kings head coach Darryl Sutter, he can keep the heads talking - which is important in a town where pro hockey is well below college football, pro basketball, and pro baseball on the sports ladder. Sutter says that he is not just going to put veteran defenseman Matt Greene back into the lineup because he is off of the injured reserve. Greene has been sturdy for most of his career, but has only played in 20 games this calendar year due to back and elbow injuries. Perhaps this is a way of protecting Greene or motivating him to improve. Either way, it is tough to argue with a Stanley Cup winning coach.
12/12/13: It is difficult to assess just how good the Kings are in the crowded Western Conference, particularly in the ultra-competitive Pacific Division. L.A. sits at 42 points from a 19-7-4 record. That is outstanding. However, they still trail both the Anaheim Ducks (45 points) and the San Jose Sharks (43 points). Both San Jose and Los Angeles have two games in hand over the Ducks, so this may even itself out when all the games are played. In any case. Southern California has two teams that are Stanley Cup contenders, which has to get under the skin of a lot of teams up north.
12/5/13: The Kings got some very bad news last week as it was announced that star goalie Jonathan Quick will be out at least another month with a groin injury. The Kings are a team built on defense and losing Quick for an extended amount of time can potentially be devastating for a team looking for its second Stanley Cup in three years. L.A. is on the top half of the Western Conference standings so they just need to tread water for thirty days. And don't forget, if they get into the playoffs they can win the entire thing as they did as an 8 seed two years ago.
11/28/13: The L.A. Kings are hanging around the top of the Western Conference standings, which is good because there seems to be no room for error here. Eight teams have 32 or 33 points on the season, and these eight teams are separating themselves from the rest of the pack. That also means that every point is crucial and can mean the difference of home ice advantage or road battles. The Kings are getting healthier these days as three key players are back at practice: Jeff Carter, Kyle Clifford, and Jordan Nolan. The Kings need all their guys at full strength to get where they need to be.
11/21/13: Los Angeles was able to bring center Jarret Stoll back into the line up this past week. Stoll had missed the past two weeks with an upper body injury he suffered against Nashville on November 2. Stoll is not a goal scorer - he only has four points in 15 games (though had scored in consecutive nights prior to the injury). But he is much needed as a face off specialist and defensive forward. Players like Stoll are often overlooked for high scoring guys, but are always in need in the NHL. Like many Western Conference teams, the Kings are off to a good start with 27 points, but get lost because the competition in conference is so good.
11/14/13: It's a common theme with Western Conference teams - they would be much higher in the standings if they were in the Eastern Conference. That is very true for the Los Angeles Kings. At 11-6, they have a fine record and 22 points to their name. That is good for a lower seed in the West but would be among the leaders in the East. The Western Conference simply has a lot of very good teams, which makes the Kings look bad by comparison. But the season is only five weeks old, and the Kings have both the talent and experience to better their position as the year goes on.
11/7/13: The L.A. Kings are the perfect example of the Western Conference. The team is 9-6 and finds themselves in fifth place in the Pacific Division (ahead of only Calgary and Edmonton) and tied for eighth place in the Western Conference. 9-6 is not a bad record and extrapolated out over 82 game would be over 100 points. However, the West is so strong that even being 50% over 500 could miss the playoffs or get in as a very low seed. The Kings are actually better than their record indicates, but they need to get some offensive production in order to improve their standing.
10/31/13: The L.A. Kings and Phoenix Coyotes played one of the most unusual games in recent NHL history last week. If the league wants to increase scoring, then this should be the blueprint. The Kings held a four goal lead on the Coyotes, which is generally considered insurmountable. But the Coyotes battled back and tied the game in the span of just 13 minutes. Most teams fold after giving up that kind of comeback, but not the Kings. Mike Richards scored shorthanded goal to put the Kings up 5-4, then Matt Fratin and Dwight King scored for insurance. Final: L.A. 7, Phoenix 4.
10/24/13: The Kings have 10 points in eight games with a 5-3 record. While it is over .500, that is not going to be enough to make a playoff push in the Western Conference. If they were in the East (using the type of geography usually reserved for the former Big East Conference), then they would be near the top of the standings. The team has struggled in all phases of the game so far. In the past, the superb goaltending by Jonathan Quick hid problems, but he is struggling as well. L.A. is simply too talented not to turn it around, so consider this just a blip on the screen.
10/17/13: The Kings expected more scoring out of forward Anze Kopitar when they acquired him in the offseason. Kopitar has four assists already, which is nothing to make light of, but he has yet to score. Kevin Williams wants him to 'play dirtier' and get back into the grinding mentality that the Kings, as a team, have used effectively for the past few seasons. The Kopitar, Williams, and Dustin Brown line only have three goals, and are being outscored by Jeff Carter on his own. Still, the season is young and sometimes it takes a few weeks to gel with new teammates.
10/10/13: It has been a tough start to the season for the L.A. Kings and goaltender Johnathan Quick. After winning their opener, the Kings went to Winnipeg. Quick had a bad game and was pulled early as the team lost 5-3. Back at home in Game 3 against the Rangers, the Kings fell behind 2-1 but had a powerplay. The Rangers cleared the zone and Quick went to corral the puck in his left face off circle. He dropped his stick, then the puck bounced off his pad and into the net. That may end up being the sports blooper of the year. The Kings lost 3-1.
10/3/13: L.A. is looking to get back to the depths of the NHL playoffs this season. They were eliminated by the eventual Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference finals last season, but return much of their core for another run. The Kings have Johnathan Quick in goal, and he is among the best goaltenders in the NHL. Dustin Brown returns as captain and the team gets back defensemen Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene who missed most of last season with injuries. The Kings will play one of the most unique games of the season when they host the Anaheim Ducks at Dodger Stadium in January.
9/26/13: The Kings came out of nowhere to win the Stanley Cup in the 2011-12 season. They sneaked into the playoffs as an 8-seed that year and proceeded to dismantle everyone. Last season, they made it as the 4-seed and into the semifinals. So why are so many people overlooking them this season. They still have much of the same core including captain Dustin Brown and goalie Johnathan Quick. Sure, the Blues may be better and the Blackhawks are still loaded, but this is a team that should not be underestimated going into the season. They have won it before and have the talent and coaching to do it again.
9/19/13: The Los Angeles Kings are coming off of two very successful seasons - they won the Stanley Cup (as an eighth seed) in the 2011-12 season and made it to the Western Conference finals last season. One of the great things about the NHL is that an eight seed can win the championship - unlike the NBA where only the top few seeds legitimately have a shot in the playoffs. Or professional baseball and football where the eighth seed in a conference does not even qualify for the postseason. L.A. again returns most of its core players - and once again should be considered a contender for the Stanley Cup.
9/12/13: The Kings snuck into the playoffs in the 2011-12 season. They secured the number 8 seed, then went on to win the Stanley Cup. They did not have the luxury of flying under the radar last season, and were knocked out in the Western Conference semi-finals by Chicago. They could use some more physicality this season, and Jeff Carter is a good place to start. Carter can score, but has never had a season with more assists than goals. If Carter can learn to move the puck more and set up his linemates, then that would be a big plus for the Kings this season.
9/4/13: When you think hockey, you obviously think about Los Angeles. And when you think about L.A., you no doubt think about an outdoor game. As crazy as that sounds, the Kings and Anaheim Ducks will play an outdoor game at Dodger Stadium this season. The NHL has the technology to keep the ice cold, but the game will have to be played at night in any case. The good news is that the tickets for the game are selling at a record clip. It seems that this will be the event to be at, and it would be interesting to watch a hockey game in 70 degree comfort. It is also smart of the NHL to schedule two close rivals, who are also both good teams.
8/29/13: When the Kings started their magical run to the Stanley Cup in the spring of 2012, the biggest knock was that they were a defensive team that could not score - especially on the power play. That is still true today. While their penalty kill is among the best in the league, the team still struggles with scoring. At some point, the Kings are going to have to make a move to upgrade the offense, though that may risk hurting team chemistry. For now, the team seems inclined to go with their proven formula. However, should the defense or goaltending falter, the team could be in trouble.
8/22/13: The Kings have something to prove this season. Of course they snuck in the playoffs two years ago and came out of it with a Stanley Cup Championship. Last season, they were derailed in the playoffs even with a good team. However, L.A. fans have a short memory, and if the Kings want to continue with wonderful fan support, they have to show the grit that got them the Cup. Their biggest obstacle is the cross-town rival Ducks. Anaheim was terrific last year. Now is the time to develop this into a big-time rivalry that can only help both teams, as well as the NHL.
8/15/13: This past week (August 9, 1988) marked the 25th anniversary of the famous Wayne Gretzky trade from the Edmonton Oilers to the L.A. Kings. This was a historic event in the NHL. It brought the greatest player ever to the bright lights of a major market. Gretzky made hockey relevant in L.A. for the first time, and exposed millions of new fans to the game. Kings' games became an event, just like Lakers games. There is no real equivalent to this anywhere else. And just for good measure, the Oilers won the Stanley Cup in their second season without "The Great One".
8/8/13: The Kings stumbled along for many years without much fanfare or talent or success - the league was just happy to have a team in L.A. Then the Kings made the blockbuster trade for Wayne Gretzky and hockey got big in L.A. After the Great One left, it was more of the same until the Kings won the Stanley Cup in the 2011-12 season. Now it is very difficult to crack the Kings roster. The team is high on prospect Tyler Toffoli - a 21 year old who played 12 games during the end of last season and should make the roster full time this season.
8/1/13: The Kings are looking to rebound this coming season and are using their Development Camp to ingrain their mindset on their young prospects. L.A. was eliminated from the playoffs in the Conference finals just one year after their Cinderella march to the Stanley Cup. The team's method of quality goaltending and timely scoring came up just short, but they want their prospects to take on the same hard-nosed approach that propelled them to the top of the mountain. Once again, it looks like the Western Conference will be deep and teams that can play tough will win.
7/25/13: The Kings could not have won the Stanley Cup in 2012 without the leadership and gritty play of captain Dustin Brown in the playoffs that season. They were knocked out in the Conference Finals in 2013, but still depended heavily on Brown. The Kings, therefore, did the smart thing and locked Brown up to an eight year contract, one that may keep him through the tenure of his career. While he is not on the level of Sidney Crosby or Jonathan Toews, he is the leader of that team and is the face of the franchise.
7/18/13: The two most recent Stanley Cup Champions completed a trade this week, albeit a minor one. The Chicago Blackhawks send a conditional round pick to the L.A. Kings for forward Daniel Carcillo. Carcillo has one year remaining on his contract and will count $825,000 against the salary cap next season. Carcillo only managed two goals and an assist in 23 games last season, and played in only four playoff games. Carcillo has been hampered by injuries for the past few years and is more of a tough player (and heavily penalized one), but can add grit to the Kings.
6/13/13: The Stanley Cup will have to move out of Southern California. The Kings were eliminated in the Western Conference Finals in five games by the league leading Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night. The fifth game of the series was a double overtime thriller. Chicago scored a controversial goal late in the third period to take a 3-2 lead, but the Kings battled back and tied it up. Goaltending was the key to the series. Kings netminder Johnathan Quick played brilliantly, but was outdone by Corey Crawford of the Blackhawks. Chicago will face Boston in the Stanley Cup Finals.
5/30/13: The Los Angeles Kings keep winning tough playoff series. This time, for their sixth series in a row, the Kings knocked off in-state rival San Jose Sharks in seven games. The series victory puts the Kings back in the Western Conference finals. Last season, the Kings eliminated the Phoenix Coyotes to gain entrance into the Stanley Cup Finals - which they eventually won over the New Jersey Devils. This year, they will face either the Chicago Blackhawks or the Detroit Red Wings, who are battling out a game 7, after Chicago came back from a 3-1 series deficit.
5/23/13: Some may say that the Kings were lucky to survive the St. Louis Blues in the first round. The Blues may be the most physical team in the league and they have spectacular goaltending to back them up. But the Kings won the series and now are up 2-1 on the San Jose Sharks. L.A. is the superior team, despite similar records. They have better goaltending and are more physical - which is key in playoff hockey. To win the series, the Kings do not have to change a thing. They simply have to outcheck and outwork the Sharks - as well as take their offensive chances as they come about. Bold prediction: Kings in 6 games.
5/16/13: The Kings continued their playoff success by defeating the St. Louis Blues 4 games to 2. L.A. came in as the fifth seed, and the teams are so evenly matched that this cannot be considered an upset. The series was tremendously physical with few goals scored by either side. The goaltending from both Johnathan Quick and St. Louis' Brian Elliot was outstanding and every game was a one goal affair that could have gone either way. The Kings rallied from two games down to take the next four. On deck for the Kings is a fierce rival in San Jose.
Los Angeles Kings Stanley Cup Finals Tickets
They're back! After a late-season surge in 2012 positioned the Los Angeles Kings for their first ever Stanley Cup Finals victory, the team returned in 2013 with the hopes of making their qualification for the playoffs a bit more comfortable than last year's. So, rather than barely making it in as a No. 8 seed, the LA Kings worked their way up in the latter half of the 2013 NHL season to a rather comfortable No. 5 seed. While they still didn't have a series home-ice advantage at the Staples Center, the Kings relied on their recent grit and experience to make it through the first round, ending the St. Louis Blues' season for a second straight year.
At the core of the Los Angeles Kings' success is still goalie Jonathon Quick. While his 2013 campaign hasn't looked quite like his Conn Smythe award-winning performance through last season's Stanley Cup Finals, he continues to consistently keep his team in games until the very end. The Los Angeles Kings have a mix of talented defensemen and grinding forwards who persistently press the opposition into making a mistake. Given the increased intensity of the playoffs, it'll take a full series of strong will, timely scoring, and good luck for anyone to unseat the current Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings.
Los Angeles Kings Stanley Cup Finals Run
The LA Kings' Stanley Cup Finals run in 2012 was something to be seen, with dominating series performances leading them to the Western Conference title. This season, they have a better seed, but the Los Angeles Kings will still need to perform well on the road because they'll probably never have home-ice advantage at the Staples Center in any NHL Playoff series.
|Stanley Cup Finals||Devils||Won||4-2|
Los Angeles Kings Stanley Cup Finals Highlights
In 2012, the Los Angeles Kings entered the NHL Playoffs as a No. 8 seed and proceeded to mow through the Western Conference to the Stanley Cup Finals in unprecedented fashion. They captured the Cup by defeating the New Jersey Devils behind the stellar play of goalie Jonathon Quick and a deep, determined core of forwards and defensemen.
Los Angeles Kings Schedule & Key Dates
Opening Day / Los Angeles Kings First Game 2013
Los Angeles Kings Regular Season Last Game 2013
Los Angeles Kings Preseason Beginning 2013
KINGS SCORES3 wins, 3 losses (50%)
Mar 1, 2014 Carolina Hurricanes 1 - 3 Los Angeles Kings Feb 6, 2014 Columbus Blue Jackets 1 - 2 Los Angeles Kings Feb 1, 2014 Philadelphia Flyers 2 - 0 Los Angeles Kings
Mar 6, 2014 Los Angeles Kings vs Winnipeg Jets Mar 9, 2014 Los Angeles Kings vs Edmonton Oilers Mar 10, 2014 Los Angeles Kings vs Calgary Flames Mar 13, 2014 Toronto Maple Leafs vs Los Angeles Kings Mar 15, 2014 Anaheim Ducks vs Los Angeles Kings Mar 17, 2014 Phoenix Coyotes vs Los Angeles Kings Mar 20, 2014 Washington Capitals vs Los Angeles Kings Mar 22, 2014 Florida Panthers vs Los Angeles Kings Mar 24, 2014 Los Angeles Kings vs Philadelphia Flyers Mar 25, 2014 Los Angeles Kings vs Washington Capitals Mar 27, 2014 Los Angeles Kings vs Pittsburgh Penguins Mar 29, 2014 Winnipeg Jets vs Los Angeles Kings Mar 31, 2014 Minnesota Wild vs Los Angeles Kings Apr 2, 2014 Phoenix Coyotes vs Los Angeles Kings Apr 3, 2014 Los Angeles Kings vs San Jose Sharks Apr 5, 2014 Los Angeles Kings vs Vancouver Canucks Apr 9, 2014 Los Angeles Kings vs Calgary Flames Apr 10, 2014 Los Angeles Kings vs Edmonton Oilers Apr 12, 2014 Anaheim Ducks vs Los Angeles Kings