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Los Angeles Kings: State of the Team

April 23rd, 2014 at 10:26 PM
By Suzanna Bezyan

The Los Angeles Kings had an optional skate on Wednesday at Toyota Sports Center. The team practiced in the optional skate and held meetings at Toyota Sports Center in preparation of Thursday’s Game 4 at Staples Center, 7:00 p.m.

The Kings, just like any other National Hockey League team playing past 82 regular season games, are dealing with a few players who are experiencing varying levels of discomfort. Its only natural, the players bodies can only take so much before they start to experience discomfort. Most players mentally block out the pain and play like not a thing is wrong, such as Jonathan Quick, who throughout the entire postseason of 2012 had a back injury, but ended up pushing through, winning the 2012 Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe.

'staples center panoramic' photo (c) 2003, woolennium - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Darryl Sutter spoke to Jon Rosen of lakingsinsider.com regarding the matter, “Are we going to get any better? No. Do we have to play through it? Yep,” Sutter said. “You know what? You can mentally tough your way through games now that maybe we wouldn’t subject them to in November and December.” Sutter added that he wasn’t referring to Drew Doughty’s upper-body injury or the injuries some players suffered in 2013. “No, no, no. I don’t even want to compare that,” he said. “But you know what? Pain’s part of it. There’s a difference between ‘injured’ and ‘hurt.’ You know what? Obviously, you’re talking about Drew. Drew’s a tough guy. He’s going to go out and play. That’s the way it works.”

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Los Angeles Kings Return Home: What Needs to Happen to Get Back in the Series

April 23rd, 2014 at 12:57 AM
By Suzanna Bezyan

The Los Angeles Kings were not the only team falling 2-0 in the Western Conference. Sure, that’s not what we want to see, but it’s not like it hasn’t happened before, and we ended up coming back and winning one series and losing another. Goal differential means nothing.

Only three teams have come back from 3-0 series deficit to win a seven-game Stanley Cup Playoffs series. Toronto maple Leafs came back to defeat the Detroit Red Wings in the 1942 Stanley Cup Final, the 1975 New York Islanders defeated Pittsburgh Penguins in a league quarterfinal, and the Philadelphia Flyers, led by then Captain Mike Richards, surpassed Boston in the 2010 Eastern Conference semifinals.

Kings players spoke up today agreeing almost simultaneously that it doesn’t matter if the San Jose Sharks are playing differently; they need to focus on their game and make theirs better, that’s it. The Kings have played very well all season long against the Sharks especially on home ice, and if they want to break out of this and get back to winning, here are some things they need to work on and/or change.

'' photo (c) 2013, savagecats - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

1. Improve their game:

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Game 3 Round 1: Los Angeles Kings Fall 4-3 in Overtime to the San Jose Sharks

April 23rd, 2014 at 12:28 AM
By Suzanna Bezyan

The Los Angeles Kings returned to home ice on Tuesday night, and despite great efforts they fell 4-3 in overtime against the San Jose Sharks.

The Kings came out as the team they are known for, playing that physical style and not giving the Sharks a chance, every chance the Sharks did have was a fluky goal, vs. the Kings goals that were well earned. Jonathan Quick was in net making 36 show stopping saves.

The Kings took advantage of two out of four power play opportunities, dominated in hits 53-45 and face-off wins 36-35. The Sharks took advantage of one out of four power plays, dominating in shots 40-31 and blocked shots 17-10.

The first period ended with the Sharks leading 1-0 with a power play goal. But in the second period the Kings returned with fire. First a power play goal from Jarret Stoll, who has never played a better playoff game in his career, assisted by Tyler Toffoli and Drew Doughty. Then came a unassisted goal from Marian Gaborik, his first of the playoffs. But at the end of the second the Sharks tied the game.

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Los Angeles Kings Recall Colin Fraser

April 22nd, 2014 at 12:19 PM
By Suzanna Bezyan

Jon Rosen of lakingsinsider.com reported Monday, “earlier today the Los Angeles Kings assigned Linden Vey to the Manchester Monarchs and now appear to be set to recall center Colin Fraser. Though the Vey assignment has been announced by the team, the latter part of the transaction is not official.”

Fraser was placed on waivers by the Kings and sent to the American Hockey League during the Olympic break. The plan is to have him return to the Kings during the playoffs. He doesn’t have to clear waivers he just has to be recalled when the rosters expand.

Fraser, 6’ 1”, 190-pound left wing, had three goals, six points and a plus-three rating in nine games with the Monarchs. He is spoken highly of his shot blocking skills and leadership role, skating with young players as well.

Fraser spoke to Rosen about his time in with the Monarchs, “I play a regular shift, PP, PK, the whole nine. I’d like to say I’m Anze Kopitar down there, without the skill level.”

Fraser, 29, has two Stanley Cups under his belt; One with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010, and once with the Kings in 2012.

'Blackhawks Victory Parade bus' photo (c) 2010, Seth Anderson - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

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Los Angeles Kings Return Home with High Hopes

April 21st, 2014 at 11:57 PM
By Suzanna Bezyan

The Los Angeles Kings were not the only team falling 2-0 in the Western Conference. Sure, that’s not what we want to see, but it’s not like it hasn’t happened before, and we ended up coming back and winning one series and losing another. Goal differential means nothing.

Kings players spoke up today agreeing almost simultaneously that it doesn’t matter if the San Jose Sharks are playing differently; they need to focus on their game and make theirs better, that’s it. The Kings have played very well all season long against the Sharks especially on home ice, and if they want to break out of this and get back to winning, here are some things they need to work on and/or change.

'' photo (c) 2013, savagecats - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

1. Improve their game:

It’s been said from the beginning of the series, POSSESSION, both teams have been top notch in possession, and the team that better possess the puck will win the games. The Kings have breakaways but don’t execute them to the tee, they need smarter breakaways. Also their plays, the Sharks keep separating their five-man unit. If they can stay a strong five-man unit they can stay connected and make more efforts as a team. Right now they don’t even have good support positions on the ice, they need to get the five-man unit connected, make smarter plays to generate more scoring opportunities. That’s what the team needs to work on. They need to press on the offense, and have puck possession. It’s not just going to happen with turning pucks and odd-man rushes.

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