Trying to pair up - LA Kings Insider

With Drew Doughty out of the lineup, there’s not likely to be much stability on the Kings’ defense for a while. What to do? With Matt Greene about to return — perhaps as soon as tomorrow — do the Kings take out Peter Harrold, who did an admirable job against Phoenix (and who can also play on the power play)? Do they take out Jake Muzzin, who has yet to have a terrible game (and can also play on the power play)? Do they take out Davis Drewiske, who has been solid all season, so far?

Even then, what are the pairings? With Doughty out, the Kings have only one high-level “puck mover” on defense, in Jack Johnson, and even he has struggled in recent games. Murray started out, last night, with the Kings’ defense looking mostly familiar, with Harrold taking Doughty’s spot next to Willie Mitchell, but soon Kings defensemen were moving all around, with even a look of Mitchell and Rob Scuderi on the ice together at one point. Murray indicated today that with Doughty out, he’s not likely to have stable defensive pairs for a while.

MURRAY: “I think that’s the adjustment that you inevitably get to whenever your best defenseman is out of the lineup. So that’s probably the way you’ll see it play out in every game. There’s special teams, there are different looks for that, and then it’s who is going well at critical times in the game.”

Harrold’s ability to play on the power play might be his ticket to stay in the lineup, and Harrold acquitted himself well against the Coyotes. Coming in cold, after being a healthy scratch for five games, against a fast Phoenix team, Harrold played nearly 21 minutes.

HARROLD: “My legs and stamina were fine. It was more about just getting used to the speed again. Practice is practice, but in the games it ramps up a bit. After the first 10, 20 minutes, you kind of settle back in and you’re all set, so it was good.

“Obviously I’m not Drew Doughty, but I can contribute in similar ways. That’s what I’m going to have to try to do, try to contribute on the power play if I can, and make sure I’m moving up in the play to try to contribute in the offensive zone while taking care of my own zone. He’s a key part of the team, and obviously I’m not here to replace him, but I just have to go in and play my game.”

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Jake Muzzin

#6 | 6′ 3″ | 216 lb | Age: 27

Born: Feb 21, 1989
Birthplace: Woodstock, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Left


Muzzin was drafted in 2007 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, before signing to the Kings in 2010. He has since become the first Woodstock, Ontario professional athlete to win a major sports trophy.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.