Kings need to get off the blocks - LA Kings Insider

Tonight’s game will be the second of six meetings this season between the Kings and Ducks. This morning, the Ducks called up rookie forward Matt Beleskey from Syracuse of the AHL. Last time these teams met, the Ducks sent the Kings to their lowest point of the season. Anaheim’s 2-0 home victory on Nov. 29 marked the only time the Kings have been shut out this season, and it sent the Kings to their seventh defeat in their previous eight games. The Kings have gone 7-2-1 since then, but tonight’s game is big given that the Ducks are just one point behind the Kings in the standings. Here’s what Terry Murray said today about how the Kings can improve from the teams’ previous meeting…

MURRAY: “We played pretty good in that game. The thing that really stands out, that I remember, was the number of blocked shots they had. They were stepping up in front of our shots, and there were a lot of pucks that never found the net. We just have to be better with that. There are several ways of being better. Shooting the puck faster, getting it through, missing the first guy. That’s the responsibility of the defensemen up top, but the forwards also need to be better at releasing down low, to give that option as a pass down to the goal-line area, instead of a shot where they have five guys at home play. We can pass off and attack from the side or attack from underneath. That has to be more consistent from our forwards. That’s a read that you make in the pressure of the game, in the heavy going of the game, but we’ve got to find that more often.”

The Ducks were credited with 16 blocked shots in that game, while the Kings got 27 shots on goal. Murray was also asked, in general, what he wanted to see from his team in the first few minutes of the game, following the two-day holiday break…

MURRAY: “I want a nice, quick tempo, short shifts, changing at the right time. I want to see good puck movement, making the puck do the work for us, and decisions through the middle of the ice. I’ve been talking about that since the day I got here, and that has to be more firm. We’ve got to make harder plays, meaning that when you do decide to get the puck in behind, on a chip because there’s no other option, it has to get deep. So many times, we’re looking for that easy, soft chip, just to get in behind the defenseman who is standing at the blue line. It’s got to get to the goal line. Those pucks get knocked down 85 percent of the time and come right back at you. So, hard plays. Make them go back 200 feet, and then we play the game from there.”

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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.