Every notable pundit around the NHL has picked the San Jose Sharks to beat the Kings in the first round, most in five or six games. Not the majority of pundits. Not most pundits. Literally, I have yet to see a single media personality predict that the Kings will win. Las Vegas odds, and the odds posted on the Bodog.com website, have the Kings as the biggest underdog in any of the eight first-round series. Now, there might be a reason for that, but on the other hand, it’s possible that the Kings might be able to draw motivation from that, if they’re even paying attention to it. Today, I asked Drew Doughty about the Kings’ underdog status, and if it was appealing to him in some way…

DOUGHTY: “I expected everyone to kind of choose San Jose before the series got going. That’s a good thing for us. They have the pressure on them, and they have for so many years in the playoffs. It seems like, when they’ve had that pressure, they really haven’t succeeded in the playoffs, so that’s obviously to our advantage. We knew we were going to be underdogs, and going into it, it’s always better to be the underdog. You have that pressure off of you. It’s not that you have nothing to lose, but you can kind of play with that underdog mentality. Starting off in San Jose, it’s going to be a loud building, but we just have to kind of look past that and use that in the other direction, use it to get us up for the game and get us excited.”

Terry Murray didn’t specifically address the Kings’ underdog status, but he did speak to the team’s mood heading into the series…

MURRAY: “I think there’s always a great sense of anticipation, whenever you get to this time. Excitement, adrenaline starts to get going on a day like today, because you know it starts tomorrow. There’s a great attitude. (With) the attention to the meetings that we had today, the questions that were asked, everybody is eager, everybody is excited. We know we’ve got a very hard opponent, one of the favorites coming into the playoffs, and it’s going to be a great challenge for us. We’re going into this thing not being afraid to win. We want to go out and play and compete and battle and do the right stuff every shift.”

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Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

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Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

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

Bio

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.

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Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

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

Bio

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.

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Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

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

Bio

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.
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Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

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

Bio

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.

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Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

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

Bio

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.

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