Kings now hit the, uh, road - LA Kings Insider

After the first weekend of the season, the Kings have a 1-1 home record. Home? Not only were both games more than 5,000 miles away from Staples Center, but the Kings were decidedly not the fan favorite in either game. In Stockholm, the Kings faced the New York Rangers, with Swedish goalie Henrik Lundqvist and Norwegian defenseman [corrected: forward] Mats Zuccarello. In Berlin, the Kings faced the Buffalo Sabres, with Germany’s Christian Ehrhoff and Jochen Hecht (scratched), Austria’s Thomas Vanek and Slovakia’s Andrej Sekera.

The Kings’ only European player, Anze Kopitar, is from Slovenia and played three years in Sweden, and the Kings certainly did have some support in both cities but for the most part they were given only polite applause in Stockholm and were actually booed in Berlin. “Home games.’’ In the locker room after the game, several players were quietly grumbling about the situation, but coach Terry Murray took a “what can you do?’’ attitude.

MURRAY: “Well, that’s what happens. They’ve got more Europeans than we do. They have a German player, Ehrhoff. They’ve got Sekera. They’re all pretty local kids. So there’s a big following. Jochen Hecht was a big player for them over the years. It’s a team that has been followed (in Germany) and that’s the way it goes. We’ll have to try to recruit some more European players and do this over again.’’

Players and some staff, though, seemed more irritated at the game presentation. The Kings drew home-game status in both games largely because their parent company, AEG, operates the Stockholm arena and owns and operates the Berlin arena. The game presentation, though, seemed heavily tilted toward the “visiting teams,’’ particularly in Stockholm. Perhaps that was because the game-presentation directors for the two games came, respectively, from the Rangers and Sabres? When they took the ice before the game, and during highlight/promo packages, the Kings seemed like the visiting team, and after the Stockholm game, team executives spoke to the league about their displeasure. The situation improved a bit in Berlin, but players certainly didn’t feel at home, captain Dustin Brown said.

BROWN: “These were two home games for us, and we’re playing not only on the road, but in a road atmosphere in both arenas. … I’m sure if we had three or four Germans on our team, we would be all right. It’s not even really the atmosphere. It’s travel and the setup. It’s like being on the road. So we’re going to play 43 away games this year, really.’’

Of course, it couldn’t possibly be that the NHL deck was stacked against the two West Coast teams, right? Such as the Rangers, whose time-change adjustment was three hours less than that of the Kings and Ducks, getting two “road’’ games in front of supportive crowds in Stockholm, without any between-games travel?

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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.