Before long, the Kings will have played six games under three head coaches. Terry Murray coached last Saturday at home before he was fired Monday. Interim coach John Stevens has handled this four-game road trip and, when the Kings get home, newly hired Darryl Sutter will be behind the bench Thursday against Anaheim. It’s been an exhausting, whirlwind week, and one can only imagine how it has impacted the players. General manager Dean Lombardi met with players twice this week in an attempt to keep them updated and calm their minds, but no doubt, their phones have been buzzing regularly, with friends and family either providing or asking for information. After practice today, I asked Drew Doughty about the distraction level of this week, and he also shared his opinion on whether the coaching change could be a positive for the slumping Kings.

DOUGHTY: “I definitely think that, in a way, it’s effected some guys more than others. Me personally, it doesn’t effect me. I’m just out there to play, and playing for the team. John has been doing a great job as the coach. All that other stuff, I’m not one to read all the media. I don’t ever pay attention to that kind of thing. I just kind of find out things through the guys talking about it in the room. I think everyone is maybe a little nervous about a new coach coming in. It’s something we’re not used to, but I think it’s a good thing. I think change is what we need. Obviously what we’re doing right now isn’t working, and we can’t just assume that things are going to flip in an instant and we’re going to start winning all our games. We have to do something to change it, and hopefully with a new coach, guys kind of get that nerve-racking feeling again, where they’re playing real hard for each other.’’

Question: Sort of like hitting the reset button?

DOUGHTY: “Exactly. Once you get used to someone, you get more comfortable with them and maybe guys feel like, because they’re so comfortable with the coach, that they can get away with certain things. But now, with a new coach coming in, we have no idea what to expect. We’ll be in check, and everyone is going to play hard because they don’t know what the new coach will do.’’

On a related note, the Calgary Sun had an interesting item today about Sutter, with some quotes from recently hired St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock. Since taking over as an early season replacement, Hitchcock has changed the Blues’ fortunes dramatically. Of Sutter’s prospects for doing the same with the Kings, Hitchcock said, “I can tell you from coaching against him, his teams didn’t take many shifts off and they compete at a high level.” Hitchcock also shared some interesting thoughts about how he has changed as a coach. The story can be read by clicking here.

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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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