Another four-point (or more) swing for Kings - LA Kings Insider

It can get a bit over-dramatic to start talking about “big games’’ with more than six weeks remaining in the regular season, but there’s the possibility of a big swing for the Kings tonight. The ninth-place Kings face the seventh-place Coyotes, and if the Kings lose, they risk falling deeper into a hole. That’s because division leader San Jose and eighth-place Calgary both have very winnable games. The Sharks play at Columbus and the Flames host Edmonton. Not to mention that, with a regulation loss, the Kings would fall four points behind the seventh-place Coyotes. Darryl Sutter was asked if he would use the word “urgency’’ in terms of the Kings’ situation right now, with 23 games remaining.

SUTTER: “It’s not much different than really when I came here. You’re still in the very same position. From seven to 11 (in the Western Conference), there’s no difference, right, other than how your top players play. So, I don’t know what the word is, but those guys, you’re trying to give them every opportunity to take their game to where they have to take it, in terms of ice time and situations, things like that. Then they have to do that. It’s no different. You look at a team like Anaheim, that’s hot right now, and quite honestly I think we’re playing fine. I look at our last four games. We get beat in overtime on the island. We go into Dallas and win, and then we come home and lose two 1-0 games. I don’t believe it’s scoring. I believe it’s scoring big goals. If we had won both of those games 1-0, we’d be standing here going, `Whoa, we just got seven of the last eight points.’ I think we’re playing fine now. I look at it more as individual, top guys playing better.’’

To be certain, someone needs to do something. The Coyotes are playing well, their goalie is red-hot and they’ve been thriving in low-scoring games, while the Kings haven’t. The teams are four days removed from the Coyotes’ 1-0 victory at Staples Center.

SUTTER: “They scored a power-play goal. We talked about what they do on power plays a lot, and how important it is. We know they’re going to screen and have big guys around the net. We know what they’re going to do up top. It’s how you manage it and take it away. That’s the big thing. Then, what do you do different? You score a big goal. They did and we didn’t. Same with Calgary, they did and we didn’t. And look at who scores them. Top players. That’s what it’s about. Our team is not like a lot of those teams. Everybody was on Anaheim about not playing well. Those guys know how. Those young guys there, they were a big part of why they played a lot of playoff games. Those guys are the most important part of why they played a lot of playoff games. You look at Calgary, who we played last game. Their top players are veteran, experienced guys. These guys here are still not on either one of those pages yet. That’s why you’ve got to be careful how you work with it, but at the same time, make sure they understand the importance of what they can bring.’’

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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.