Kings want to reach `next level' - LA Kings Insider

Colin Fraser, Dustin Penner, Rob Scuderi and Justin Williams have won the Stanley Cup. Jeff Carter, Matt Greene, Mike Richards and Jarret Stoll have all been to the Finals. No player though, drafted and developed by the Kings and on this year’s team, has even been to the second round of the playoffs. If the Kings hope to develop properly, and fulfill Dean Lombardi’s long-stated prophecy of building a long-term winning team, that needs to change quickly. The young core of the Kings — Dustin Brown, Drew Doughty, Anze Kopitar and Jonathan Quick, in particular — need to experience some winning in the playoffs. So far, they have a 4-8 record in two series. It’s been a slow, patient building process, but the Kings’ window for winning is now open, and in pro sports, a team never knows how long that window will stay open. The Kings have achieved something solid by making the playoffs for the past two seasons. Now, they know, it’s time to build off those experiences.

BROWN: “Part of getting to the next level is losing. We lost in the regular season for two or three years, and then we finally figured out what it takes. I think it’s no different in the playoffs. Everything is just more magnified, and you learn a lot quicker. What you learn in six or seven games in the playoffs, it takes a couple years (in the regular season). We’ve had two years in a row, now, where we’ve had opportunities to give ourselves a better opportunity, later in the series, to have the upper hand and we let it slip by. Now, it’s important for us to give ourselves an opportunity to get that upper hand. We have some different personnel in here a little bit, and some guys have been through it and understand what happened in the last couple years here.

“We’ve had the experience of the last couple years. Now it’s important to apply that this year and bring attention to every little thing, every detail that we’ve learned as a group over the last couple years. I think it’s important for this team, this year, to take it one game at a time. I think maybe that’s been part of our… Last year, we’re up 4-0 (against San Jose) and guys start thinking about the next game and it’s 2-2 (in the series). So, it’s important for us to focus, both individually and as a group, on each game. Right now, it’s a one-game series and that’s Wednesday.’’

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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.