Can Kings beat Vancouver's `best player'? - LA Kings Insider

Cory Schneider success in goal for Vancouver in Games 3 and 4 was covered earlier, and today, Darryl Sutter dialed up the praise even more when he called Schneider “clearly the best player on the ice’’ in Game 4. Sutter isn’t shy about challenging his players, and he’s not naive. Sutter knows that Jonathan Quick is a Vezina Trophy candidate, and while Sutter hasn’t been the slightest bit negative toward Quick, his heaping praise on the opposing goalie can be seen as a bit of a statement on his part. The subject came up in the context of special teams, and the fact that neither team has won a game in this series while losing the special-teams battle.

SUTTER: “The biggest part of your penalty killing is your goaltender, so that is a huge area. I think that Schneider was clearly the best player on the ice in the last game, by himself, so that impacted our power play. I think the number of power plays for both teams went down in the last game, which is a significant thing. As long as the hype of it doesn’t catch the officials by surprise, then you expect it to be the same way. If you’re going on season average, you’re only going to get three or four (power plays). That’s what it is. Perfect is zero (power plays allowed). Are you going to be perfect? Probably not.

“The last game was decided on special teams. We had a breakaway on a penalty (kill) and didn’t score. They we had a penalty shot on the kill and didn’t score. Then a few seconds later, they did. So you think of what the score would have been at that point. If you’re an eighth seed playing a President’s Trophy champion, you like being tied at that point.’’

Asked about the keys to Game 5, Jarret Stoll also mentioned special teams in addition to, in general, an improved defensive game by the Kings.

STOLL: “I think defensively, being quicker, faster, more physical. We can’t give them the time and space that we gave them in the last game here at home. Our penalty kill needs to be a little bit better in some of those areas. And our power play. We’ve got to score at least one power-play goal, if not two.’’

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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.