Kings `excited to get started' in preparations - LA Kings Insider

As noted earlier, the Kings went through more team-related drills than individual drills today, and the focus will start to shift toward the New Jersey Devils, now that the Stanley Cup Finals matchup has been set. The Kings will practice again in El Segundo tomorrow, then fly East on Monday. The Kings were happy to learn their opponent and to start being able to think about, and study, an opponent. Drew Doughty, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter talked today about the start of those preparations.

DOUGHTY: “We’re excited to get started. They’re a good team. We’ve watched a lot of the games throughout the playoffs, so we know what they’re about. Now it’s just a matter of studying their team, studying their habits and their system play, and we should be very well-prepared. … Those top players are going to be really hard to contain, but we’ve got the guys to do it. Kovalchuk is obviously so skilled offensively. If you give him the room to take that shot, he’s usually going to score. Parise just kind of does it all. He battles so hard, works so hard. He’s a tough player to play against. That’s why he’s their leader. He’s kind of like Brownie in that sense, where he just plays so hard and leads by example. … They’re really solid defensively, and their forwards work really hard back and they create those turnovers. Once they create them, they’re good on the odd-man rushes, to create chances and good shooting opportunities. So we have to make sure that we’re getting pucks in and out and not creating those turnovers.’’

RICHARDS: “We can focus on what Jersey does, and obviously watch some film and get a sense of what we need to do against them, rather than just practicing for the sake of practicing. I think when you can focus on your opponent, and put focus on that in the practice, I think it’s going to obvious benefit more than just practicing.’’

CARTER: “I think they’re still playing a strong defensive game, but you look at the guys they’ve added up front, with Kovalchuk and all those type of guys, so they’re definitely more offensive than they’ve been in the past.’’

Carter’s comments, in particular, were related to a question about how the outside perception of the Devils has changed. Long known as a defensive “trap’’ team, the Devils now have more firepower upfront, led by Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise. Darryl Sutter said these are not the Devils of old.

SUTTER: “We’re lucky we get to play them. … They’ve got a lot of skill up front. Their centermen are fast, skilled guys. They’ve got big wingers. They’ve got the veterans and defense and they’ve got, depending on who you talk to, the greatest goalie of all time. (Despite) that old stereotype, they’ve done an awesome job, with that forward group and the way they play.’’

Sutter also talked about how, now that the Kings know their opponent, they can narrow their focus…

SUTTER: “It’s a big difference, when you know who the (opposing) team is. We knew the date. We knew when we were going to travel. We knew the airport we were going to. But the big difference now, and the most important part is, the players and the games. They know the players, and now — not that there’s a big difference in the style between the Rangers and New Jersey, and us and New Jersey — it’s just reinforcing those things for the next few days.’’

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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.