Waking up with the Kings: February 11 - LA Kings Insider

Notes and observations from the Kings’ 3-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday:

-That game. That play. I caught two key issues on the game-winner. First, and most importantly, that’s a shot that the team is counting on Jonathan Quick to stop. Daniel Cleary made a great hustle play to put the Kings in the position where Drew Doughty turned the puck over, and Valtteri Filppula may have made minor contact that distracted Quick. Still, as Darryl Sutter said after the game, “Had to make a save there.” That said, there were lapses in coverage that set the play up. As critical as Doughty’s turnover was, this is a game that heads to overtime if Jarret Stoll – skating as a left wing that shift – doesn’t get drawn down below the faceoff dot, leaving Jonathan Ericsson open and unrestricted at the right point. Was he too preoccupied by Pavel Datsyuk? Maybe. Was he out of his comfort zone as a natural center and tasked with boards work and remaining close to the point? Perhaps. Doughty put the puck in a dangerous area, but I have a feeling he was counting on his left wing to be right there alongside Ericsson. Instead, both Doughty and Stoll were focused on Datsyuk, leaving the point wide open.

-The Kings heavily controlled the run of play and forechecked as well as they have this season. Detroit had twice as many giveaways as L.A. One game after being forced to the perimeter by Nashville’s centers and defensemen, the Kings found much better success in driving to the net and creating traffic in front. This was their best 200-foot game since last year’s playoffs. They won more faceoffs than their opponent for the first time since the home game against Nashville. Twice they scored a goal in the final minute of a period. The new line pairings seemed to find instant chemistry, and Jeff Carter looked comfortable as a center. He won 13 of 17 faceoffs. Kyle Clifford may have played his best game of the season, and he’s still tied for the team lead in scoring (which is 35% encouraging to see his continued development / 65% top players need to start scoring more consistently).

-The Kings played a similar game on March 9, 2012 at Joe Louis Arena. Dwight King scored a go-ahead goal with under six minutes to play, followed by a Filppula goal that tied it 1:52 later. Darren Helm scored the game-winner with 1:13 left for a 4-3 Red Wings victory, leaving L.A. two points out of a playoff spot with 14 games to play. The Kings then rattled off six straight wins and finished the year on a 25-6-3 stretch, which includes the playoff run. These are obviously two completely different sets of circumstances. Quoting Dustin Brown from earlier today, “Sometimes you say at the end of losing streaks and at the end of winning streaks sometimes you’re losing games you shouldn’t, and sometimes you’re winning games you shouldn’t, as well.”

-Datsyuk’s goal deserved its own bullet point. Beauty. There have been grumblings on Twitter and in the press box that he was off-sides, but it’s really a borderline call in my view. When you’re Pavel Datsyuk, you rightfully get the borderline calls. The Red Wings are 34-0-1 in the last 35 games in which he’s scored a goal.

-Slava Voynov has been the Kings’ best defenseman at getting shots through on net. He has been the Kings’ best defensemen in basically every other category as well. Slava led all skaters on both teams with 25:36 of ice time and tied for the most shots in a game by a defenseman with Alec Martinez with four shots.

-Dwight King, who had five shots in 12:34, is coming along and had a strong performance opposite Jordan Nolan on a line centered by Mike Richards. After Carter was booed (and scored) in Columbus, I can see a similar situation playing out in St. Louis Monday night. He was robbed on a second period rebound, but who wasn’t robbed on a second period rebound?

Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
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.