Waking up with the Kings: February 12 - LA Kings Insider

-On my original look at Jeff Carter’s first goal Monday night, I credited his speed in getting past David Backes unmarked into an area where Slava Voynov could get him that puck. On closer inspection, that’s just a terrific read by Voynov jumping into the rush after Mike Richards stepped away from a hit to leave the puck for him. Voynov outwaited Alex Pietrangelo, who committed and dove to block the pass a moment too early, and then threaded a needle through a tiny channel between Pietrangelo and Brian Elliott right onto the blade of Carter’s stick. Carter was moving his feet all night and exhibited his elite speed, but that play illustrates Voynov’s skill as much as anyone else’s. I’ll have more on Slava later today. Also: Wade Redden, last player back into the defensive zone on a four-on-four? Hmm.

-On Carter’s second goal, the last comment made by the St. Louis television broadcast team before depicting the mini breakaway was “Another big hit by Clifford.” Keaton Ellerby put that puck right on Carter’s stick to spring him loose, but Kyle Clifford’s hit on Alex Steen to win a puck battle set that play up. I don’t see that Clifford-Carter-Williams line changing any time soon. Clifford had six hits to lead all skaters.

-That 200-foot game that made the Blues such a difficult team to play against a season ago – where have you gone? L.A.’s zone entry improved as the game progressed due to wide lanes exiting the defensive zone and through the neutral zone. It was a power play, granted, but on Davis Drewiske’s goal, there wasn’t one Blue in the neutral zone to encumber the Kings’ entrance into the attacking end. There wasn’t much consistency in the Blues’ forecheck. Not to be too down on St. Louis, but they looked like a team that was winless on their homestand.

-I’ve seen most of the comments from the game thread, and I do not really understand some of the angst towards Simon Gagne. I thought Gagne was fine yesterday. Among the notes I took during the game were: Gagne – breaks up 3-on-2 (Tarasenko); Gagne – good game most zones? Smart game, got puck deep. I also remember him taking a hit at the blueline in the second period to get a puck into the attacking end. What didn’t you like? What was I missing? It was up and down at points, but I thought Gagne raised his game overall on this trip.

-Meaningless, anomalous stat about how the Blues should offer me a reward to stay as far away from them as possible: I covered St. Louis in Anaheim twice last year. I covered them twice in the regular season at Staples Center last year, and all four playoff games. I covered Monday’s game. The Blues lost all nine of those games, going 0-8-1. They were two points away from the President’s Trophy in 2011-12. Bizarre.

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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.