Waking up with the Kings: February 24 - LA Kings Insider

-Did the pre-game pageantry throw off Colorado’s timing? The Avs’ second shift of the game was inexcusable. Not to take anything away from the chemistry of the Brown-Kopitar-Williams line, but goals in practice don’t come as easy as Dustin Brown’s one-timed rocket. Did one Colorado player even touch one Los Angeles player? Rob Scuderi and Slava Voynov exchanged the puck before it was worked north to Justin Williams, who sidestepped a hit to play it up to Anze Kopitar. Greg Zanon poked the puck free from Kopitar, but Williams was there to offer support, and his cross-ice pass found Brown, who didn’t have a defender within 10 feet of him when the puck left Williams’ stick. Hilariously indifferent defending – though, to be fair, Colorado was without a pair of top-four defensemen – and suspect goaltending made it awfully difficult for the Avalanche to win a road game against a surging Kings team. Also: the timing and deep-offensive-zone possession continues to improve for the Brown-Kopitar-Williams line, which was too much for a shorthanded Avalanche defense to handle.

-Jeff Carter continues to score goals and do a lot of other things well and I feel like we’ve covered this many, many times. I will continue to cover this because the Kings are very fortunate to have his natural goal scoring ability and intangible attributes that help teams win hockey games. His stick and excellent reach make him a valuable penalty killer, his powerful strides give him separation and make him difficult to defend, and he finds himself in space in areas on the ice where goals are scored. He’s strong away from the puck. But we knew this already. His first period goal was slightly beyond his general scoring area – and some would argue that it was a goal that Semyon Varlamov should have stopped – but with the power and accuracy generated by his quick release, he’s be able to score goals from five or six feet beyond the tops of the circles. Darryl Sutter feels the same way. “He’s been the best player since the first day of training camp,” he said after the game.

-Good on the Kings for beating the Northwest Division teams they should be beating – Edmonton Calgary and Colorado don’t appear to be playoff teams at this point of the season, with the latter two looking at potentially high draft picks – but a much stiffer test awaits this week. Anaheim will provide an excellent gauge to see how much the team’s goaltending and team defense have improved over the past three weeks, as the Ducks’ size presented a significant challenge for L.A.’s defense the last time around. The Ducks are kind of hot – they’ve only lost once in their last 10 games – and are averaging 3.27 goals per game in advance of their home game against Colorado today, the third-highest average in the league. After Anaheim, the Kings get a visit from Detroit for a nationally televised NBCSN game, and how often is it that the Red Wings present the most winnable game of the week? That’s not to take anything away from Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Jimmy Howard, who were the game’s best players in Detroit’s win over Los Angeles two weeks ago. The team’s first trip to Vancouver since last year’s playoff series caps off a challenging segment of the schedule. You won’t see the team looking beyond the first shift of Monday’s game, but a 2-1-0 week would be an encouraging performance for the momentum-building Kings.

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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.