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

-Roughly half of the chicken scratch I jotted down last night dealt with the Kings’ ability to get sticks and bodies in shooting and passing lanes, or Jarret Stoll. Often, it was a combination of the two. An accurate representation of Los Angeles’ penalty killing success came during Calgary’s extended power play time early in the third when Stoll blocked a shot with his skate, hobbled to the bench, and returned on his next shift to dive and poke a loose puck out of the zone. If you were watching at home or in the arena or listening along, you remember the plays. They were easy plays to remember. Stoll’s faceoff percentage is a team-best 54.9% (amongst those who have taken more than one faceoff), he has eight more blocked shots than any other forward, he ranks second on the team in the somewhat nebulous statistic of “hits” and he leads all forwards in shorthanded time on ice. On paper, that sounds like an ideal third line center. There have been concerns over the amount of penalties he takes. Stoll’s nine minor penalties are the most amongst forwards, and he was dinged for five minors during a three-game stretch against Vancouver, Nashville and St. Louis. I welcome this conversation – and I understand it is easy to say this the morning after one of his stronger performances of the season – but I’m willing to live with the occasional-to-semi-frequent minor penalty as a trade-off for the committed, physical, gritty defensive efforts you get from the character, veteran leader. Please share your comments below if you disagree.

-How about the confidence and assertiveness inherent in Jake Muzzin’s game right now? With the Kings leading by one, he picked the right time to hold his position along the boards on the attacking blueline, where he offered Roman Cervenka a more subtle head fake to the one he showed Saku Koivu of the Ducks prior to his power play goal on February 25. Cervenka bit on the play before Muzzin advanced towards the tops of the circles and found a wide open Stoll, whose glove-side snipe served as the game-winner. The play began when Muzzin disrupted a Flames advance through the neutral zone before chipping the puck deep to set the play up. Muzzin, who ranks third in rookie defensive scoring with 10 points and is tied for seventh overall amongst defensemen with a plus-11 rating, has shown improvement in the decisions to pick his spots. Look for a feature on Muzzin tomorrow on LAKings.com.

-Darryl Sutter has previously referred to Alec Martinez as a “teen-minute player”, and the 25-year-old didn’t reach the “teen-minute” mark for the second time since returning from an upper-body injury, logging a defensive team-low 12:08 of ice time. Though he blocked three shots, he gave Mikael Backlund a cushion and was beaten one-on-one by the center for Calgary’s only goal. With the statuses of Matt Greene and Willie Mitchell still up in the air, the Kings – like just about every NHL team – will be kicking the tires on some stay-at-home types prior to the April 3 trading deadline. How would Martinez’s status be impacted? Might he potentially be a fairly valuable piece of that hypothetical trade?

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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.