The back of the net - LA Kings Insider

Over the span of 14 days, a “three-two league” has become a four-three league. As inconsistent as some of the team’s defensive returns have been, the offensive results at the end of the spectrum have been impressive by a greater degree.

In the month of March, the Kings and their opponents have combined for 56 goals in eight games. Los Angeles has outscored its opponents 29-27 over that span.

The power play has catalyzed the offense over the last 10 outings, a stretch in which the man advantage has averaged one goal per game as part of a 10-for-32 stretch since the 5-2 win over Anaheim.

I spoke with Justin Williams today about the team’s offense and the impressive power play output that didn’t show any signs of abating in Thursday night’s loss to San Jose. Williams has nine points – including three multi-point efforts – in eight games this month.

Justin Williams, on the power play chemistry:
“I think we’ve felt each other pretty well on the ice. We know where our outs are, and we’re talking a lot under pressure and turning a lot of pucks over and keeping a lot of pucks in the zone because we’re not letting them have any easy clears. I think Muzz and Slava have done a great job on the back end creating shots and being deceptive, and in turn, things are working. You need to keep at it. You can’t just say ‘Well, power play’s going good, forget about it.’ We’ve got to stick with it.”

Williams, on any constitutional differences between the two power play units:
“I mean, there’s different personnel. We’ve got a couple of different breakouts for each group, too. But for the most part, there’s no secret. It’s a good power play. It’s shots, traffic, puck pursuit and puck recovery. We’re doing those things well. At the same time, we can’t simply rely on our power play and say, ‘Well, you know, our power play will get us one.’ We need to keep at her five-on-five and be more successful in that aspect.”

Williams, on whether Dustin Brown’s game Thursday was his best performance of the season:
“I don’t know. You’ll have to ask Brownie that. But as a line, we’re a lot better when we’re not thinking out there, when we’re just reacting. We’re instinctual players, and when we’re acting on that instinct and not thinking so much, that’s when we’re successful. We’re a line that moves and thrives off of having the puck, and we’ve had it lately.”

Despite this surge, the top priority of this team is to reduce the amount of goals it allows. As Brown said after last night’s game, “At the end of the day, our goals against has got to come down. You look at why we were successful last year – we weren’t scoring a lot of goals, but we were winning games one-nothing and two-one. We’ve got to really tighten up our D-zone.”

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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.