Kings looking to counter Blues' forecheck - LA Kings Insider

The Los Angeles Kings are a team that thrives on puck possession and aggressive puck-moving mentality that encourages the defensemen to transfer the puck up to the forwards quickly in order to gain entry into the offensive zone.

It was a challenge in Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals as the St. Louis Blues relied on a consistent forecheck that disrupted Los Angeles’ ability to use crisp passes in exiting its own zone with speed.

Robyn Regehr, on the physicality of the Blues and how they were able to sustain pressure:
“I think we didn’t do a very good job of coming out of our zone, especially in the first half of the game. That allowed them to get into our zone, get the forecheck going and really played to their strengths. So for us, we need to counter that and get back to doing a better job in executing our game. I think you’ll see a much different team in Game 2.”

Regehr, on how the team can counter St. Louis’ forecheck:
“Well, a better job moving the puck, I think…breaking out on the forecheck. We know that they want to come in and be very aggressive on that forecheck, so we all as a five-man group have to get back very quickly and make very short little plays, because that’s the only thing you can do when you’re under a lot of pressure like that. You can’t spread out, because you need to support one another. So if we do that, we’ll be fine.”

Regehr, on what changed to allow the Kings to carry the play in overtime:
“Well, I think you saw us just moving the puck a little bit better and not spending as much time under pressure. When we can get those pucks up to our forwards as quickly as possible, they were doing a good job getting it in and also cycling. You saw a couple shifts there where a guy like Dustin Penner in the corner really took advantage of his size and strength, and that’s more of the stuff that we need to do.”

Darryl Sutter, on avoiding a forecheck by advancing pucks and using speed in neutral ice:
“When we did it, that’s exactly right – with speed through the neutral zone. We did that. And when we didn’t, it shows up. Same with them. It’s not like it was every shift. Then, they would have beat us 15-nothing [with] the play being in our zone all the time. That’s not the case. Move pucks quick and expect to get hit.”

Sutter, on whether St. Louis has improved its physical play compared to last year:
“I don’t know. I mean, Ryan and Stewart and Backes are still the leaders in it – and Barret – and they were physical guys last night. We knew that last year. I don’t really look at it as a physical thing. I think both teams are fast teams that work. So it’s not so much the ‘physical’ part of it. I mean, it’s like talking about Muzzin and Keaton. I mean, Muzz got knocked on his ass three or four times early, and then he knocked guys on their ass. I don’t look at it like that. You know what it’s like in playoffs. I mean, there’s more contact, but if you’re running around trying to make contact, then usually you’re out of position or you’re taking a penalty. If you look at last night, there was a power play goal and a shorthanded goal, so special teams are fairly important, and if you [learn] anything from last year’s series, St. Louis took a lot more penalties. In fact, in Game 2 last year, if I remember right, I think they took nine minor penalties in Game 2. I’m not sure about the ‘physical’ part of it. I think both teams are going to play hard.”

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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.