Waking up with the Kings: May 1 - LA Kings Insider

-The Los Angeles Kings almost snuck away with one last night before the Hockey Gods rewarded the St. Louis Blues with a just and deserved 2-1 overtime victory in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. In a more acute analysis of the conclusion, Alex Steen used one of his many hustle plays to force Jonathan Quick into a turnover behind his own net to score the shorthanded overtime game-winner as the Kings goaltender waited for Drew Doughty to get into position so that he’d be able to make a pass to the corner to start a breakout. Steen’s goal came as both teams were attempting a line change 41 seconds into a four-minute Kevin Shattenkirk double minor in which Los Angeles wasn’t able to set up in the offensive zone. Had this game gone the other way, it could have had a catastrophic effect on the psyche of a Blues team that ultimately beat the Kings for the first time in nine attempts. It didn’t, and now the Kings are the team that must rebound from a Game 1 loss for the first time since the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

-Despite the miscue, Quick was the best player on the ice after Steen. His mid-second period point blank saves on Jaden Schwartz were reminiscent of the saves he made on Andy McDonald early in Game 1 of last year’s playoff series, while his third period save on a backhand-forehand David Backes move on a partial, contested breakaway (see above) began to shift the momentum towards Los Angeles in the third period of a one-goal game. At the other end of the ice, Brian Elliott was in the form that he had displayed for much of April, when he was named the NHL’s second star for the month. He looked behind himself once or twice in overtime but made important saves when facing intermittent pressure earlier in the game, including getting what appeared to be a skate on a Jeff Carter shot that hit the post during L.A.’s late first period power play.

-Daryl Evans made a point of highlighting special teams in our KingsVision Game 1 preview yesterday, and he was on to something. Of the 10 goals scored in last night’s playoff games, only two were scored during five-on-five play. Of the remaining eight goals, five were scored on the power play, while a shorthanded goal, a 6-on-5 goal and an empty net goal rounded out the scoring.

-I’ll be continuing these thoughts with host Mike Ross on NHL Network Radio at 7:45 am PT, accessed at SIRIUS 207 / XM 92. If you’re free, I hope you’ll give us a listen.

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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.