feature: West is Best - LA Kings Insider

We’ve all heard the familiar “run-and-gun” references towards the Eastern Conference, and the “tight checking” allusions to the Western Conference. The contrasting styles of play have been well documented. But this season, teams in the west are 31-11-4 against the teams in the east through NHL action Tuesday night.

Why has there been such one-sided domination so early in the season? When did the balance of power begin shifting westward?


“It affects us because you either have to win games or fall behind the competition,” Regehr said. “You’ve got to demand the most out of yourself and your teammates all the time. There is no real easy team or easy game anymore. I think it’s a lot of fun to have three good teams now in California. It makes for great games, and not only the geographical rival of being close, but also the fact that you’re battling for very important points, whether it’s a division title or playoff seeding, or things like that. It’s very important.”

Could it have something to do with the need to compete with the Western Conference juggernauts in Detroit, Colorado and Dallas some 10-15 years ago? West is Best

Other features:
Their Words
Numbers Aside
Follow Me
Talk About It
Padded Down
Little Time for Rest
Make Them Better
Comfort Level
Getting There
Will to Win
Buying In
Fine Tuning
Battle Tested
Smooth and Selke
Up, Up and Away
In Their Eyes
Work in Progress
Scuderi’s Actions Speak
Brown’s Model a Path for Doughty

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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.