Kings looking to tighten up in transition - LA Kings Insider

Before returning to San Jose for Game 2, the Kings practiced at Toyota Sports Center for the second consecutive day and expressed a desire to reduce the number of quality chances and odd-man rushes the Sharks were able to generate.

Part of the odd-man breaks came as the result of the Kings looking to “stretch it out,” when trailing by three goals, as Darryl Sutter said yesterday, though the Kings spoke on Saturday about the need to work as tighter units in transition, and Anze Kopitar characterized what was emphasized during Saturday’s practice as “moving the puck, make crisp plays, get the legs going.”

“Just don’t get spread out too much,” Kopitar said of the adjustments necessary to minimize turnovers. “The support has got to be there coming up the ice. If we don’t do that, obviously we get spread out too much. The long plays are harder to make than the 10-foot passes. I think in Game 1, our line got spread out a little too much. We got caught swinging away instead of just supporting. So we’ve been working on that the last couple days a little bit and we have to carry that into the game tomorrow.”

Dustin Brown also referenced the five-man units as essential to the team’s success in retaining the puck and executing its sound possession game.

“I don’t think as a group, line to line, we were really good at spacing and moving,” he said. “When we were well spaced out, that’s when we were in their zone. That’s a result of working back for each other. Wingers working back for D, D working back quickly to the puck and coming up together. Having that support because there were a couple opportunities, couple chances, situations, where D doesn’t have much of a play and vice versa with the wingers. Wingers don’t have any option because they’re getting covered over and there is no support. So the closer we are together as a group, line to line, partner to partner, that goes a long way in wanting to come out of our zone properly.”

Dwight King, on adjustments and neutral zone play:

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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.