Waking up with the Kings: December 31 - LA Kings Insider

All the talk about Los Angeles’ underlying numbers supporting the position that they’re heading in the right direction means very little when they fall behind 2-0 to the league’s worst team before clawing away to tie the game and losing in a shootout. The Kings may have salvaged a point against the Oilers, but last night’s game was among the most disappointing losses of the season, if not the most. Despite the superb efforts against several high quality teams, the losses to Buffalo, Carolina, Edmonton and Philadelphia (twice) show that they’re leaving points on the table against teams that are closer to a lottery pick than they are to making the playoffs. Though Los Angeles finished the game with a 39-21 shots advantage, there wasn’t much of a consistent attack or surplus of high quality opportunities through the first 40 minutes.

460925188

After the game I spoke to Jake Muzzin, who told me “We’ve got to get angry and get mad,” as part of a response to a question about the team’s attitude. I agree with that – many people would probably agree with that – even if teams have the juices going and are generally focused and ready to play at the first drop of the puck. But after Los Angeles was felled by St. Louis’ third period comeback two weeks ago, I did feel there was a palpable sense of wanting to inflict revenge against the Blues two nights later at Staples Center. The Kings fell behind by three goals in that game – and their body language, their emotions, their drive all suggested that they were a pissed off, determined group. They scored six of the next seven goals and won one of the more important games of the year to this point. I have a feeling we’ll see a similar attitude when the team plays a chief rival in Vancouver tomorrow night; I think we’re expecting a departure from an attitude Tuesday night that one representative of Kings hockey operations described to me as “vanilla.”

460925192

There’s the disappointment over a loss to a last place hockey team, and then there are the harsh realities of mental health struggles and real life gravity. There was a mass killing in Edmonton early Tuesday morning, and the Oilers held a moment of silence before the game. This isn’t to distract or to dilute the focus from the loss, but rather to commend Kings reporter Lisa Dillman, who was traveling from Calgary to Edmonton yesterday when she was called by editors at the Los Angeles Times to report on what many have said were the most shocking and disturbing crimes committed in the city over the better part of the last 50 years. On behalf of LAKI readers, here’s a stick tap to Dillman, who saw things at the South Edmonton crime scene that none of us would ever hope to see and gathered information that none of us would ever want to know. Hockey is a game.

460925202

Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
Jake Muzzin

#6 | 6′ 3″ | 216 lb | Age: 27

Born: Feb 21, 1989
Birthplace: Woodstock, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

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.
VIEW JAKE MUZZIN POSTS

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

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.

VIEW ANZE KOPITAR POSTS
Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right

Bio

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.

VIEW DREW DOUGHTY POSTS
Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

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.
VIEW TYLER TOFFOLI POSTS

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

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.

VIEW JEFF CARTER POSTS
Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left

Bio

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.

VIEW JONATHAN QUICK POSTS