Waking up with the Kings: November 6 - LA Kings Insider

Over 82 games you’ll have a few bizarre ones such as Thursday night’s 3-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, a game in which the Kings held their opponents without a shot on goal over a full period for only the second time in (regular season) club history, only to have the visitors protect a lead by out-shooting Los Angeles 17-10 in the third (shots were 17-5 at one point) and claim a narrow victory in which they did not own the majority of the scoring chances. The three-games-in-four-nights stretch appeared to catch up with L.A. in this one, and bizarrely, they haven’t played consecutive games in one building since hosting Minnesota and Colorado nearly three weeks ago (though that complicates the work of the equipment staff more than anyone else). But as stated on the podcast, in the commenting section of this blog, and in my head, the Blue Jackets are a much, much better team than their rugged start indicates. This was a team that had been projected to contend for the Metropolitan Division, and because they were having problems keeping the puck out of their own net early in the season, will have to fight tooth and nail to claw back into the playoff race. With a little bit better finish, Los Angeles would’ve emerged with a win despite the unfavorable tired-legged circumstances. Onward and upward.

at Staples Center on November 5, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

A familiar story this week has been the need to get more production from Anze Kopitar’s wingers, and Thursday’s game produced middling results. The more positive: Dustin Brown was well engaged and fired nine shot attempts towards Columbus’ net; the less positive: Marian Gaborik was a minus-one, recorded one shot attempt (it was blocked), and was credited with two giveaways (for whatever that’s worth) in 14:59 of ice time. It’s a tough go for Gabby right now. One of the premier shooters and finishers, he’s registered more than two even strength shots on goal in only two games this season, and it’s hard to start discussing PDO and unfortunate shooting percentages when he’s not directing as many shots on net. Still, his 5×5 shots on goal per 60 minutes is only .14 shots lower than last season, and most of his underlying numbers are well within the range of what he has shown in recent seasons, so the argument can still be made that he’s simply mired in a slump and a production surge may lie ahead.

Columbus Blue Jackets v Los Angeles Kings

There were a disproportionate number of stops and starts in Thursday’s game, which was the latest in a string of contests between a pair of teams that have no playoff animosity to build off of, just a collection of testy regular season battles waged between a pair of heavier teams with strong work ethics. The 20 combined penalties tied the Columbus game with the season opener against San Jose for the most in a Kings game this season, while the 68 faceoffs represented the third-highest total. It disrupted the rhythm of a game that gradually improved over the second half of the second period, but by the time the teams had settled into the third, the Blue Jackets established their best zone time advantage of the evening and had built momentum off an early/mid-period power play.

Columbus Blue Jackets v Los Angeles Kings

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left

Bio

Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.
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Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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