Waking up with the Kings: November 2 - LA Kings Insider

Not a bevy of positives, Insiders, but it’s a long season. Things are never as bleak as they appear, and the high times are never as stratospheric as they may seem, but when a team goes three straight games without a goal for the first time in 47 years, there’s a historic precedent of offensive ineptitude being matched. Tuesday’s 4-0 loss to Anaheim wasn’t the prettiest on the eyes. And that’s not just because it served as the third straight shutout; there just wasn’t a ton of high-quality, non-score affected scoring chances on either side. The Kings actually had the greater number of chances, according to the official LAKI count, if not the greater number of A and B+-type chances. But that doesn’t really tell the story of the game. Even though Los Angeles limited the total number of Anaheim’s shot attempts and scoring chances, and again emerged as the Corsi winner of the game, they weren’t the actual winner, and a 3:51 stretch bridging the first and second period was the team’s downfall as a scoreless game quickly devolved into a rout.

Anaheim Ducks v Los Angeles Kings

For the first time since he was recalled, Peter Budaj wasn’t good in a Kings loss, and Darryl Sutter expressed his displeasure several times after the game (though one observation was in response to a direct question about Budaj). There’s not always a ton of precedent in a Sutter presser. The accomplished coach has been friendly and approachable after losses, more confrontational after wins, and vice-versa. Sometimes the routes he takes to answer questions resemble an Escher drawing, and that’s not an insult or any type of knock; it’s pretty interesting. (Also, I shouldn’t be the one to offer any authoritative account of how to most effectively ask Darryl questions in a postgame scrum.) But his comments about Budaj did appear to contradict a wider view he had shown following the loss at Minnesota, when he said, “You expect the guys that are in there to play as well as they can, and if they play as well as they can, that’s good. I mean, heck, that’s what you do, right?” Maybe Peter Budaj is playing the best he can. Maybe going 4-3-0 with a 2.36 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage is a best-case scenario for the goalie that entered the year as the third in line in the goaltending hierarchy. Budaj wasn’t very good on Tuesday. The Rickard Rakell and Joseph Cramarossa goals did not come from scoring chances. But Budaj, and Jeff Zatkoff, and Jack Campbell – and who knows, maybe Anders Lindback – are not Jonathan Quick. I understand where Sutter is coming from directly after a loss, when he’s focused on that night’s game only, and not previous games or the larger picture. But those were still some pretty direct observations on an individual goaltending performance in the aftermath of a loss.

Anaheim Ducks v Los Angeles Kings

A positive! Nic Dowd is still showing off his good motor, and he and Dustin Brown appear to have formed one of those pairs of “twos” that Darryl Sutter has referenced in the past. This wasn’t any profound positive; Ryan Kesler tied up Dowd effectively on the faceoff win that led to Rickard Rakell’s game-winning goal, but the forward was still getting up and down the ice effectively, especially early in the game, and served as one of the team’s better forecheckers on the night. It’s important that he keeps up his play to this point, because he and Brown serve as depth scoring options with the potential to reduce pressure on the top two lines to produce. Both players were minus-twos on the night, and there were a few shifts where pucks weren’t always being exchanged tape-to-tape, but they played with energy and were, for the most part, able to work deep in the attacking zone. In a night when King Killer (and King Suppressor) Ryan Kesler was successful in limiting Anze Kopitar and the club’s top line, Dowd provided some quality depth minutes and is well served playing alongside veterans in Brown and (on Tuesday) Lewis. Look for that line to remain intact.

Anaheim Ducks 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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