Waking up with the Kings: January 4 - LA Kings Insider

The Kings withstood the continuation of one of the more difficult parts of their schedule – a home-and-home addendum to nine consecutive road games – and continued to remain above the cutoff amidst the glut of teams that are separated by very little in the Western Conference. Entering play Wednesday, there’s a 51-point team, a 50-point team, a 48-point team, and then nine teams that have collected between 39 and 46 points. Again, that was the established goal early in the season when the Kings dealt with injuries to key performers, and now, as the first signs of daylight begin to form on several returns, they will look to take advantage of a home-heavy remainder of the schedule, even if the team will play nine of 10 on the road after the upcoming seven-game home stand.

Don Smith / NHLI

Make sure to include Tanner Pearson to the list of Kings enjoying a strong season. As noted yesterday, it’s a good sign that his shot rate has increased while his shooting percentage hasn’t been affected; after last night’s one goal on four shots, he’s now shooting 13.2%, the second highest rate amongst L.A. forwards and a touch above an impressively robust career rate of 12.8%. He hits the net with regularity and has shown an aptitude for both shooting off the rush and burying one-timers, the latter of which was the result of poor Kevin Labanc puck management as San Jose turned the puck over in the extra session to set up the two-on-one rush. But, yeah – while it may be the result of a periodic spike in production, it’s a good sign that his shot output and shooting percentage have both climbed.

Don Smith / NHLI

There were plenty of commendable performances to go around, and it would be remiss to forego mentioning the two goaltenders, who were excellent in a game that was tied at one and featured a combined 60 shots through 60 minutes. Those may have been the Pacific Division’s goalies at this month’s All-Star Game. Peter Budaj didn’t face a ton of chances through the first 40 minutes but was outstanding in the third; the same superlatives apply to Martin Jones, who made key stops on Anze Kopitar and Tanner Pearson while shorthanded and Jordan Nolan while at even strength. Kopitar and Marian Gaborik probably generated their best chemistry together since Gaborik rejoined the lineup, especially over the first two periods. It was also interesting watching Derek Forbort, who was highly involved as part of his career-high 25:07 of ice time. There were a few mistakes Forbort made when handling the puck, but without the puck, when he was defending, he was hard to play against down low and was mostly effective along the boards.

Don Smith / NHLI

As for Gaborik, that’s some tough luck on the disallowed goal. Rule 67.6 (and, similarly 78.5, clause i) states “a goal cannot be scored by an attacking player who bats or directs the puck with his hand into the net.” Intent does not matter at all. So even though Gaborik, who is being leveraged toward the net by a defender, notices a puck popping up in the air and makes the origins of a movement to attempt to play the puck with his stick, if the puck is directed into the net by his glove with any iota of force, it’s no goal. Really, that’s a lousy rule more than a lousy call by the situation room in Toronto. It takes what appears to be a goal off the scoreboard by the slightest movement of a glove in which the defender does not attempt to intentionally bat the puck into the net, but again, “intent” is irrelevant.

Don Smith / NHLI

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.
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.
VIEW ADRIAN KEMPE POSTS

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.
VIEW ALEX IAFALLO 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
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