Waking up with the Kings: March 30 - LA Kings Insider

“I think people pay to see emotion, too. It’s good to see that once in a while,” Darryl Sutter said after Wednesday’s 4-1 Kings win at Calgary. “It might be, quite honest, what maybe has been lacking in our team.” It’s probably one of several things that have been lacking in the Kings’ play in the calendar year, but yes, Darryl, point noted. Los Angeles channeled its emotion appropriately, despite what Mike Milbury and others may have said, and won a tough road game in a charged environment lifted by the Doughty-Tkachuk incident, Jarome Iginla’s final appearance in Calgary, for this season at least, and the potential for the home team to clinch a playoff berth. In less abstract terms, the Kings benefited from a very good Ben Bishop performance, an airtight penalty kill, and the ability to benefit from some elbow grease in hard areas on the ice. Speaking of which, Iginla’s work on Wednesday was a vintage performance in which he fought and bled for the team, crashed the net to will in a game-winning goal with the help of a strange deflection off Mark Giordano’s stick and supplied the well-channeled and inspiring performance that served as an arterial enhancement of the team’s desire and compete level.

Gerry Thomas/NHLI

Iginla wasn’t the only veteran with a steely performance. Marian Gaborik has been very good this season in the games following his scratches and set up a pair of goals, the second of which he weathered some contact to help create the Jake Muzzin-Anze Kopitar two-on-one. (Heck of a shot, Anze.) Both Muzzin and Kopitar were very good in the win, as was Trevor Lewis, and Dustin Brown, and Jeff Carter. This type of a win required an all-hands-on-deck commitment, one the Kings received from the full contingent of the roster in a performance driven by its veterans. As for Andy Andreoff’s 2:10 of ice time and 34 penalty minutes, I asked him after the game what he had done to receive the two 10-minute misconducts and was told that it wasn’t anything in particular that would’ve warranted the extra discipline in any other game. It appears as though the referees were trying to keep the clamps on an emotional game and made a joint executive decision – is that an oxymoron? – to assess supplemental 10-minute misconducts that effectively removed the sandpapery forward.

Gerry Thomas/NHLI

So, Matthew Tkachuk. I understand the respect that he received from not backing down from conflict in a game in which he’d be a primary focus. Also, his second period attempted hit on Drew Doughty was not a penalty and the officials made the correct non-call; his feet only left the ice because of his springboarded momentum – not because he jumped to make a hit – and he did not take excess strides before attempting to deliver it. Still, that’s a reckless and wild attempt at a hit, even if it’s within the rules. Much of his borderline play through his first 71 games shouldn’t be glorified. This is a player who elbowed the reigning Norris Trophy winner in the face to draw a two-game suspension and injured Edmonton’s Brandon Davidson with a slew foot in his very first NHL game, causing him to miss 30 games. Tkachuk is an extremely valuable player any fanbase would love as their own and the 19-year-old has wasted no time in etching out his identity as a player, but he’s going to have to tone down his play down a notch or two, such as others have done when faced with added scrutiny from the Department of Player Safety. Meanwhile, once the pugilism and posturing of the first period died down, Los Angeles grabbed a pretty good handle of a game that Iginla described as one with a “playoff-style.”

Gerry Thomas/NHLI

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

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


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

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

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


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

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.

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.