Waking up with the Kings: April 7 - LA Kings Insider

After a competitive 20 minutes, the Kings showed little fight in surrendering three second period goals during a 4-1 loss to the Flames Thursday night at Staples Center. For the final 40 minutes there wasn’t much to suggest that the team was doing much more than going through the standard, late-season motions in advance of a rapidly approaching end to a disappointing season, and the performance stood in stark contrast to a strong team-wide effort in a win over Edmonton on Tuesday as well as the emotional trappings of last week’s game in Calgary. Though it’s natural that the team might not be as dialed in as, say, a Western Conference Final playoff game, the last I checked, Thursday’s game still counted in the standings, cost money to attend and was broadcast on television. Still, it’s understandable and somewhat natural that a team built with a majority of players who haven’t been eliminated with so many games remaining in a season would be below its peak competitively in Game 80. The halting aspect, as Darryl Sutter referenced last night, is that there is a growing number of players who weren’t part of the two Stanley Cup runs and haven’t “gotten the experience in winning.” You can talk about the transfer of leadership to a younger and still accomplished group, but when viewed against the evolving personnel and the absences of leaders in Jarret Stoll, Justin Williams, Mike Richards, Willie Mitchell, Robyn Regehr and others, there just isn’t the same resolve in all facets of the team’s game as when we were talking about the March of the Cockroaches.

Juan Ocampo / NHLI

I was going to mention this last night and then thought better of it, but as Trevor Lewis is experiencing a fine season, Vegas is also stroking its goatee and thinking, “Yes, yes, good, show me more, mooohahahah.” Each team will lose one player in the expansion draft, and while I keep hearing Brayden McNabb’s name as a potential target from those outside of the organization, I’m privately hearing other names of players who are going to also get a long look and could be difficult to protect. I don’t want to start speculating on potential moves in advance of the draft that could swing the pendulum from protecting eight skaters to seven forwards and three defensemen, but Lewis is a player who, barring unforeseen personnel movement, would likely be just on the outside of the bubble should the team go the eight skaters route. Nic Dowd, Kyle Clifford and McNabb are also among those on the cusp, but given that roughly 100 or so defensemen will be exposed, I have a hard time believing McNabb is as likely to be selected as some think.

Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images

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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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