Waking up with the Kings: November 20 - LA Kings Insider

It’s not a great visual observing Jonathan Quick in a game where he just doesn’t have it. It’s difficult to think of him in the tunnel after he’s left the game, knowing how hard he takes things upon himself and what he means to the cohesiveness of a group he’s bailed out many, many times. He provides percussion to the team’s pulse, he’s one of the most exciting and fiery players to watch at any position, on any team. He fought Joe Thornton. And some other dudes. On Sunday, the Los Angeles Kings essentially played the same relative style of game we’d seen from them fairly often this season, only this time, their goalie wasn’t their MVP. In the eight games since jumping out to a 3-0 lead against Toronto, Los Angeles has been outscored, 12-5, in first periods, and outshot, 90-75. The poor starts have been a symptom of the recent slump, but even when the team was winning games, they were still fairly frequently giving up a few too many shots and chances. On Sunday, the law of averages brought Quick’s save percentage down to a still-outstanding .926, and the team’s record down to 12-7-2, which is still good for first place in a Pacific Division that is going to have to account for Gerard Gallant’s Vegas Golden Knights.

Jeff Bottari/NHLI

Vegas was as advertised: fast in attack, fully committed to winning puck battles, successful in getting out of their zone quickly and dedicated to a team game that has minimized excess strain on a depleted goaltending chain. They continue to ride a swell of excitement in their home building and fully take advantage of the raucous expansion season support. There were plenty of Kings fans who traveled, and the team didn’t exactly provide them with a surplus of opportunities to make noise, but T-Mobile Arena was not quite Honda Center East. Nearly every seat was filled, and the immediate novelty and spectacle in which Las Vegas is represented in a major, professional league – and look awfully good in doing so; seriously, they’ve played an exciting, attacking game at home – has made for a loud, partisan crowd in an area that has been thirsty for non-gaming family entertainment for years. On Sunday, the Golden Knights generated a number of quality opportunities off the rush in the first period, leading a coup against the Kings, whose five games in eight days didn’t provide for tip-top individual performances.

Jeff Bottari/NHLI

There were silver linings to emerge as Los Angeles was eventually able to gain some lift from its performance. Nic Dowd’s line played with regular offensive zone time while the team was struggling in the territorial battle over the first half of the game. For the second straight game, Dowd was making plays along the wall in attacking territory and successful in establishing a forecheck that wasn’t universally applied across all four lines. Darcy Kuemper got a heavy workload in over the weekend and didn’t allow a single goal, allowing for the team to put itself in position to tie a game in which it trailed, 3-0. He turned aside a 20-shot second period onslaught. Alec Martinez has been playing a bit too much in his defensive zone and is yet to cash in offensively at the same rates as recent years, but with five more blocked shots, he moved into a first-place league tie in that category. It’s not necessarily a good thing to block that many shots, because it means you’re playing too much in the defensive end. Last night’s game brought Los Angeles’ possession rates into the red, and the minus-17 five-on-five shot attempt differential was the team’s widest discrepancy of the season, but Martinez does have a successful technique to his shot-blocking approach, and the willingness to throw himself regularly into pucks. Monday’s off-day comes at an appropriate time.

Jeff Bottari/NHLI

-Lead photo via Jeff Bottari/NHLI

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Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

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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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Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.
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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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