Waking up with the Kings: February 21 - LA Kings Insider

Coach John Stevens called the Kings’ 4-3 victory at the Winnipeg Jets “one of the better wins of the year.” The team was playing a back-to-back against a Jets squad that had lost just five games at home in regulation all season. Los Angeles got in late the night before from its win at the Chicago Blackhawks. The team also faced some in-game adversity, allowing the first goal before finding its game in the second and third periods. Essentially, there were a lot of difficult situations that could have prevented them from winning, but they still found a way to come out on top against one of the best teams in the NHL. The Kings finished their seven-game road-trip having won three games in a row and with a 4-3-0 record over the stretch. Overall, the trip didn’t ‘make’ the Kings season, but it also didn’t ‘break’ it and kept Los Angeles right in the thick of the playoff race. Also, they certainly appeared to be a better team at the end of the trip than when they started it, which is always the goal.

Jonathan Kozub/NHLI

Several players who had played big roles in recent contests continued to produce. Defenseman Alec Martinez picked up his third and fourth points in five games and showed why he is an under-the-radar power play weapon with his 10th and 11th points on the man-advanage. Martinez tied the game at 1-1 and later found defenseman Dion Phaneuf for Phaneuf’s third goal in four games with the Kings. Torrey Mitchell’s third period goal was his second in as many games as he continued to show versatility playing wing on a line with Adrian Kempe at center and Tanner Pearson on another wing. Goaltender Darcy Kuemper kept the Jets at bay in the first period, stopping 15 of 16 shots on goal and keeping the game within striking distance for the Kings until they found their rhythm. Though ‘secondary scoring’ was a big story of the trip, forward Dustin Brown, one of the team’s core members, notched the game-winner. The Kings allowed a late goal to Jets forward Patrik Laine, but their end-of-game faceoff execution was top notch for the second straight contest. Anze Kopitar won three straight faceoffs against Bryan Little, which killed a large chunk of clock, and effectively iced the win. The previous game at Chicago, Kopitar won a late draw against Jonathan Toews that also enabled a lot of clock to tick away. Overall, this wasn’t a formulaic ‘good road game’ coming off a back-to-back — getting a lead early and trying to hang on. Instead, the Kings took it to the Jets the last two periods, which in part is why this victory was so promising.

Lead photo via Darcy Finley/NHLI

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Jake Muzzin

#6 | 6′ 3″ | 216 lb | Age: 27

Born: Feb 21, 1989
Birthplace: Woodstock, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Left


Muzzin was drafted in 2007 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, before signing to the Kings in 2010. He has since become the first Woodstock, Ontario professional athlete to win a major sports trophy.

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.

Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

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


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.

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.