Waking up with the Kings: February 17 - LA Kings Insider

Had the LA Kings lost, 2-1, many would have been ready to accept the outcome without grand objection in the aftermath of an otherwise satisfactory effort that was short on detail and contained lapses with the Boston Bruins’ top players on the ice. A hard-fought, injury-affected loss to a good team would have been the latest underwhelming episode but nothing too emblematic of larger themes or any sort of nadir or seasonal footnote. The game would’ve been easily forgotten. But the final four minutes of a previously tied game resulted in collapse, beginning with a late Kings power play in which the only statistical events were a Patrice Bergeron faceoff win against Anze Kopitar, a Zdeno Chara takeaway, and a Brendan Leipsic giveaway. Two minutes of five-on-four with the game on the line, no shot attempts. Boston struck a decisive win on the ensuing shift as Charlie McAvoy, who like Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron seems to be at his best against Los Angeles, capitalized on a deflection off Kopitar, setting up a goal 50 seconds later in which a defense-less Kings team was caught slow-footed and reaching, if we are to be so diplomatic, adding discombobulated punctuation to an incomplete performance.

Adam Pantozzi/NHLI

There’s little to add; this season’s story has essentially been written. Apart from what happens at the trade deadline and how younger players establish themselves in advance of 2019-20, the post-game questions, the players in focus and the themes of the season are familiar in defeat. Some details change – last night was actually the first time in seven games in which the Kings failed to score three goals, a scoring spike driven in significant part through production of role players, Tyler Toffoli and Kopitar, who despite his off-night Saturday has been a point-a-game player on the league’s second-lowest scoring team over the last 16 games. The players are embarrassed. They’ve said so both privately and with microphones running. That embarrassment, weighing acutely on the players falling short of their marks, hasn’t channeled into the best body language or juju, save for the life Ilya Kovalchuk injects into the game when he scores.

Adam Pantozzi/NHLI

Kings fans unattached to the idea of Jake Muzzin winning a second Stanley Cup (which would be both terrific and somewhat costly) are probably going to be Bruins fans come April. Tampa Bay is too far ahead in the Atlantic Division, Montreal not the caliber of team Toronto or Boston is. There’s a significant swing in where the Kings’ second first round pick could land, so if you’re capable of holding your nose and supporting a Boston team, there’s probably going to be incentive to give them a follow this spring. Those blind to all but draft lottery odds would be content with Saturday’s loss, a zero-point defeat in which the Bruins leapfrogged the Maple Leafs into home ice advantage. It’s not the playoff race the Kings were hoping to be invested in.

Adam Pantozzi/NHLI

–Lead photo via Adam Pantozzi/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

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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