Waking up with the Kings: March 6 - LA Kings Insider

There just wasn’t much of anything Tuesday night at Staples Center – not much juice, or any juju or fortune, and there certainly wasn’t a steady stream of scoring chances directed at either net. After their cathartic offensive outburst was sparked in a fun and sloppy defensive outing on Saturday, they crash landed 3:11 into the ensuing game when Philip Danault beat Anze Kopitar off a faceoff, resulting in a deft, bang-bang Brendan Gallagher deflection of a Victor Mete shot. This was the type of game in which Danault was among the most notable players, and that’s not a complement to its aesthetic appeal. Los Angeles lost important moments, falling behind 1-0 before registering their first shot on goal and holding Montreal without a shot for the first 10 minutes of the second period, only to yield an insurance goal on their first shot after a pair of Sean Walker and Dion Phaneuf turnovers. The Canadiens were never out of control of this game and effectively channeled danger away from Carey Price, who didn’t have to exert himself particularly strenuously until the third period push when the Kings trailed 3-0 and 3-1. This team will not win hockey games without fully invested efforts from the entire lineup, a point in which Tuesday’s game serves as a pretty good example.

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

At some point there’s got to be a deviation from the types of minutes allotted to several younger players. There also needs to be accountability in their play, and these players will have to learn how to play The Right Way and with the detail consistently necessary to hold important spots in NHL lineup against other good players who’ve also earned the rights to those roles. Recreating this team and strengthening its culture also means ensuring there are no shortcuts or lapses in approach, preparation and work ethic. But was there something inherently wrong in Matt Luff’s play that he was held off the ice for nearly eight minutes between the end of the first period and the beginning of the second? His personal 1.06 GF/60 is tied for 49th in the league among qualified players and the team fell 16 points out of a playoff spot, so wouldn’t this be the time to boost his minutes past the 7:06 he received against Montreal? Walker was pushed back territorially through the night to a greater degree than any other King but still received 18 minutes. There have been sometimes veiled, sometimes more direct assessments of Luff’s work ethic and approach, which has room to improve as a 21-year-old second-year player and late bloomer. As recently as Sunday, Mike Stothers had said that his absence from a late-game Ontario power play was because “Luffer needed an attitude adjustment.” Firming his professional approach will be paramount in cultivating and enhancing his skill, but what’s the motivation to withhold him if he’s a 21-year-old on the active roster of a non-playoff team? Who ahead of him went out of their way to earn their minutes on Tuesday?

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

–Lead photo via Andrew D. Bernstein/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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