Waking up with the Kings: April 29 - LA Kings Insider

Darryl Sutter is often asked during the regular season whether a tightly contested game had a “playoff feel.” He’s pretty quick to laugh at such suggestions, and for a good reason. There’s very little from the regular season that’s able to match the fear, intensity and explosion of nervous energy inherent in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and Monday night’s game tested every dimension of the emotional capacity of those in attendance. The Kings’ ransom? They’ll get to do it all over again on Wednesday. The season is reduced to one game, and with no carryover of momentum from game-to-game, per Darryl Sutter, what Los Angeles was able to accomplish over the past week has little bearing on a Game 7. The toughest challenge is yet to come.


Controversy! Game 6 was not without it. I can’t read the minds of the officials, but my interpretation of Justin Williams’ game-winning goal is that Rule 69.6 was not applied. Part of that rule states “In the event that a goalkeeper has been pushed into the net together with the puck by an attacking player after making a stop, the goal will be disallowed.” The goalkeeper was not pushed together with the puck into the net. Only the puck found the net, which leads me to believe that the rule could not be applied. Because referee Chris Lee announced to the crowd that “It’s not a reviewable play,” I’m led to believe that the contact was deemed more to be a judgment call over whether there was interference with the goaltender. That’s not reviewable, so the call on the ice must stand. There was no question as to whether there was an intent to blow, because there wasn’t – Lee appeared to see the puck the entire time.

Noah Graham / National Hockey League

The Kings etched out another strong start but led only 1-0 after 20 minutes. It was a first period similar to the one that produced a 2-0 lead in Game 5, but credit Alex Stalock for minimizing the damage and keeping the Sharks within striking distance. There were a pair of first period two-on-ones that the Kings were unable to capitalize on that ultimately didn’t matter because of the third period surge, though they certainly led to the rising blood pressure of those in attendance. Until San Jose’s late unraveling, Stalock was excellent.

San Jose Sharks v Los Angeles Kings - Game Six

Matt Irwin stepped into the series for the first time and played quite well. Known for his heavy shot, the well-built, two-way defenseman logged 18:43 of ice time and finished tied with a team-high four hits. There was one particular moment in the second period where he managed a gap well in the neutral zone and stepped up to eliminate the time a Kings puck carrier had while attempting to gain the offensive zone. He doesn’t have the foot speed or the dynamic all-around versatility that Marc Edouard-Vlasic has, but he’ll be more than serviceable if called on again and as a reliable “seventh” defenseman more than capable of providing quality minutes in a variety of situations.


Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar were the Kings’ best players in Game 6, and their extended 5-on-3 penalty kill with Willie Mitchell was outstanding. Key blocks by Mitchell and Doughty sustained the kill, and even though the Sharks scored shortly after a follow-up penalty kill on a dubious high sticking call against Doughty, the game’s trajectory would have changed greatly if not for the collective effort to kill off the two-man advantage. I’ll have an update on Mitchell from Toyota Sports Center today.


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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

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.

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.