Waking up with the Kings: November 1 - LA Kings Insider

So what is there to say? It’s 11 games into the season, the Kings are short three major impact players, and they ended a three-games-in-four-nights road stretch against a well-rested, high paced team that has a tendency to show opponents no mercy when entering their arena under any type of impediment. The Kings were smoothing out some personnel kinks even when grinding out a 6-0-0 homestand and with Anze Kopitar in the lineup; now, with one of the team’s pillars unavailable, and on the road against a pair of teams improved from last season in Pittsburgh and Detroit, its tough sleddin’. Points in October count the same as points in March – and the personnel-depleted Kings are on pace for 104 points despite the unbalanced home/road schedule – but there’s no point in sounding any meaningful alarm over a mini-losing streak until this team is back or near its full complement of impact players. But hey, let’s talk Kings-Wings.

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 31: Justin Abdelkader #8 of the Detroit Red Wings sets up in front of Jonathan Quick #32 and Robyn Regehr #44 of the Los Angeles Kings during a NHL game on October 31, 2014 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. The Wings defeated

I’m always left scratching my head whenever I hear a player say following a rough start to a game that the team “wasn’t prepared,” “didn’t come prepared to play,” etc. It’s probably something we shouldn’t put much stock into, equatable to the saying “we need to bear down”; i.e. “we had a shortcoming in one facet of our game and I’m sorry but I’m not able to quickly rationalize it for you.” It’s more or less a post-game conversational crutch, and it has popped up following three road first periods in which the Kings have been outscored 8-1. You’d think that a team featuring the same core of players that has won two of the last three Stanley Cups wouldn’t have an issue with game preparation. In any event, Detroit swarmed Los Angeles through the first 20 minutes (err, 18 minutes and eight seconds, thanks to the momentum-absorbing pane of glass that broke) and caused the visitors to chase the play and start the game in a major hole. The Red Wings’ power play was excellent in the first period last night, and that crisp puck movement that set up the Henrik Zetterberg touch pass to Gustav Nyquist for the one-timer and one-nothing lead was some sexy hockey. For a team that moves the puck up and down the ice pretty quickly, the Wings also had a very good pace to their in-zone power play set up.

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 31: Dwight King #74 of the Los Angeles Kings and Niklas Kronwall #55 of the Detroit Red Wings battle in the corner in the second period during a NHL game on October 31, 2014 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. (Dave Reginek/NHLI

And, hey! The Kings still had a chance to sneak out of the Joe with something meaningful after a gutsy Alec Martinez effort to get the team on the scoreboard, followed by Tyler Toffoli’s league-leading third shorthanded goal on a play in which he set the wheels in motion by creating a turnover behind the Wings’ net. Los Angeles had the rare opportunity to score twice on one penalty kill when Dustin Brown was tripped up on a breakaway, though Jimmy Howard denied his five-hole attempt on the ensuing penalty shot. It’s not a surprise given the way the Kings tend to wear teams down, but good on them for providing a pivotal moment of a game in the third period following a four-goal deficit after 20 minutes. It doesn’t necessarily show it in the box score, but Brown was awfully involved throughout the game and was deserving of some points for his work. Personally speaking, Trevor Lewis’ return to the lineup couldn’t have gone much better; he was perfect in his 89 seconds of shorthanded time, issued four hits and earned an assist and a plus-one rating when he helped set up Martinez’s goal.

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 31: Dustin Brown #23 of the Los Angeles Kings is awarded a penalty shot in the third period by referee Paul Devorski #10 during a NHL game against the Detroit Red Wings on October 31, 2014 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. The

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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.