How Thursday's loss affects Saturday's game prep - LA Kings Insider

The Los Angeles Kings were not at their best Thursday night. A simple glance at the scoresheet would indicate that and save one from the experience of having to watch the Minnesota Wild nurse a lead in a whistle-prolonged game that took two hours and 37 minutes to finish and featured 67 stoppages.

While all defeats are valued the same, when a loss isn’t your run of the mill we-played-well-but-still-lost Kings defeats, but rather one such as Thursday’s in which the team struggled to sustain an offensive rhythm and constructed a performance that was clearly a step behind the two wins that preceded it, is that loss treated any different? Is there a different approach that could help spur a stronger performance while acknowledging the team’s don’t-look-backward, park-and-ride mentality?

“I guess they’re all technically a little different, depending on what you play and what you think you can improve on from the game,” Dwight King said. “Like you said, it wasn’t a very good effort in a lot of areas. I think just what you take away is the areas you can work on, obviously – checking, neutral zone, things like that. There’s more than there usually would be in a game, so you’ve just got a little bit more time to process everything that needs to be improved.”

The Wild were effective in providing neutral zone pressure on Thursday, and considering the Kings’ next opponent is the Arizona Coyotes, a team that hasn’t been among the standout defensive teams over the last two years but still has a firm, hardworking identity and has been known to successfully check in the neutral zone, are there applicable aspects of Thursday’s game that can better prepare Los Angeles for Saturday night?

“[Minnesota] had a strong forecheck and neutral zone forecheck,” King said. “I think that’s what both [the Wild and Coyotes] generate a lot of their offense and a lot of their transition off of. … We watched a little bit [of video] today and know what we need to improve on. Minnesota has a little different personnel, so things change a little bit, but I think that’s also the strength of their game, so it’s something that you’ve got to prepare yourself for heading into tomorrow.”

Dwight King, on aspects of the team’s game that can be improved:
As far as divisional games, playing pretty hard defensively I think is obviously a big focus going on the road. You’re going to probably go through adversity – every team does throughout games – so just continue to work on our checking. Like I said Arizona’s obviously a transition team, so that’s an area that will take a little more focus tomorrow, and then as far as the [San Jose] game, we’ll approach it when we get there.

King, on opposing Jarret Stoll on the ice:
It was obviously different. The jerseys, even, from the start just before camp when he was out here in New York colors, obviously it’s a different look. But it’s good to see him playing well. I think he had a solid game for himself last night. Obviously you don’t want to lose, but you can be happy for a guy. Obviously a lot of us played with him and have been through a lot of moments together, so it was good to see him.

King, on what has stayed with him having experienced Stoll’s series-clinching goal against Vancouver from ice level:
I don’t want to call it surprise, but the excitement in his eyes after he had seen it go in. I’m sure you guys have all seen a still shot picture of it, how wide they are, and the excitement coming out of him. That’s a big moment he’ll never forget, I’m sure.

Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
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.
VIEW ADRIAN KEMPE POSTS

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.
VIEW ALEX IAFALLO POSTS

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.

VIEW ANZE KOPITAR POSTS
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.

VIEW DREW DOUGHTY POSTS
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.

VIEW JEFF CARTER POSTS
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.

VIEW JONATHAN QUICK POSTS