Tag Archives: Jack Johnson

LA Kings shortend 2013 season preview

Los Angeles Kings

Los Angeles Kings

Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr have made their peace, the embarrassing lockout is over and hockey is finally back. The NHL will now squeeze a forty-eight games season and a complete playoffs into the next six months. The Kings, who barely squeaked into the postseason and then went on a dominant run to win their first Stanley Cup are uniquely positioned for a quick start. This truncated season will reward teams that can start quickly. They’ll be no preseason games so teams that return the core of their roster from the previous year should be strongly positioned to get out of the gates quickly.
Of course repeating as Stanley Cup Champion is harder than winning it in the first place, at least in the modern and more parity-filled NHL. The days of the Edmonton Oilers and Pittsburgh Penguins winning multiple titles in a row are long gone, with the Detroit Red Wings being the last to repeat nearly fifteen years ago. The Kings will also have the clichéd target on their back as they go from plucky eighth seed getting hot at the right time to defending champion. Still the entire core returns from last season save the retirement of role player Ethan Moreau, so the Kings should be primed for a quick start.

Here’s a rundown of the roster.

Goaltending: In Jonathon Quick the Kings have one of the youngest and most talented netminders in the NHL. The team smartly rewarded last year’s Conn Smythe winner with a ten-year $58 million dollar contract. Quick gives the club great stability and a player who should be a perennial Vezina Trophy candidate. For insurance they have the very talented former first round draft pick Jonathan Bernier to back up Quick. If the team chooses to keep the talented Bernier they have an outstanding backup with a career 2.50 Goals Against. If they choose to trade Bernier they have a tremendous chip to bring instant help in others areas or talented prospects. It’s an excellent position to be in. Considering the quick start to the season and the potential for back to backs due to the shortened schedule the Kings may be smart to hold onto Bernier as an option at the trade deadline.

Defense: Although seen as risky at the time the Jack Johnson trade turned out to be the right move and didn’t have an adverse effect on the club’s defensive core. Drew Doughty started slow following his contract dispute but still played a heavy volume of minutes and had a strong regular season. Doughty’s commanding playoff performance cemented his position as one of the top defensemen in the league and a future perennial Norris Trophy candidate. Rob Scuderi is a capable veteran and a sold partner for Doughty. In Willie Mitchell the Kings have a steady veteran along the lines of Scuderi. Mitchell teamed up well with Slava Voynov last year and they should again be a consistent second unit behind Doughty/Scuderi. With everyone back there’s no reason Quick and the defensive corps shouldn’t continue to lead a club near the top of the NHL in goals against.

Forwards: Make no mistake the defense and goaltending carried the Kings to the 8th playoff spot with the offense kicking in during the playoffs. After a fairly pedestrian regular season the line of Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown and Justin Williams exploded in the postseason with Williams scoring twenty points in twenty games. Due to injury the club will be without Kopitar for three to four weeks to start the season. The more high profile but less productive line of Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Dustin Penner could be in for a big season. Richards had an up and down regular season but has been a consistent 75 to 80 point scorer during his career. He flourished in tandem with Carter in the playoffs and there’s no reason that can’t continue. For all his talent and sheer size and athleticism Dustin Penner has been an enigma during the regular season. If his strong playoff performance can carry on into the regular season the Richards line has the ability to be elite. The third line Jarrett Stoll, Trevor Lewis and Simon Gagne is a nice mix of young talent and veteran leadership.

Prediction: Typically a championship team with every player back is the bonafide preseason favorite to repeat. So the big question: are the Kings a legitimate power that will continue their ascent or did they capture lightning in a bottle? A lot of things went right for the club in the postseason. Quick is an elite goaltender but it’s hard to imagine him repeating his utter dominance of last season. And can the Kopitar line continue to produce like they did in the playoffs? The rapid fire season will be a test of the Kings depth and resolve. They are equipped for the long haul and should be a contender for a top three spot in the west. Come playoff time, anything can happen.

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Coyotes 5 Kings 4

COYOTES 5, KINGS 4 (SO): Ray Whitney and Mikkel Boedker scored in the shootout as host Phoenix overcame a 3-0 deficit to move into a first-place tie with the San Jose Sharks.

Whitney opened the shootout with a goal and Dustin Brown briefly leveled it in the second round. Boedker then used a backhand to beat Jonathan Quick before Jack Johnson’s attempt sailed wide right.

Radim Vrbata had two goals and an assist and Shane Doan scored twice to help Phoenix win its sixth in a row at home and improve to 8-0-1 overall in February.

Vrbata leveled the score with 2:27 left in regulation on the Coyotes’ third power-play goal of the night with his team-best 30th of the season. Vrbata has seven goals and five assists his past nine games.

The scoring-challenged Kings, who were coming off back-to-back shutouts, exploded for three goals in the first 15 minutes. Drew Doughty, Andrei Loktionov and Brown all got in the scoring act against goaltender Mike Smith.

The Coyotes clawed their way back in the second, taking advantage of penalties for a pair of power-play goals. Vrbata scored 50 seconds into the frame and Doan followed suit five minutes later with a wrist shot from close range to cut it to 3-2.

Williams converted a power-play tally of his own midway through the second before Doan was at it again, scoring from nearly the same spot to make it a one-goal contest.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Kings forward Jarret Stoll returned to the lineup after missing four games with a lower-body injury. … Los Angeles forward Kyle Clifford was sent to the locker room with a five-minute major for crosschecking Keith Yandle midway through the third, leading to Vrbata’s tying goal. … Smith is unbeaten in his last eight starts.

Upcoming Games – The Coyotes will play Vancouver which was rescheduled from 02/13/2012 at the Jobing.com Arena.

The Los Angeles Kings will face the Chicago Blackhawks on Sat Jan 25th at the Staples Center. Tickets for the Blackhawks Vs Kings are onsale now.

Phoenix 1 Coyotes – Los Angeles Kings 0 Staples Center

COYOTES 1, KINGS 0:
Thursday, February 16, 2012 7:30 PM

Mike Smith recorded his second straight shutout by turning aside all 28 shots he faced and Radim Vrbata matched a career high with his 27th goal of the season as the Phoenix Coyotes  edged the Los Angeles Kings in a physical battle at the Staples Center.

With the victory, the Coyotes improved to 7-1-1 in their last nine games and pulled even with the Kings for seventh place in the Western Conference. The pair is just four points behind the Pacific Division-leading San Jose Sharks.

The NHL’s First Star of the Week, Smith responded from his 38-save effort in a shutout of the Chicago Blackhawks by handcuffing the Kings.

Smith secured his fourth blanking of the season and 15th career by stopping 11 shots in the first period, eight in the second and nine in the third. Smith also improved to 7-2-1 in his career versus Los Angeles.

Vrbata finally broke through after Kings defenseman Jack Johnson was serving a delay of game penalty.

With 4:01 left in the second period, Vrbata accepted a cross-ice feed from Ray Whitney and wired a shot from the right faceoff circle past All-Star Jonathan Quick. The tally was Vrbata’s fifth in nine contests.

Quick finished with 20 saves for the Kings, who fell to 2-4-1 in their last seven games.

GAME NOTEBOOK: The teams waged a physical battle in the first period, with three fights and two roughing penalties to highlight a scoreless session. … Whitney, who saw his eight-game point streak come to an end in the team’s last contest, had an assist on Vrbata’s goal.

Looking for Kings Tickets? We have tickets for the LA Kings entire season at home at the Staples Center or on the road. You can purchase Flames Vs Kings Tickets now for their February 18th showdown at the Staples Center.

We also stock Ducks Tickets for all home and away games. We have great seats and great prices for Blackhawks Vs Ducks this Saturday at the Honda Center.

Recap LA Kings 4 Dallas Stars 2

Los Angeles 4, Dallas 2
Sunday, February 12, 2012 6:00 PM

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Rookies Jordan Nolan and Dwight King scored their first NHL goals and the Los
Angeles Kings ended their season-long road trip on a high-note with a 4-2 win
over the Dallas Stars on Sunday.

Justin Williams secured the win by scoring his 11th goal of the season into
an empty net to help the Kings go 2-3-1 on their trip.

Nolan, playing in just his second career game, one-timed a no-look backhand
pass from Mike Richards behind the net at 11:29 of the third period that stood
as the game-winner.

Earlier in the third, Michael Ryder scored his 21st of the season to pull
Dallas even at 2-2.

Andrei Loktionov gave the Kings a 2-0 lead with a power-play tally at 8:21 of
the middle frame when he redirected a Jack Johnson point shot. It was his second
goal in as many nights.
Loui Eriksson put the Stars on the board with his 18th of the season at 13:22
of the second period when he tapped in an Alex Goligoski pass. It was Eriksson’s
first goal in 10 games.

King, playing in his eighth NHL contest, scored at 8:54 of the first period
when he buried a rebound off a Justin Williams shot after Anze Kopitar forced a
turnover behind the net to start the play.

Stars Vs Kings Tickets sold out for the Sunday match up.  The Kings return back to
the Los Angeles Staples Center on Feb 16th to face the Phoenix Coyotes. You can purchase
Coyotes Vs Kings Tickets today.