Tag Archives: Montreal Canadiens

The champagne and confetti were shelved at the Staples Center on Sunday

The champagne and confetti were shelved at the Staples Center on Sunday when the LA Kings had their long awaited trip to the Stanley Cup Finals stalled after a 2-0 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes.

The Kings have so far made only one appearance in the Stanley Cup Championship Series since their debut in 1967. In 1993, Los Angeles, coached by Barry Melrose and led by legendary player Wayne Gretzky, entered the final quest for the Cup against the Montreal Canadiens. The Kings won the first of five games but went on to lose the next four, conceding the Cup to Montreal. They have never won a Stanley Cup in their 41 year history.

Doan had two goals, Mike Smith made 36 saves in his third playoff shutout, and the Coyotes emphatically avoided playoff elimination with a 2-0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals on Sunday.

Ray Whitney and Antoine Vermette had assists for the Coyotes, who escaped a series sweep by snapping the eighth-seeded Kings’ eight-game winning streak in front of long-suffering fans denied the chance to celebrate Los Angeles’ first berth in the Stanley Cup finals since 1993.

Phoenix was better from the opening faceoff, dominating an opponent that had been on an 11-1 run through the postseason. Doan scored on a power play in the first period and on a deflected shot in the second, silencing the crowd at the Kings’ first loss since April 18.

Los Angeles, which had a 10-5 advantage in shots on goal in the first period, began the second period undaunted by its one-goal deficit. Lewis had the first big chance, skating to the front of the net, where his backhand beat Smith but went off the post. Shortly thereafter, Drew Doughty ripped a shot from the point that Smith saved, and then barely got his glove to the rebound before Anze Kopitar could punch in an equalizer.

The third period was more of the same for the Kings, who pulled goaltender Jonathan Quick for an extra attacker in the final minutes but could produce no magic. Quick finished with 19 saves.
Entering the post-season as an eighth seed, the Kings beat the top seeded Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the playoffs then the second seeded St Louis Blues in the second then won the first three against the Coyotes. The Kings are 2-for-23 on the power play in the series after Sunday’s 0-for-6 performance.

The Kings are surely the class of the West and the biggest surprise of the playoffs. But let’s not crown them just yet. Assuming they get past Phoenix, they still have to face either New York Rangers or the New Jersey Devils – both tough, disciplined and well-coached squads with outstanding goaltending. The over-achieving Kings will meet their match.

Game 5 is is on right now in Phoenix. Los Angeles is 7-0 on the road in the playoffs.

Possible LA Kings moves for playoff run

The Los Angeles Kings currently sit in 7th place in the Western Conference with 60 points.  They are two points up on the 8th seed Minnesota Wild and 5 points back of the Chicago Blackhawks who currently occupy the 5th position in the conference.  At this point the Kings will be looking to at least maintain that 7th seed and in order to put themselves in position to do
that would be wise to make some moves prior to the NHL’s trading deadline which comes later this month on February 27th.

First, it should be noted that the Kings should definitely be adding players at the trading deadline.  They are in the thick of the playoff race and they will need to add some pieces if they want to catch the Chicago Blackhawks and have success in the playoffs once they get in the playoffs.  Anyone who has watched the Kings all season knows that this team needs an infusion of offense if they want to reach the
heights and goals they set at the beginning of the season.

There are several attractive options available to the Los Angeles Kings at this year’s deadline.  Which players would be the right fit for the Kings to make a second half push?  That is the question that the Kings front office will be analyzing in the weeks to come.
Let’s take a look at some of the players that will available and make the most sense for the Kings to acquire in our eyes.

Travis Moen – Montreal Canadiens

The Kings need depth and Moen would provide much needed help for a 3rd and 4th line that sorely need it.  Moen would also bring an intense attitude and dedicated work ethic which are the kinds of guys that can come on your team mid season and contribute right away.  Montreal is in somewhat of a rebuilding process so they probably will not be looking for much in return
for Moen.  Maybe a draft pick and amid-level prospect?  If that is the price tag then an acquisition on Moen is definitely worth it.

Drew Stafford – Buffalo Sabres

The Sabres have been a disappointment and Stafford along with some of his other teammates has been the brunt of criticism up in Buffalo.  Are the Sabres fed up enough to let a quality young players like Stafford go?  The Kings have no way of knowing this, but Stafford is more then worth kicking the tires on.  He would be a more long-term option then Moen and may just need a change of scenery to reach his potential.  He would take a more considerable package to acquire and we think that package would be worth the risk.

Tuomo Ruutu – Carolina Hurricanes

This is the guy that will directly address the Kings’ offensive woes.  He would likely be a
rental until the end of the year.  He is the type of player you look to acquire when you think your team can make a
serious run in the playoffs and you think he can be a final piece to the puzzle type guy.  He has had 20 plus goals the
past three seasons and will not have a huge price tag attached to him because the Hurricanes know he is likely gone this offseason and will most likely be looking to get anything they can get in return for him.

The stretch run of the season is always an exciting time for hockey fans.  Hopefully the Kings front office makes some moves to put this team into position to make a serious run come playoff time.  The acquisition of all or some of the players above combined with the development of the young players currently on the roster will go a long way to determining success or failure come playoff time.

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