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LA Kings Preview 2014-15 NHL Season

LA Kings TicketsThe Los Angeles Kings have become the perennial cup contender their fan base has long dreamed of by winning Lord Stanley’s trophy two of the past three years while having a core of players both in their prime and under contract for the foreseeable future.

General Manager, Dean Lombardi, has created a locker room of talented focused characters surrounded by an organization built on a foundation of accountability. He spoke to the team camaraderie at the victory parade rally this past June:

“The franchise has now evolved to another level.[The fans], myself and my staff are now super-charged by another motivating force. Simply stated, to watch this group of men make a commitment to themselves, as individuals, to be the best they can be, and most importantly, their commitment to each other, that touches all of our souls and transcends their sport.”

Dean has become a cap magician who is now emulated by other franchises. He has an uncanny ability to target players who possess “team first” DNA coupled with on-ice success. Yet, under the new cap of $69 million for the 2014-15 season, Lombardi has put together a complete 23 player roster signed at $68,791,894 1 with other teams like Chicago, mulling over tough decisions in order to balance their budget.

Tickets for la kings gamesThe Kings stand pat with nearly all of their 2013-14 teams returning to defend their title. They have core players such as Dustin Brown, Drew Doughty, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter locked up well through the latter part of the decade and last year’s spring addition of Marian Gaborik, has blossomed in to a 7-year cap friendly $4.875M.

Gaborik could have signed with other teams for bigger money but his chemistry with Anze Kopitar and his belief in the organization’s dedication to each other boasts that the Los Angeles Kings possesses the aptitude for continued success.

Jeff Carter paralleled his homecoming to Gaborik’s:

“You know what? The same thing happened for me when I came here. That’s what these guys do here. They teach you to do the right things, and I’m just proud to be a part of it.”

Though the path to Jeff Carter and the LA Kings first Stanley Cup Championship in 2012 had exalted such dominance; the journey of the 2014 Los Angeles Kings was a living testimonial of how perseverance and mental toughness are the bone and marrow of professional sports. Their resiliency forged broken and bruised bones into Stanley Cup silver.

They were the first team in NHL history to win three playoff games 7’s on the road.
They were crowned the ”Kings of California” by resurrection from an 0-3 series deficit against the San Jose Sharks- a fete only done by 3 other teams in NHL history- and by ousting the Anaheim Ducks in a 7-game display of back-and-forth offense.

Despite trailing 3-times, they took their prior playoffs season redemption against the Chicago Blackhawks by beating them in a thrilling overtime game 7.

In the Stanley Cup Final, they closed out 3 of their 4 wins in overtime against, all-world goaltender, Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers, to again, ascend to their throne.

They were able to muster enough perseverance and resolve to crown their Stanley Cup journey with
another Championship.

So what does that mean for the expectations of the 2014-15 Los Angeles Kings?

The expectation is not a secret. The Kings must defend their crown and become the first team in the cap era to win back-to-back championships. Unless you count them as back to back FULL-season Champions (get your shirt via royalhalf.com).

Joking aside…

There is no doubt that the Kings have proven that they are a franchise built for playoff success.
However, during the regular season, inconsistencies in play and scoring prowess are areas the Kings will want to improve on.

In the past three seasons, the Kings have finished 26th (2013-14), 10th (2013) and 29th (2011-12) in goals-for amongst 30 NHL teams. The re-emergence of Jeff Carter (27G, 23A) and the addition of Marian Gaborik bolster an already fearless offense of Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Justin Williams, Mike Richards, Trevor Lewis, Dwight King and their two budding rookies, Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson.

It’s hard to predict that adding a single player will nourish their regular season scoring drought, but despite sparse scoring how do they still manage to make the playoffs and bring two championships to the city of Los Angeles?

What gives, or better yet, what doesn’t give?

Their defense.

The reigning Jennings Trophy winners are a stingy team. Last year they allowed the league’s lowest average of 2.05 goals against per game.

Drew Doughty, Jake Muzzin, Slava Voynov, Matt Greene, Robyn Regehr (if healthy) and, Stanley Cup goal clincher, Alec Martinez, account for their defense. The loss of veteran blue-liner, Willie Mitchell, to cap space and ultimately free agency, is a point of interest or concern, depending how you want to interpret it.

Mitchell’s absence may provide the opportunity for young talent like 6’4 Brayden McNabb to crack the roster, or allow the Kings to option other players with more NHL experience such as Jeff Schultz (re-signed) to fill in for Regehr or in back to back game situations.

NHL LA Kings GoalieThe play of goaltender, Jonathan Quick, never ceases to amaze. Though his numbers in 2013-14 (2.07GAA, .915sv %) found him 14th in the league, there is no doubt that the confidence he has in the team in front of him is shared by his teammates. (Reminisce about unbelievable saves from 2013-14 NHL here courtesy of KingsVision).

Martin Jones showed that he is more than capable to back up Jon Quick, with his 7-game winning streak and .934sv% and 1.81 GAA in 19 games played.

Finally, at the helm is head coach Darryl Sutter with returning assistant coaches John Stevens, Davis Payne and goaltending coach, Bill Ranford. Multiple NHL teams inquired about John Stevens for a head coaching position, yet he decided to stay in LA. The belief in the system in place in Los Angeles has everybody drinking the water. It’s not a matter of luck or fortune. It’s about attitude and commitment.

I’m reminded of a quote from Darryl Sutter from 2012 when asked by a reporter whether the LA Kings were a team of ‘destiny’, where he replied, “What’s that?” The coach makes no excuses for what he sees transpire on the ice.

LA Kings NHLIn 2014-15, who knows what records will be broken, which players will become legends or if the Kings will hoist Lord Stanley even that much higher. I do know that with this Kings team, you have to expect the unexpected and that is another piece of their history, their armor.

The Kings season begins October 8, 2014 where they will raise their second banner and simultaneously pour salt in the open wound of the San Jose Sharks.

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Chris M.

LA Kings 2014 Stanley Cup Champions

LA Kings Stanley Cup Champions

KINGS WIN

Two years after winning their first Stanley Cup in forty-five years as a franchise, the Los Angeles Kings won their second title in three seasons, defeating the New York Rangers in double overtime, 3-2. Alec Martinez, who scored the winning overtime goal in game seven of the Western Conference Finals, beat Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist to give the Kings another title. Martinez’s goal, at 14:43 of the second overtime, came off of a rebound of a Tyler Toffoli shot. Toffoli’s shot was blocked by the Rangers goaltender, but the veteran Lundqvist gave up an easy rebound and Martinez slotted it into the empty net, setting of a raucous celebration at STAPLES Center.

Like they had so many times in the series the Kings fought back from a deficit to win the game in overtime, their third overtime victory of the series. Justin Williams opened the Kings scoring in the first period, but the Rangers fought back in the second period with a pair of goals, from Chris Kreider and Brian Boyle, to take the lead into the third period. With twelve minutes left in regulation Marian Gaborik notched his fourteenth goal of the playoffs to tie the game at two and set up the eventual overtime period. Gaborik’s goal, on a power play, was assisted by Jeff Carter and Drew Doughty.

Stanley Cup LA Kings

STANLEY CUP

The victory over the Rangers was the Kings twenty-sixth playoff game, an NHL record for most games played in single playoffs. Prior to dispatching the Rangers in five games the Kings went to seven games in their previous three series, versus San Jose, Anaheim and Chicago. The Kings have played sixty-four playoff games in the past three seasons, another NHL record. The third overtime victory, which followed an overtime win in game seven of the Western Conference Finals, proved once again that the Kings mettle in deciding games. Unlike the previous three the finals didn’t go seven games, but the Kings and Jonathan Quick stood tall again.

Quick, who went through some stretches of poor play in this year’s playoffs, was superb once again with the game on the line. Quick made 28 saves including several clutch stops in the third period and overtime. The Kings star goalie may have had some rough moments earlier in the finals, but he was perfect in all three overtimes, including a shutout in game three.

2014 LA Kings Stanley Cup

LA KINGS

The Kings title was a complete team effort, with the Conn Smythe Award as playoff MVP going to Kings forward Justin Williams who scored several clutch goals in the postseason, including the opener in game five, his ninth of the postseason. Williams finished with 7 points and 5 goals in the finals, and 26 total points in the playoffs. Williams joins Jonathan Quick has a Los Angeles Kings Conn Smythe Award winner. Williams narrowly edged out defenseman Drew Doughty, who played forty-one minutes in the final game. Doughty and center Jeff Carter joined a small group of players who won both an Olympic Gold Medal and Stanley Cup championship in the same season.

Stanley Cup game 5

GAME 5 KINGS VS RANGERS STANLEY CUP

Kings Vs Rangers Stanley Cup

FACE OFF LA KINGS VS RANGERS

LA Kings Jonathan Quick

QUICK PASSING THE RANGERS TEAM

Chris M.

Kings Vs Rangers Stanley Cup Preview

Kings Vs Rangers Tickets

KINGS VS RANGERS

After defeating the Chicago Blackhawks in one of the entertaining Western Conference Finals in years, the Los Angeles Kings have advanced to their second Stanley Cup Finals in three seasons. The Kings will face the New York Rangers, who upset the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round and then defeated Montreal to reach their first Stanley Cup Final in twenty years. By virtue of a better regular season record the Kings will have home ice advantage, hosting the opening game at STAPLES Center on Wednesday night. Here are some key factors to watch in this year’s Stanley Cup Finals:

The Doughty Factor: While Ryan McDonaugh of the Rangers has put himself in the conversation of the top defenders in hockey, the most dominant defenseman in this year’s playoffs is Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings. Doughty was the top defenseman in this year’s Sochi Olympic Games, winning a gold medal for Canada, and he’ll have an opportunity to pull off the Gold Medal/Stanley Cup title if the Kings can defeat the Rangers. Doughty is a leading candidate for this year’s Conn Smythe Award as the top playoff performer. A true two-way star, Doughty can dominate a game both offensively and defensively. Like all great players, he’s known for scoring big goals at critical times. In 21 postseason games, Doughty has 16 points. Doughty has formed a winning combination with second-year player Jake Muzzin.

King Henrik: It’s unusual for Jonathan Quick to be seen as the lesser goalie in a playoff series, but that’s the case in this year’s finals. While Quick has played well overall in this year’s playoffs, he’s had his ups and downs at times, including several stretches of rough play versus the Blackhawks. While Quick’s overall numbers don’t compare to his epic stats in the Kings 2012 title run, he’s helped the team go 7-0 in elimination games this playoffs. Quick opposite number, Henrik Lundqvist, has added to his legend with an outstanding playoff performance thus far. In twenty games this postseason Lundqvist has a 2.03 goals against average and a .928 save percentage. Like he has his entire career, Lundqvist has been a dominant force in net. The Kings will have the firepower advantage in the series, but Lundqvist can be the great equalizer, with the ability to steal games. If Quick can match the Rangers goalie shot for shot the Kings will be in good shape.

Kings Vs Rangers Tickets

KINGS VS RANGERS

Home Ice Advantage: The Kings will have the rare luxury of home ice advantage versus the Rangers, something they didn’t have during their 2012 run or during this year’s run. While they haven’t been dominant at STAPLES Center at times, witness two losses versus Anaheim in the second round and a loss to Chicago in game six, the Kings will have the advantage of a boisterous home crowd to set the tone. The Kings home ice advantage may offset the additional amount of rest the Rangers have after eliminating Montreal in six games. When New York visits the STAPLES Center on Wednesday they will have had three extra rest. Of course additional rest doesn’t necessarily translate to quick starts. If Los Angeles can start quick and win two at home they’ll be in a good position to shorten the series with a win in New York in game three.

Marian Gaborik: While the rest of the Kings team struggled at times in the opening round versus San Jose and the first few games versus Anaheim, the Kings were receiving a dominant performance from veteran Marian Gaborik who they acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets at the trade deadline. Gaborik spent a handful of years in New York as a Ranger before he was dealt to Columbus as part of the Rick Nash trade. The finals will give Gaborik a chance to win his first cup, while exacting some revenge on his former team. Gaborik has formed a dynamic partnership with Anze Kopitar this postseason. Kopitar, Jeff Carter and Gaborik are three of the top four scorers in this years postseason, indicative of just how dominant the Kings offense has been at times.

So who wins? The Kings have shown an extraordinary amount of mental toughness in overcoming deficits to win all three series, with game seven victories on the road in all three games. Offensively they’ve had an extra gear this postseason, becoming a truly dynamic offense. Los Angeles has an advantage over the Rangers in every facet of the game other than goaltending. While Henrik Lundqvist has an advantage in goal, Jonathan Quick can dominate games when playing up to his potential. The Rangers have made a nice run, but it’s been in the weaker Eastern Conference. Their victory over Montreal in the Eastern finals was helped greatly by the Carey Price injury. The Kings are simply the better team.

Kings in 5.

Los Angeles Kings Tickets

LOS ANGELES KINGS TICKETS

You can purchase LA Kings Tickets for all home and away games! All Kings Tickets come with our 100% guarantee to be authentic and delivered to you on time! With an office next to the Staples Center you can even go just minutes before the game starts and pick up or purchase Kings Tickets.

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BARRY’S TICKETS

Barry’s Tickets is located just minutes from Staples Center!
1020 S. Figueroa, Los Angeles, CA 90015
(across from the Staples Center inside the Luxe City Center)
Open 7 days a week, 9am – 9pm, for pickups.
213 749 0057

BY: Chris M.

Los Angeles Kings reach Stanley Cup Final

Kings on way to Stanley Cup

Kings on way to Stanley Cup

Dustin Penner scored 17:42 into overtime Tuesday and the Los Angeles Kings are headed to the Stanley Cup Final for the second time as a franchise. Jonathan Quick made 38 saves for the Kings and Smith had 47 stops.

The Kings beat the Phoenix Coyotes 4-3 in Game 5 of the Western Conference final series.

Los Angeles took the best-of-seven series 4-1 and won its record 10th consecutive road playoff game, including two last year.

The Kings are waiting to see if they will face the Rangers or the Devils for the Stanley Cup.

The Kings Staples Center dates will be June 4th, June 6th and if necessary June 11th.

You can purchase Kings Stanley Cup Tickets now.

(Photo by Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

New York Rangers NHL Preseason Scrimmages

The New York Rangers are sweating it out for the season. They are fresh and just into their third day of training, pucks are flying left, right and center. Here are some of the highlights from their training sessions.

The Rangers have been training hard this week, working on some drills, pairing up with their teammates and playing a couple of scrimmages. The first of the scrimmages saw the team split into Team Red and Team Green.

The lineup:

The Green Squad had Sean Avery, Mats Zuccarello, Artem Anisimov, Dan Girardi, Marc Staal (late scratch) and Mike Rupp with Marty Biron in the goal. On the other side, forming the Red Team were Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, Michael Del Zotto, Wojtek Wolski and Steve Eminger, with Chad Johnson and Jason Missiaen tending the goal post.

The Scrimmage:

To put it in a nutshell, the Reds defeated the Greens 4-2. The win was certain when two goals came from Wojtek Wolski. Marian Gaborik and Weise brought home the other two goals. For the greens much of the action came from John Mitchel, the last year’s trade-deadline acquisition from the Toronto Maple Leafs.

There were a few injuries too. The key defenseman from the team, Marc Staal, is staying away from the scrimmages due to minor injuries. The good news is that you will not miss him in action for the season opener. Michael Sauer, again on the defense front is also staying away from the practices for the third day due to knee tendinitis. Due to a shoulder injury, Brandon Prust also stayed away the third day of practice.

Though injuries become a concern before the season, it is good to see that the New York Rangers are taking precautions when it comes to their key players.

This should be helpful in the long run, hopefully. Anyway, now we are looking forward to the season to catch the New York Rangers in action!

Get your New York Rangers season tickets here.