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Updated Jan. 31 at 11:48 a.m.
Points piling up
The Kings have earned points in six of their last eight games (5-2-1). That’s their best eight-game stretch since winning six of eight Oct. 16 through Nov. 2 this season. The Kings have also earned points in five of their last six on the road (4-1-1). That’s their best road stretch since going 6-1-1 in an eight-game stretch in 2005-06 (Dec. 6 to Dec. 31, 2005).
Updated Jan. 31 at 10:48 a.m.
I forgot to mention during the Kings-Ducks game on Thursday, director Jason Reitman was in attendance...I probably didn't mention that because I had yet to see Juno, but I crossed that one off my movie list this week and enjoyed it. Ellen Page was very funny, with a sarcastic sense of humor, just amazing in the flick. Speaking of Page and the reason I am blogging about Juno, in my Sports Illustrated this week, I read that Page has signed on to star in Drew Barrymore's directoral debut, a roller derby comedy called Whip It. I will probably see that one as I did go to one Derby Girls bout this past year and it was awesome. Check it out
Updated Jan. 31 at 9:48 a.m.
Observations from the All-Star Program
On page 104 of the Official 2008 NHL All-Star Program, next to the ad for Blue Man Group, which the Kings Insider has yet to see, though to be honest, I have seen Stomp a couple of times and when I was a kid I used to watch the Smurfs on the regular, so what am I missing?
Anyway, here is the description for Kopitar:
"The 20-year-old Kopitar will be making his first NHL All-Star appearance, the youngest of all the players participating in the game. To add to the excitement of playing in the YoungStars game last season, Kopitar was the first Los Angeles rookie since Luc Robitaille to reach 60 points. Kopitar leads the Kings with 40 points at the time of his selection, recording 10 multi-point games. '07-08 has been full of highs for Kopitar; on Dec. 6 he had a career-high four assists against Buffalo, which was part of a career-high eight-game scoring streak. Kopitar also recorded his 100th career point on Jan. 3 against Columbus and has seven power-play goals this season."
So there's that. Here are a few more observations:
Rick Nash, regarded as one of the premiere power forwards in the game, has his bio listed on the same page as Kopitar and Nash weighs two pounds less than Kopitar, 220-218.
There is a huge three-page spread on Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk and here is an interesting observation:
Rookie season: 29-22=51
Sophomore season: 38-29=67
Sophomore: 20-27=47 through 52 games (on pace for 31-42=73)
Not bad company.
Former King Wayne Gretzky was one of the answers in the word search and an action shot of Kopitar was used in the Ticketmaster Ad.
Finally, there is a very large section entitled Tommorrow's Superstars: NHL's Young Talent. The first player listed under the Western Conference, none other than Kings uber prospect, Jonathan Bernier.
Here is his bio: "Bernier was selected 11th overall by Los Angeles in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft for many reasons, but the main one may have been his ability to play in big games. In 2006-07 while playing for Lewiston of the Quebec Majoy Junior Hockey League, Bernier went 26-10-0 with a 2.58 GAA, but it was his performance throughout the playoffs that convinced many observers that the Kings may have just drafted themselves a franchise goaltender. SCOUT'S TAKE: Hybrid stand-up and butterfly goaltender with great reflexes...is very quick moving from post-to-post...tremendous puck-handling skills around the net...generally manages to keep a level head."
Updated Jan. 30 at 11:48 a.m.
Kings Extend Ivanans
After a little R and R on Monday, the Kings Insider contemplated blogging on Tuesday, but after strongly considering the idea, I decided not to and really just for one reason, I wanted the Alyssa Milano story at the top of the page! Nevertheless, the Kings extended Ivanans yesterday. Ironically, he got a new "dance partner" on Tuesday as well, as the Sharks traded for veteran enforcer Jody Shelley, from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Though one would assume that the Sharks move was made more for potential matchups with the Anaheim Ducks, the fact remains that the Kings have three games remaining with the Sharks, and San Jose cannot be happy that the Kings are 3-0 at the Shark Tank.
Updated Jan. 27 at 12:48 a.m. ET
Following the Western Conference's 8-7 loss to the East, the Kings Insider secured an invite from his boss, Luc Robitaille for dinner at the Thrive Restaurant, located a block from Philips Arena in Atlanta, Ga. Obviously, the Kings Insider accepted, or he would become the Kings Outsider...
Fast forward, we eat a "family style" meal of appetizers/portions of sushi, Roasted Portabello Bruschetta with Thyme & Italian Cheese, lamb (again), Duck (of course we dined on Duck), Halibut, Filet etc., a feast by any account. Anyway, not to name drop or anything, but as I mentioned before, Alyssa Milano showed up at this dinner...apparently, she and Luc Robitaille have been friends for years. Here is a quick blurb from her blog on NHL.com:
"Originally, Tony Danza used to have season tickets for the Los Angeles Kings, back in the day. And I used to go when he didn’t. But then, I wound up getting my own season tickets, and I have a brother who is 10 years younger than I am so he would come with me to some of the games.
He was big into all the players. I think some of the first games he ever attended, it was the year of Luc Robataille’s rookie season. And the Kings had Steve Duschene as well, and all these young guys eventually became his idols."
Anyway, so she is at this dinner. The Kings Insider had a few more duties to wrap up and I pulled out my lap top and began to do this at the dinner table. Ms. Milano of course commented on this, saying, "Impressive."
So yeah, I have that going for me.
Well that is all I have from Atlanta, I hope you enjoyed our coverage and some of these random thoughts in the Kings Blog. I have a 7:30 a.m. flight in the morning back to LAX so I wish you all a Good Night.
I said GOOD NIGHT!
Updated Jan. 27 at 8:48 p.m. ET
East 8, West 7
After trailing 5-1, the West got a hat trick from Rick Nash and scored six of the next seven goals to take a 7-6 lead in the third period, but the East came back with two late goals and Marc Savard with the goal with 20 seconds remaining to give the East the win.
Anze Kopitar finished the game going scoreless with two shots on net and a -3 plus/minus rating for the game. But Kopitar should not feel bad, Sidney Crosby also went scoreless in the 2007 All-Star Game, the first of his career and Wayne Gretzky, who made his first All-Star appearance at age 19 (like Crosby did last year) in 1980, also went scoreless in his debut.
Updated Jan. 27 at 7:15 p.m. ET
Update from the Game
Kopitar is playing on a line with Mike Ribeiro and Shawn Horcoff. Kopitar has eight shifts and one shot on goal, a redirect in the first 30 seconds he was on the ice. Through two periods, the West trails, 5-3, Rick Nash with two goals to lead the West. Alex Ovechkin with two for the East, which led 5-1.
Updated Jan. 27 at 3 p.m. ET
So the Kings Insider got up this morning and decided to get a work out in at the Hotel. While doing so, I thought it would be nice to have something to read while riding the bike...picked up the latest issue of Sports Illustrated and I read an article about the Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings, Mr. Perfect.
It was a good article and I got to thinking just how good Detroit teams have been lately. The Pistons have created a dynasty, the Tigers have to be preseason World Series favorites with the moves they made after last season. The Red Wings are, well, the Red Wings...though I guess they still have the Lions, who started 6-2 and somehow did not make the playoffs last season (I think they finished 7-9). Of course Kings Vision host, Heidi Androl was also born in Michigan and then I read that Miss Michigan Kirsten Haglund, a 19-year-old aspiring Broadway star, was crowned Miss America 2008 on Saturday. Here are some pics.
Updated Jan. 27 at 10 a.m. ET
An Interesting Second Prize
So this was not really at the All-Star game or even have to do with hockey, though ice is involved and since we have blogged about The Cutting Edge before, I figure figure skating is not off limits...so:
Eleven months after winning the junior world title, Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker won the senior pairs title Saturday at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. And the runner-up finish by a truly senior pair was followed by an on-ice proposal of marriage.
"I can't believe we're national champions!" said McLaughlin, 15, after she and Brubaker, 21, won the title by a comfortable point margin.
The day also brought a surprise for Rena Inoue after she and her skating partner of seven years, John Baldwin, completed their second-place performance. Baldwin proposed on bended knee. She broke into tears. The crowd cheered...more
Updated Jan. 26 at 10 p.m. ET
So here is what we have for tonight's events.
The League is starting off with some type of Obstacle course, in honor of the return of American Gladiators on NBC, I will refer to this as "The Eliminator."
Here are the teams:
The East will send out Jason Spezza, Marc Savard, Sergei Gonchar, Tim Thomas and Nitro vs. Henrik Sedin, Joe Thornton, Chris Pronger, Chris Osgood and Turbo in Round No. 1. Obviously the Gladiators are jokes. For Round No. 2, look for Evgeni Malkin, Mike Richards, Andrei Markov and Rick DiPietro vs. Corey Perry, Pavel Datsyuk, Ed Jovanovski and Evgeni Nabokov.
Event 1: The Eliminator
Here are the rules for the Eliminator, from NHL.com: There are two (2) rounds of the obstacle course and each round involves three (3) players and one (1) goalie per team.
- On the whistle, the first player starts with a puck from behind the net and proceeds to stick-handle the puck through a line of stationed (colored) pucks set up within the face-off circle. If the player loses control of the puck, he must still proceed to the edge of the face-off circle to complete his part of the course.
- When the first player touches the top of the face-off circle with his skate, the referee will blow the whistle for the second player to start.
- The second player is positioned outside the blue line at the face-off dot. On the referee’s whistle the player will attempt to make four (4) saucer passes over a barrier and into a net at the far side of the rink.
- When the fourth puck crosses the goal line of the net, the referee will blow the whistle to start the third player.
- The third player will be positioned just inside the blue line in front of the goal. Player One, positioned at the boards just inside the blue line, will make four (4) passes to Player Three who will attempt to one time the passes at a target in the net.
- When the fourth attempt passes the goal line, the referee will blow the whistle to start the last leg of the course.
- On the referees’ whistle the goalie will skate in front of the net between the hash marks. The goalie will receive four (4) passes from Player Three who has skated to the center of the face-off circle.
- The goalie will attempt to shoot each puck into the goal at the other end of the ice.
- The referee will blow the whistle as the fourth attempt crosses the goal line to stop the clock.
- Each relay team has forty-five (45) seconds to complete all elements of the relay.
I have no idea who won this, but I know that Kings Assistant GM Ron Hextall would have been good at it since the goaltenders had to shoot on the opposing net...here is a youtube clip of Hextall's first goal.
Don't know what to tell you, but somehow, the score is:
East 2, West 1
Event 2: Fastest Skater.
First of all let me squash any rumor that Apolo Anton Ohno will be competing. Not the case. Anze Kopitar, however, will. As will Duncan Keith and Shawn Horcoff for the West with Brian Campbell, Martin St. Louis and Ilya Kovalchuk for the East.
Quick story on Kopitar, they just announced the roster and introduced Kopitar as An-Zay , as opposed to AHN-jay KOH-pi-tahr. I think that presents a great nickname possibility for Kopy, "Z."
Winners: Keith, St. Louis and Horcoff. Kopy lost a close one.
This one, I know the score, the West won two of the three races, so they get two of three points...makes sense to me...
West 3, East 2
Event 3: Elimination Shootout.
This is not very complicated to explain, it is simply a shootout competition.
In Round No. 1, it is Marioan Hossa and Vincent Lecavalier shooting on Evgeni Nabakov, while Rick Nash and Dion Phaneuf will shoot on Tomas Vokoun.
In Round No. 2, look for Scott Gomez and Evgeni Malkin to shoot on Chris Osgood. I have to say that the league missed a great opportunity here, how is Evgeni Malkin not shooting on Evgeni Nabakov in the first annual Evgeni vs. Evgeni? Two Evgenies is always better than one! Winner keeps the name...anyway, back to the info. Mike Ribeiro and Marian Gaborik will shoot on Rick DiPietro, and if either score, they are automatically given a 15-year contract by Charles Wang.
Finally Round No. 3 consisting of Eric Staal and Kimmo Timonen shooting on former King Manny Legace. Corey Perry and Nicklas Lidstrom will then shoot on Tim Thomas. How Kopitar did not get selected for this event confuses me.
Nonetheless, the results: Phaneuf yes, the rest no, Gomez and Malkin yes, the rest no in round two, Timonen yes, the rest no in round three and Phaneuf yes in the elimination round, giving, somehow, four goals to the West, and three goals to the East.
Somehow, the score is West 4, East 3.
Event 4: YoungStars 3-on-3
If this was an episode of Friends, they would call it The One with Jack.
This will consist of two 20-minute periods of 3-on-3 hockey. Here are the rosters.
This I know, the East wins, 7-6, after leading 7-2, by the way, however, this means that the East is still losing for some reason.
West 5, East 4
Event 5: Shooting Accuracy
Shooting for the East is Tomas Kaberle, Eric Staal, Daniel Alfredsson and Marian Hossa. For the West it is Jason Arnott, Nicklas Lidstrom, Scott Niedermayer and Jarome Iginla.
This was really amazing and a turning point for the East. Tomas Kaberle hit four targets on four attempts, then hit 3 out of 4 on the next attempt and hit the tie-breaking winner as the East took the lead, 6-5.
East 6, West 5
Event 6: Hardest Shot
Alex Ovechkin, Vincent Lecavalier, Andrei Markov and Zdeno Chara for the East vs. Jason Arnott, Jarome Iginla, Dion Phaneuf and Chris Pronger for the West.
In the hardest shot, three from the East went 100 plus, and Zdeno Chara hit 103.1 MPH on his shot to win it for the East. I take back my earlier statement about Kopitar being called "Z," Chara is the Big Z, the only Z. Wow!
East 8, West 5
Event 7: Breakaway Challenge
This one will be cool and another one that Kopitar could have been really good at.
Here are the rules: Three (3) shooters and three (3) goalies per team with the shooters starting their routine from anywhere in the offensive zone with full access to the offensive zone, including behind the net. (NHL penalty shot rules do not apply.). A panel of celebrity judges evaluates each attempt and gives a score of one (1) to nine (9) possible points. Scoring is based on creativity, execution and ability to score. An additional point will be awarded for a goal for a maximum total of ten (10) points per shooter.
Sounds like the NBA's dunk contest. So Spud Webb and Nate Robinson are the favorites for this one. When I did a google search for "NHL's Smallest player," Darren Pang's name came up a lot, but I did not actually get a concrete answer to that question.
None the less, Martin St. Louis vs. Evgeni Nabokov for the East and Pavel Datsyuk shooting on Tomas Vokoun for the West. Next it is Ilya Kovalchuk vs. Manny Legace and Ryan Getzlaf shooting on Tim Thomas with Alex Ovechkin shooting on Chris Osgood and Marian Gaborik shooting on Rick Dipietro. I think the East will win this because of Ovechkin and St. Louis.
Here it was really, all or nothing. No one really stood out in their attempts, however, Alex Ovechkin's attempt at juggling pleased the crowd and the East got the point for a 9-5 win over the West.
East 9, West 5
The best part of this whole event, the celebrity judges! Dominique Wilkins, now an executive with the Atlanta Hawks, retired Thrashers captain Scott Mellanby, broadcaster Bill Clement, and actor Taylor Kitsch were the four selected to evaluate the creativity of the breakaway moves...Kitsh of course is from Friday Night Lights, a show about football, and Wilkins, AKA the Human Highlight film - one of the better nicknames of all time by the way - is a former NBAer with the Hawks. This was a stroke of genius, but provided some "unintentional" entertainment through out the event.
Good times, see you tomorrow.
Updated Jan. 26 at 12:45 p.m. ET
Jack Johnson quotes from YoungStars media day yesterday...
Q. The winner of the best handshake so far among all the Young Stars goes to Jack Johnson. I'm crippled for the rest of the weekend. But that's okay. You're coming off a big win, so you're pumped up. The kings are starting to turn a corner maybe. Do you feel like you've got it going in the right direction?
JACK JOHNSON: Yeah, we hope so. We've come off two big games against Detroit who we didn't win. And we had a good game against Anaheim last night. So we're looking to keep going. We've put together a few wins. So it seems that we're going in the right direction.
Q. You can imagine I've talked to guys about all the skill that's going to be on display during the Young Stars competition. Would you rather see a physical element to it?
JACK JOHNSON: I don't know. I think the skill level is what fans want to see right now. Obviously we all want to have a good time. We're all going to be out there playing pretty much a glorified hockey game.
Q. But there is a guy like Lucic and David Clarkson on the other side. So I think there is an interesting dynamic that could be presenting itself this year. What have you been able to work on? I know everybody was really focused on you last year because you got a handful of games in at the end. Was that important for you going through the summer and getting ready for this year?
JACK JOHNSON: Yeah, it was. I went from my last college game to 24 hours playing. I was able to spend all summer knowing what to prepare for and what it was like. Not having that unknown helped me a lot going into training camp.
Q. What are you looking forward to the most about the weekend?
JACK JOHNSON: Just being around some of the superstars in the league. Guys that I grew up watching and idolizing and trying to play like. I get to play in the Young Stars game here with a couple of my buddies.
Q. Namely Pat Kane, Eric Johnson, pat Mueller. Who are the guys you're looking forward to playing with, the guys that you were idolizing, you said?
JACK JOHNSON: Oh, just being in the locker room with guys like Scott Neidermeyer and Dion Phaneuf, and if Datsyuk and guys I watched in college. Being around those guys is going to be a real privilege.
Q. There are probably some guys in the east that you like even though they're not on your side?
JACK JOHNSON: Oh, yeah, definitely. They're the All-Stars.
Q. Disappointed Crosby's not here?
JACK JOHNSON: Understandable, but it's too bad he's not here. He deserves to be here. It's kind of too bad it's an All-Star Game without the best player in the league.
Q. What kind of expectations do you put on yourself in the second half of the season and where you're at so far?
JACK JOHNSON: Oh, it's just trying to get my full rookie season under my belt. Trying to learn as much as I can every day. You're usually out there against other team's top lines, so I'm trying to learn as much as I can to be as solid defensively as possible, and as reliable as I can for the coaches.
Q. You've had a lot of help, I would assume, from a guy like Rob Blake in that regard?
JACK JOHNSON: Definitely. He's been awesome for me on and off the ice with nonstop encouragement. Just a guy I've been able to talk to.
Updated Jan. 25 at 7:45 a.m. ET
I nearly forgot, Alyssa Milano stopped by our dinner and introduced herself. Not only did I nearly choke on a piece of bread, I was unable to speak the entire time she was there and could not muster a sound until about 30 minutes after her departure.
Updated Jan. 25 at 12:45 a.m. ET
Call Me Turtle
The Kings Insider, after completing his required tasks from the Kings/Ducks game on Thursday night, flew to Atlanta at 7 a.m. Friday morning (which means heading to LAX around 5 a.m.). Upon arrival in Atlanta, the Kings Insider grabbed a cab with the lovely Kings Vision host Heidi Androl and Kings Video editor Bryan Stratte, as well as a guy from the Kings marketing department.
We cabbed it to the Atlanta Hilton, where we were greeted with mass quantities of All-Star game paraphernalia, which included a sticker on our TV saying, "Don't Miss A Second of NHL All-Star Weekend." We won't! I am pumped by that sticker.
We met up with the legendary left winger and Kings President of Business Operations Luc Robitaille for a fantastic feast of Atlanta Grill Salad (consisting of Maytag Blue Cheese, Spiced Pecans and Red Grapes ) as well as a delicious Lamb main course at the Ritz Carlton. As a part of his entourage, we walked the red carpet and then went to the Wyclef Jean concert that opened the 2008 NHL All-Star Game.
We rocked out to "Gone Till November" as well as other Wyclef hits including that song with Shakira (though she was not in attendance.) Finally, the Kings Insider hopped a cab with Luc and Stratte for a ride back to the hotel to prepare for the festivities tomorrow.
More to come...stay tuned!
Updated Jan. 24 at 12:45 a.m.
The Kings Insider is home after that exciting Kings victory over the Ducks and is packing his bags for a trip to Atlanta to bring Kings fans the best coverage of Jack Johnson and Anze Kopitar as they participate in the big festivities.
Relaxing now, I have slipped on some Kings Fuzzy Slippers which I picked up at the Team LA store today and they feel amazing, I am walking on cotton candy.
Updated Jan. 24 at 12:15 a.m.
Quotes from the locker room
KINGS HEAD COACH MARC CRAWFORD:
(Re: game recap) “We were strong on loose pucks and it looked like we wanted the puck tonight. We got a contribution from throughout the lineup. When you get that type of contribution and everybody digs in , you end up having a good game and that was a good game for us.”
KINGS FORWARD DEREK ARMSTRONG:
(Re: game recap) “It’s nice, I think we’re learning as a team, which is the most important thing. The best part about tonight is we played a lot better in the third period. Lately we’ve been struggling with that. It was a great job by our defense and our penalty kill was great tonight. We blocked a lot of shots, which is important.”
KINGS FORWARD ANZE KOPITAR:
(Re: game recap) “We didn’t give them a lot of chances and the chances we had we put in the back of the net. That’s what wins games. Our penalty kill was great tonight…. We’re playing much better and I think everyone sees that. We aren’t giving up a lot of goals. We are limiting the chances we give up and we’re creating offense better than we did before.”
DUCKS HEAD COACH RANDY CARLYLE:
(Re: game recap/heading into All Star Break) “Obviously the break is something that’s on the schedule, so whatever time it comes hopefully it has a positive effect on your group once you come out of it. We haven’t had the level of execution that’s required to have success in the last three games, so we can utilize this time to reflect and do some evaluation and set out a plan to go forward after the break because we’ve got a difficult schedule coming.”
DUCKS DEFENSEMAN SCOTT NIEDERMAYER:
(Re: game recap) “I think you probably look at this game, and there were a few opportunities where maybe it could have played out differently. We didn’t play smart, and we really didn’t earn those things to turn it our way. Quite often that’s the way it is, if you’re out there earning those type of things they do go your way and tonight I don’t think we earned them and that’s why we didn’t get them.”
DUCKS GOALTENDER JEAN-SEBASTIAN GIGUERE:
(Re: game recap) “We haven’t played as good as we could have the last three games. At this time of the year it’s unacceptable. We need to be a little bit more desperate in these games.”
Updated Jan. 24 at 12:15 a.m.
|Jeff Garcia and family hang out with Bailey at a Kings game.
Updated Jan. 24 at 12:15 a.m.
Jeff Garcia sums up the game
What an awesome win! Just what all of us Kings' fans needed. How great was it to watch all of those Duck fans at STAPLES Center leaving half way through the third period....and trust me I let them hear it on the way out!
I wanna shout out to the "duck hunting" guy. I was sitting near him and he got the Kings' fans pumped up!
It was all good tonight, until next time King's fans!
Updated Jan. 24 at 9:15 p.m.
Jeff Garcia checks in from the stands
So the second period is over and all of us Kings fans are sky high!! Kings 3, Ducks 0!!!!!!
Tommy Lasorda must have given one heck of a pre-game speech, any chance he can do it for every home game the rest of the season?
On a totally random note, I need to get one of those T-shirt guns, those things are awesome!
Updated Jan. 24 at 10:13 a.m.
Jeff Garcia checks in.
RIVAL [rahy-vuhl] –noun : a person who is competing for the same object or goal as another, or who tries to equal or outdo another; competitor.
THAT DEFINITION SAYS IT ALL. Kings vs. Ducks! We are RIVALS to the fullest extent of that word. When rivals meet, records are thrown out the window, you play for PRIDE. I could care less that the Kings are 15 points out of a playoff spot (OK, I do care a little), but what matters MOST to me is beating the *@#%*&@ Ducks!!! LET'S GO KINGS!
On another note, I am so pumped that L.A. icon Tommy Lasorda is dropping the puck for the game! If anyone knows about the L.A./O.C. rivalry, it's Tommy. I also got a piece of info from a friend, that Tommy will be giving a pre-game speech to the Kings! If that doesn't fire them up to kick some Duck tail, then I don't know what will!!!!
See you at the game,
Updated Jan. 23 at 11:13 a.m.
The First Guest Blog.
Kings fan and Power 106 on-air sports reporter, Jeff Garcia, will be attending the Kings vs. Ducks game Thursday and will give his thoughts on everything from the game to the fans, to the taste of the Hot Dogs at STAPLES Center in his first blog on LAKings.com. Look for that on Friday morning.
Here is Garcia's bio on Power106.fm: Jeff Garcia grew up listening to Power 106, and never imagined he'd working here!
"It's very surreal...I grew up listening to Power and never imagined working at Power 106, let alone with Big Boy's Neighborhood, it's a big honor!"
You can catch Jeff Garcia reporting on Sports weekday Mornings on Big Boy's neighborhood at 5:53, 6:53, 7:53 & 8:53. Jeff Garcia watches sports 24/7.."I've always been a HUGE sports fan...." I enjoy all sports; especially Football, Basketball, Hockey, Baseball and I even rep strong for 'futbol' aka soccer."
Jeff Garcia offers a unique & humorous perspective on Sports Jeff also hooks it up with his daily e-mail contests and make sure to add Jeff Garcia to your AIM buddy list or your contact list: firstname.lastname@example.org. He's also on My Space: myspace.com/oldskoolshow. Also, listen to Jeff Garcia everyday at Noon on the Old SKool Show!
Updated Jan. 24 at 12 a.m.
Kings win 3-1, Ducks out-shot the Kings, 32-31; Penalties, Ducks 7-17, Kings 6-15. Kings were 1-for-6 on the power play while the Ducks were 0-for-5.
Updated Jan. 24 at 10 p.m.
Ducks on the board
The other Niedermayer scored to put the Ducks on the board at 16:48. It was a shot from just inside the blueline that just trickled in between the legs of LaBarbera and it is 3-1.
Updated Jan. 24 at 9:10 p.m.
Two down, one to go
Kings lead 3-0 and in shots, 26-25, Ducks still 0-for-3 on the power play, Kings 1-for-2 and the penalties are the same, 3-for-9 for ANA and 4-for-11 for LA.
Updated Jan. 24 at 8:50 p.m.
Derek Armstrong with a multi-point effort tonight, getting the first assist on Frolov's 11th goal and the Kings are up 3-0 at 9:53. It was the last shot Giguere would face as the netminder was pulled in favor of Jonas Hiller. Matt Moulson also with the second assist.
Updated Jan. 24 at 8:45 p.m.
Ted Purcell's first NHL point, 2-0 Kings
Derek Armstrong with his sixth goal of the season (and one of the better goal celebrations with his Lambeau Leap into the boards) and it is 2-0, on an even strength goal at 4:21. Jaroslav Modry made the play with a long outlet pass that bounced off the boards and right to rookie Ted Purcell with speed. Purcell took the puck up the boards and centered to a rushing Armstrong, whose shot defelected off the skate of Giguere and into the net. Purcell took a hit on the play but earned his first NHL point, an assist, in his fifth NHL game.
Updated Jan. 24 at 8:20 p.m.
No Buzzer beater for Carter
No you did not accidentally log onto the Nets Blog about a Vince Carter buzzer beater. Ryan Carter skated through the Kings defense and somehow lofted a shot that beat LaBarbera while being defended by both Jack Johnson and Brad Stuart as the horn, signaling the end of the period, went off. Official review confirmed that the puck did not pass the goal line before time expired and it is 1-0 Kings.
Kings out-shot the Ducks, 14-9, Kings went 1-for-2 on the power play, while killing off all three Ducks' pps. Kings had four penalties for 11 minutes, while Ducks went 3-for-9.
Updated Jan. 24 at 7:50 p.m.
So far, so good.
Eight minutes in, we are scoreless. Not sure on the shots, the scoreboard reads 17-3 Kings, but it is probably 3-2 Anaheim. Ducks clanked one of the post in the opening minute and the Kings have killed off two penalties, a Rob Blake elbowing penalty and a Michal Handzus holding penalty.
Updated Jan. 24 at 7:30 p.m.
Jeff Garcia will be checking in later with a game report.
Meanwhile, we have our starters and scratches for tonight's game. Scratches for the Ducks are Brandon Bochenski and Joe Dipenta (both healthy), while Brian Willsie (back), Ladislav Nagy (neck) and Kevin Dallman are out for the Kings.
Kings starters: Jack Johnson and Rob Blake on defense in front of Jason LaBarbera. Kyle Calder, Michal Handzus and Ted Purcell get the start for L.A. on the front line.
For the Ducks: J-S Giguere in the net with Sean O'Donnell and Chris Pronger on defense. The forwards are Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Todd Bertuzzi.
Question: If Todd Bertuzzi hung out with Snoop Dog, would Snoop call him Todd Bertizzle? I think yes.
That reminds me of a joke:
What is Snoop Dog's favorite weather?
I will be here all week.
Updated Jan. 24 at 8:13 a.m.
First of all, the Kings Insider grew up in Southern California in the 1980's (yup, that was my childhood), and the 1988 World Series is one of the fondest memories I have with my father, despite the fact that the Kings Insider is a diehard Angels fan.
So yeah, the Kings Insider is stoked about the Dodger legend's appearance at STAPLES Center tonight. But I got to thinking, is Tommy Lasorda a hockey fan and what is his connection to Kings hockey besides being a diehard Los Angeles (Insert Team name here) fan? Well besides giving an emotional, hard hitting, 'Win one for the Gipper speech' during the Royal Race in November (which the Kings Insider was present for and was so pumped up following the talk, I would have ran through a brick wall if he asked me to), the Kings Insider used his connections to find out the extent of Lasorda's interest in hockey:
- He played baseball for the Montreal Royals of the International League from 1950 to 1960. The Royals were one of three Triple-A teams in the Dodger system. While there he befriended many of the Montreal Canadiens including Maurice Richard.
- Tommy had lunch with Jacques Plante and the two discussed how a catcher uses a mask in baseball and how that would apply in hockey.
- Every Aug. 23 in Montreal is Tommy Lasorda Day.
- When Tommy moved to Los Angeles in the early 60's as a Dodger scout he was frequently invited to the Kings games by Jack Kent Cooke, whom he remained friends with for years.
Updated Jan. 22 at 11:13 p.m.
KINGS HEAD COACH MARC CRAWFORD: (Re: game recap) “Hopefully we learned that we can play with those teams if we are all on. I thought we were all on for the first period and maybe a little bit for the rest of the game, but you need to be on for the entire game against these guys. They just won’t allow you to win unless you get a great game from your team.”
KINGS FORWARD DUSTIN BROWN: (Re: game recap) “We played a pretty good game tonight. We jumped on them early and sustained the pressure throughout the game. We had a couple breakdowns and they were opportunistic tonight and scored on every mistake we made.”
KINGS GOALTENDER JASON LABARBERA: (Re: playing Detroit) “They are the best team in the league for a reason. They probably didn’t have one of their better games but they found a way to win. That’s the reason why they are in first place and we’re not.”
RED WINGS HEAD COACH MIKE BABCOCK: (Re: Goaltender Chris Osgood passing Rogie Vachon for 15th place on all time win list) “Being in the top 15 in anything in the world is pretty special, so it’s a real feather in his cap. It means he’s played with good players, but it means he’s been a good goalie for a long time.”
RED WINGS DEFENSEMAN NIKLAS LIDSTROM: (Re: game recap) “They were coming at us pretty good in the first five to six minutes. We said we wanted to have a good start, but they still came out pretty strong. I thought Ozzy [goaltender Chris Osgood] made some big time saves. Once we got that first goal we settled down and took it to them a little bit more.”
RED WINGS GOALTENDER CHRIS OSGOOD: (Re: Wings success vs. Kings) “The games here always seem to be pretty close, and they’re never easy games. Today it was a pretty tight matchup, but about half-way through we scored a goal. They came at us pretty good in the third and we weren’t out of the water even though we got that third goal. It’s surprising because they have a pretty good team on paper and they play real hard against us.”
Updated Jan. 22 at 9:50 p.m.
Final: Detroit 3, Kings 0.
We will get you some post game quotes soon. This is Osgood's first shutout of the year against a team that is not from St. Louis. But I guess you could say that all three of his shutouts were against teams that were once coached by Andy Murray.
Updated Jan. 22 at 9:20 p.m.
Toe Pick! Detroit up 3-0 at 2:55.
Johan Franzen scored the goal at 2:55 from Samuelsson and Rafalski. Samuelsson's shot went way wide of the Kings net and LaBarbera committed to his right, the puck bounced straight to Franzen at the left post. Franzen was draped by Brad Stuart and Stuart slid into the net trying to prevent the Franzen shot as LaBarbera too attempted to keep the puck out of the net. Somehow, it trickled through and Detroit leads, 3-0.
Updated Jan. 22 at 9:01 p.m.
1) Brown, Kopitar, O'Sullivan
2) Frolov, Armstrong, Calder
3) Moulson, Handzus, Purcell
4) Thornton, Giuliano, Ivanans
D1) Blake, Johnson
D2) Stuart, Visnovsky
D3) Preissing, Modry
Updated Jan. 22 at 9 p.m.
Second Break, 2-0 Detroit
Kings closed with a solid last five minutes of the period, the Brown, O'Sullivan, Kopitar line had a lot of chances during their last shift, but it was the Handzus, Moulson and Purcell line that really energized the crowd with some great chances and hard hits. Kings lead in shots, 18-16, with both teams 0-for-2 on the power play.
Updated Jan. 22 at 8:50 p.m.
Toe Pick! 2-0 Detroit at 14:47.
Matt Ellis stole the puck from Derek Armstrong while the Kings were in the offensive zone and passed it to Mikael Samuelsson on a break away with Rob Blake and Army in tow. Ellis with the goal, beating LaBarbera and it is 2-0 Wings.
Updated Jan. 22 at 8:15 p.m.
Still 1-0 after one
Kings have been carrying the play and lead in shots, 12-6, and are 0-for-1 on the power play. Kings have not been whistled for a penalty.
Updated Jan. 22 at 7:47 p.m.
Toe Pick! 1-0 Red Wings at 6:57
I bet this scoring play has been written many times before this year: Holmstrom from Datsyuk and Lindstrom. Lindstrom started the rush and led Datsyuk who danced around the Kings defense like only he can and sent a cross-ice pass to a rushing Holmstrom for an easy one-timer. LaBarbera could not move to his left fast enough and Holmstrom beat him over his right shoulder and it is 1-0 Detroit.
Updated Jan. 22 at 7:35 p.m.
Starters for Detroit: Pavel Datsyuk, Tomas Holmstrom and Valtteri Filppula, in for Zetterberg. On defense it is the great Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski protecting the net in front of Chris Osgood.
Interesting note about Osgood: He is 15th in NHL history with 355 wins (tied with who else but Rogie Vachon).
For the Kings: Anze Kopitar, Patrick O'Sullivan and Dustin Brown with Tom Preissing and Jaroslav Modry on defense and Jason LaBarbera in the net.
Updated Jan. 22 at 7:20 p.m.
Chris Chelios, Dallas Drake and Big Z all scratches today. Zetterberg back spasms, Drake is out with a knee and Chelios, could be just old age, he is three days from turning 46! Some notes: Chelios is the second-oldest player in NHL history to score a goal, tallying a goal on 10/8/07 vs. EDM and is the oldest US-born player and second-oldest player in NHL history at 45-years and 362-days old heading into tonight's game.
For the Kings scratches are Brian Willsie (back), Ladislav Nagy (knee) and Kevin Dallman.
Updated Jan. 22 at 7:15.m.
We have a D.B. Sweeney sighting at tonight's game! Quick name your favorite D.B. Sweeney movie...The Cutting Edge! Good lines of course: "Toe Pick" and "Finger Painting?"
If you haven't seen the flick and have no idea what I am talking about, TIVO it some time.
In honor of Mr. Sweeney's attendance, I will type the word Toe Pick with every Red Wings goal.
Updated Jan. 22 at 6:45 p.m.
These are our Fans
In case you didn't know, a part of my job is to monitor our feedback and emails from our fans...every once in a while, I come across a good one that I thought I would share with all of you...
Subject line: My daughter is named after you (Anze Kopitar)
Your Message: My girlfriend and I were having a tough time thinking of names for our soon-to-be-born daughter. Even though I live on the opposite coast of the country, I have been a King's fan all my life. After watching you play for just a few games at the beginning of your rookie season, we knew you were a special player. We became big enough fans in that short amount of time (she was born 12/2/06), and liked your name so much we named our daughter after you and changed the spelling a bit so that people would more likely to pronounce it correctly. We spell it Anjae.
Anyway, just wanted you to know that there is a beautiful little girl out there who is named after you and wearing a King's jersey.
I am sure Anze will be very pleased to hear the news!
Updated Jan. 22 at 9:10 a.m.
Who's the Boss?
The National Hockey League has partnered with actress Alyssa Milano and G-III Apparel Group (NASD-GIII) to begin offering an NHL version of the TOUCH – by Alyssa Milano clothing line.
TOUCH – by Alyssa Milano is a unique women’s fashion apparel line designed for the female fan. The high-end brand blends fashion and function and will become an addition to the NHL’s current women apparel offering in early February.
So in honor of this check out the Who's the Boss intro on youtube.com...take note of the Supervising Producer!
Updated Jan. 22 at 9:05 a.m.
The Kings will have a morning skate at 10:30 at Toyota Sports Center today. The Kings have played well lately and will need to tonight to defeat the Red Wings, owners of the NHL's best record at 35-10-4 and also winners of 15 of 16 vs. Los Angeles.
Updated Jan. 22 at 8:00 a.m.
Incident with a Wings Fan at Jamba Juice.
So the Kings Insider had a nice work out yesterday after Kings practice and decided to replenish himself with a tasty Caribbean Passion over at the Manhattan Beach Jamba Juice (Jamba Juice keeps the Kings Insider lean and fit). The Kings Insider had a pleasant conversation with the girl in front of him and things were going well until she mentions that she was a Red Wings fan. This presented the Kings Insider, like any other Kings fan, with a few options:
a) Go to Robeks
b) Dump my Caribbean Passion all over her and walk out
c) Let it slide, because nobody is perfect.
I chose the latter.
Updated Jan. 21 at 11:00 a.m.
Busy day at Toyota Sports Center.
The Kings are practicing this morning at 10:30 a.m., and the Red Wings were practicing at the same time on one of the other Ice Surfaces here at TSC. Be on the look out for a transaction this morning, as the Kings are expected to recall a forward with Willsie still ailing and Nagy having a tight neck...more on that later.
Updated Jan. 20 at 12:15 a.m.
The Kings Insider was planted next to Bob Miller at the Kings table at the LA Sports Council's greatest moments of 2007, which was televised on FSN West...and if you Kings fans are trying to figure out the identity of the Kings Insider, let's just say the camera panned by on more than one occasion...
Anyhow, Bob Miller accepted the award for Luc Robitaille, as his retirement was the Kings top moment of 2007. Some other notes from the show:
I can listen to Vin Scully talk about anything, any time. He was one of the award presenters.
Elton Brand is very tall. Brand was the 2006 Sports Man of the Year and he presented the award to the 2007 winner, David Beckham. Becks, however was unable to attend.
Allyson Felix was named “Sportswoman of the Year,” a little inside joke here, it has gotta be the shoes!
Brian Burke, general manager of the Ducks, was chosen “Sports Executive of the Year.”
During the awards gala the overall Top 10 moments of 2007 were announced in ranked order. They are:
1. Ducks Win Stanley Cup (June 6): Anaheim defeated Ottawa in five games to win its first Stanley Cup.
2. Beckham-mania (July 13): The Galaxy introduced their newest midfielder, superstar David Beckham, to a raucous crowd at The Home Depot Center that included more than 750 media members.
3. UCLA Returns to Final Four (March 24): The UCLA men's basketball team swept through the West Regional, defeating No. 1 seed Kansas to reach its second straight Final Four.
4. Kobe Scores 50 in Four Straight (March 23): Kobe Bryant scored 50 points, his 4th consecutive game of 50+ points, in leading the Lakers to a win over New Orleans.
5. Dodgers Hire Torre (November 1): The Dodgers signed Joe Torre, one of the winningest managers in baseball history, to a three-year deal to skipper the ballclub.
6. Trojans Win Pac-10, Again (December 1): USC won its final four regular-season football games to earn an unprecedented sixth consecutive Pacific 10 championship as well as a sixth straight BCS bowl berth.
7. UCLA First to 100 (May 13): UCLA’s women's water polo team beat Stanford to capture its third straight NCAA title and the school’s 100th, as UCLA made history by becoming the first University to win 100 team championships.
8. Venus Wins Wimbledon (July 7): Venus Williams won the Ladies' Championship for a fourth time, defeating France's Marion Bartoli in the final at the All England Club. The L.A. area native's four Wimbledon singles titles are tops among all active players.
9. Anderson's 10 RBI's Sets Angels Mark (August 21): Garret Anderson collected a club record 10 RBI's in a game against the Yankees, capping his performance with his eighth career grand slam, another club record.
10. Felix Shines at World Championships (Sept. 2): Los Angeles native Allyson Felix starred at the IAAF World Track and Field Championships in Osaka, Japan, winning three gold medals.
Updated Jan. 17 at 12:15 p.m.
Well as Nick Nickson and Daryl Evans alluded to during the radio broadcast of the last Kings game, the Kings did a team-building exercise on Wednesday in Canmore, AB, about 70 miles west of Calgary. The team was broken up into teams of 2-3 players and 6-7 dogs in a dog sledding race.
Here are some quotes:
"It was awesome. Driving the sleds with the dogs was pretty cool. Thorty was a natural with the dogs and the sleds, he is an outdoorsy guy and it seams like he had been through something like that before. It was a once in a lifetime experience."
"It was really cold. It was good at first because I was driving and I built up quite a sweat but that caused me problems later because I was wet when I was riding in the sled. It was a cool experience, I had never done anything like that before. It was nice to see the mountains like that and the cool part was seeing how the dogs worked as a team. I had Modry and Visnovsky with me, so we had a good group."
"It was a good experience and everyone should do it once in their lifetime."
"I really enjoyed watching the dogs work together, we had six dogs pulling three of us uphill, so that shows just how strong they are. It was pretty cold up there, but it was a fun experience. I don’t know if we had fast dogs or what, but we were right no Barb’s group's tail, our dogs were right on Vish’s ankles the whole time."
Updated Jan. 17 at 9:15 a.m.
What do Kings PA announcer David Courtney and Yogi Berra have in common?
So the Kings Insider was reading ESPN25: 25 Mind-Bending, Eye-Popping, Culture-Morphing Years of Highlights by Charles Hirshberg (Yes, the Kings Insider reads books from time to time) and on page 85, spotted a quote from our very own David Courntey: "What we have is highlights slide," Courtney said on why he wasn't preparing a highlights video of the previous season.
Updated Jan. 16 at 5:15 p.m.
Some great articles from Canada.
I don't usually post stories in this section, I leave that for the Kings In the News section, where you can find just about anything written about the Kings, appearances by the team, players, staff etc....but I saw two interesting articles in which I had to make sure you fans had seen...In this article, from the Edmonton Sun, Craig MacTavish was very complementary of the Kings, and I even got the impression that there was some real surprise in where the Kings are in the standings.
Also found this great article pumping up Kings Vision in the following story from the Toronto Globe and Mail... here is a quick excerpt: "To sell hockey in the Los Angeles market, the Kings have been doing some interesting things with their players on LAKings.com. A section called Kings Vision consists of high-end home videos and sketches produced by the club, with the players functioning as performers." LAKings.com and Kings Vision, getting a little love from above.
Updated Jan. 16 at 10:15 a.m.
LaBarbera Amped Up Lately
Though it was J-S. Aubin who starred in the Amped up commercial with Ryan Miller, Kings net minder Jason LaBarbera has been Amped up lately. Look at his last three games since being yanked after surrendering three goals on just seven shots in just under seven minutes in the Kings 7-0 loss to Nashville on Jan. 8:
A career-high 48-of-50 in Kings 5-2 win over Toronto
Stopping 23-of-26 (one highlight reel save) and three-of-four in the 4-3 shoot out win over Dallas
Last night's 32-of-33 performance in 3-1 win over Edmonton.
What does that add up to? Try 3-0-0, stopping 103-of-the-last-109 pucks that came his way (not including 3-of-4 on the shootout vs. Dallas), good enough for .944 SV% and a 1.94 GAA and most importantly, THREE STRAIGHT WINS.
Updated Jan. 16 at 9:28 a.m.
Ted Purcell, whom Dean Lombardi plucked as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Maine back in March when he was still known as Teddy Purcell, made his NHL debut (even though the stat sheet refers to him as Edward Purcell---is Theodore next?) last night in Edmonton. Though the game was not televised, judging by the amount of times that Nick Nickson and Daryl Evans mentioned his name throughout the night, it sounded as if he brought a youthfulness spark to the club and seamed to inspire his linemates Michal Handzus and Kyle Calder, giving the Kings a formidable third line, something they have not had on a consistent basis this year.
Looking at his stat line, Purcell finished the evening scoreless with three shots on net and an even rating, in 12:26 TOI, not a bad debut for the kid who was recalled on an emergency basis. Perhaps he can play his way into a spot on this club? Something to watch as the road trip progresses.
Updated Jan. 16 at 9:17 a.m.
Streaky Kings stay hot
So the Kings won last night, 3-1 at Edmonton. That was their third straight win overall and their third straight road win. This was the first time the Kings had won three straight on the road this season, they did earn points in three straight (2-0-1) from Oct. 19 - Nov. 13 in their road unis...It was the first time the Kings had won three straight away from STAPLES since winning four straight from Dec. 6-21, 2005, a span of 84 road games. Prior to this three-game road winning streak, the club had dropped six straight road games (Dec. 5-22).
Overall, the club has won three straight games, the team's third winning streak of three or more games, with a high of four straight from Oct. 19 - 27. In addition, the club has won six of nine games for the second time this season (Oct. 16 - Nov. 3), which of course they followed up with a win and an OT loss for a run of 7-3-1 over an 11-game span. That was the good, now the bad, this same team has suffered through two five-game losing streaks (Sept. 30-Oct. 14) and Nov. 13-21 (0-4-1) as well as an eight-game slide from Dec. 12-26.
So what do we make of all this? Perhaps this team is not as bad as their record indicates.
Updated Jan. 15 at 9:35 a.m.
Jack Johnson on YoungStars Team
Kings defenseman Jack Johnson, who just celebrated his 21st birthday on Sunday, was one of 16 'NHL YoungStars' invited to the 2008 NHL All-Star Weekend.
Comprising the best of the League's stellar rookie class in 2007-08, the eight-player Eastern and Western Conference YoungStar teams will face off in a new three-on-three event as part of the Dodge/NHL SuperSkills competition on Saturday, Jan. 26 at Philips Arena in Atlanta (7 p.m., ET, VERSUS, CBC, RDS). The YoungStars will be shooting against goaltenders named to participate in the NHL All-Star Game the following day.
Updated Jan. 14 at 1:35 p.m.
Quick notes from Kings practice
First the good: Both Michael Cammalleri and Kevin Dallman participated in the entire practice today, granted both were in the red no contact jerseys...Another good nugget, Kings fans may get a glimpse of the future as Teddy Purcell, the Monarchs leading scorer, is expected to be recalled this afternoon.
Now the bad. The reason a transaction might occur is that Brian Willsie is now listed as day-to-day after tweaking his back vs. Dallas. Willsie was able to play the rest of the game, but had some tightness on Sunday and did not participate in practice. Willsie has three points (1-2=3) in the last five games, after scoring just five points (1-4=5) over the first 30 games of the season.
Though both Cammalleri and Dallman will make this trip through Western Canada, Kings head coach Marc Crawford did not sound optimistic about either seeing time. "Dallman is probably going to practice with us tomorrow at the morning skate and practice the next few days, he is more toward the end of the trip, if at all," Crawford said. "Cammalleri is still a little ways a way. We are hoping he will have some days that he is feeling a lot better...he is doing everything he can to get himself ready."
Updated Jan. 14 at 8:35 a.m.
Kings practice, player transaction expected.
Kings will practice at 11 a.m...hearing word of a player transaction today. I have no specifics, but as soon as I find out, I will bring the information to you.
Updated Jan. 13 at 8 p.m.
Ducks beat the Sharks in OT, 4-3
San Jose led most of the game, despite it being one-sided early. A key SH goal put the Sharks in control and held a 3-1 lead late in the game. Doug Weight tied it with a ridiculous goal off a Sharks defender and won it in OT on a Francois Beauchemin goal...Dallas, who played the Kings on Saturday, will play the Ducks on Tuesday. Word is that they stayed in Southern California and have been practicing at Toyota Sports Center. I am sure they watched that game and the worst thing possible for them was a three-point game in which both San Jose and Anaheim get points.
Updated Jan. 13 at 11:35 a.m.
Kings off today, watch football instead.
Nothing to report from El Segundo. The team has a scheduled off day today and then will practice tomorrow before heading to Western Canada for a three-game swing. None of the three games will be televised, so LAKings.com is sending Kings Vision to get some interviews for post and pre-game to try and bring fans the most up to date information on your Los Angeles Kings. Two great football games on today and tonight, the Kings Insider will be going to the Ducks-San Jose Sharks game.
By the way, today is Jack Johnson's 21st birthday.
Updated Jan. 12 at 3:35 p.m.
Kings Win in Shootout.
Kopitar to shoot first and scores. Hagman for Dallas no goal. Frolov no goal. Modano no goal. Dustin Brown missed with a chance to clinch it. Miettinen with the goal. LaBarbera made the stop but it fell into the net and we are now going to sudden death. O'Sullivan with a goal, putting pressure on Robiero to match it. No goal, Kings win.
Kings are 5-2-0 this season in OT games and 3-2 in the shootout. That was the 750th home win for the Kings and improves their all-time OT record to .500 at 80-80. Kings have also tied the Ducks for the most wins when the opponent scores first, today was their 11th.
Updated Jan. 12 at 3:25 p.m.
Heading to Overtime.
The 3-3 tie continues. Kings are guaranteed at least a point. Dallas and Kings with a shot each in OT.
Updated Jan. 12 at 3:05 p.m.
The Kings PK finally wore down, after killing off one two-man advantage by Dallas, the Kings were forced to go down two again after Blake and Stuart penalties and Matt Niskanen blasted a one-timer over LaBarbera's left shoulder. It may have glanced off of Antti Miettinen or Jaroslav Modry, so stay tuned for a possible scoring change.
Updated Jan. 12 at 3 p.m.
No goal for Brownie
Dustin Brown nearly padded the lead on the PK. Brownie pressured Mike Modano at the inside of the blueline and Brownie forced the turnover and went one-on-one with Turco on the breakaway...Brown deeked and Turco made the save.
Updated Jan. 12 at 2:35 p.m.
1) Brown, Kopitar, O'Sullivan
2) Nagy, Armstrong, Frolov
3) Calder, Handzus, Willsie
4) Thornton, Giuliano, Ivanans
1) Johnson, Blake
2) Stuart, Visnovsky
3) Modry, Preissing.
Updated Jan. 12 at 2:35 p.m.
Kings lead 3-2, shots are 18 apiece. Kings are 1-for-2 on the power play and will start the third period with the man advantage after an Antti Miettinen penalty at 20:00. Stars are 0-for-4 on the power play, Kings have committed five penalties for 10 minutes, while Dallas three for six. Kings have doubled up on the Stars in the hits department, with 34 to the Stars 17.
Updated Jan. 12 at 2:30 p.m.
Kings take first lead of the game, 3-2
Dustin Brown put a big hit on LW Niklas Hagman behind the Dallas Stars net leading Hagman to turn the puck over on an inadvertent pass to Rob Blake. Blakey fired the puck on net and the Kings All-Star forward Anze Kopitar redirected the shot past Turco for a 3-2 Kings lead.
Updated Jan. 12 at 2 p.m.
Kings Drummers are performing
If you haven't been to a Kings game this year, you are missing out on the Kings Drummers...you can see them on our new, revamped Game Entertainment page.
Updated Jan. 12 at 2 p.m.
Today is Kings radio color analyst Daryl Evans birthday... he is 47 by the way. Speaking of Evans, he and Nick Nickson will have a special guest on Kings Talk today as GM Dean Lombardi will be on the line to answer your question...tune in.
Updated Jan. 12 at 1:45 p.m.
Kings and Stars tied at two, also tied with two shots. Kings picked up four penalties for eight minutes, killing off three of the four Dallas power-play opportunities. The Stars did not pick up a penalty in the first period.
Updated Jan. 12 at 1:45 p.m.
Kings can comeback
Today's comeback should come as no surprise as the Kings are tied with the Dallas Stars, and Pittsburgh Penguins for second in the NHL with 10 come from behind wins. The Anaheim Ducks lead the NHL with 11.
Updated Jan. 12 at 1:35 p.m.
Kings can score
While munching on my six-dollar burger this morning (very healthy I know), the Kings Insider was reading the Sports Section of the Daily Breeze. Something jumps out at you when looking at the NHL Standings, only THREE Western Conference teams in Detroit (157), Dallas (134) and Calgary (134 as well) have scored more goals than the Kings. There are seven Eastern Conference teams, however, that have tallied more goals. The point here, is that the Kings are close, at least offensively, if they can manage to shore up the defensive lapses and turnovers that have plagued the team this season, the second half of the year might not be too bad.
Updated Jan. 12 at 1:30 p.m.
Kings tie it
10:13 the game is tied. Scott Thornton put a shot on net that was blocked by Turco. The rebound went straight to Derek Armstrong who blasted a shot that a sprawling Turco got a glove on only to see it trickle into the net with Turco lying on his back. Armstrong celebrated his fourth goal of the season and banged his hands against the glass and the crowd is fired up. Thornton and Tom Preissing with the assists on the play.
Updated Jan. 12 at 1:25 p.m.
Kings on the board.
Kings with an odd-man rush, Patrick O'Sullivan just released from the box after a tripping penalty, picked up the puck after a long pass from Brad Stuart. O'Sullivan was patient and drew the defender and centered a neat pass to Alexander Frolov for his ninth goal of the season and sixth goal in the last six games at 9:06.
Updated Jan. 12 at 1:10 p.m.
Kings Trail 2-0
Jeff Halpern with the first goal of the game. Jack Johnson and Jeff Giuliano were both in the sin bin with high sticking and hooking penalties. Dallas converted on the two-man advantage off assists from Loui Erikkson and Trevor Daley at 3:20. Erikkson threaded a pass across the ice right in front of the net and just under the stick of Rob Blake who slid to the ice to no avail as the pass got through to an open Halpern with an open cage as LaBarbera tried to move left to right...16 seconds later, Erikkson with the goal with Joel Lundqvist and Brad Winchester credited with assists. Erikkson put a shot on net on a 3-on-2 advantage, LaBarbera chased the rebound and Erikkson collected it, snuck around behind the back of the net and scored for a 2-0 lead.
Updated Jan. 12 at 1:05 p.m.
The Carl's Jr. founder passed away yesterday...so the Kings Insider today had a Portobello Mushroom Six-Dollar Burger. Also in the news today was the death of Champion Eater Eddie "Bozo" Miller. He once ate 27 2-pound chickens in one sitting!
Updated Jan. 12 at 1 p.m.
Sergei Zubov was a last minute scratch with a foot injury. LW Jussi Jokinen is also a scratch with a knee injury. Dallas will start goaltender Marty Turco, a Michigan grad, with former King Mattias Norstrom and Matt Niskanen on defense, Jeff Halpern centering a line with Krystofer Barch and Steve Ott. The Kings will start Brad Stuart and Lubomir Visnovsky, with a line of Brian Willsie, Michal Handzus and Kyle Calder at forward. Jason LaBarbera, fresh off a career-high 48-save effort, will start in net.
Updated Jan. 12 at 8 a.m.
Kings are expected to assign Jon Klemm today. That is a good sign for the possible return of Kevin Dallman...
Updated Jan. 11 at 1:45 p.m.
Kings practiced Friday as they prepare for the Dallas Stars. Nothing really major to report. Kevin Dallman and Michael Cammalleri both skated prior to practice and are expected to make the road trip to Western Canada.
Also, something to pay attention to: Kings captain/defenseman Rob Blake is scheduled to Saturday tie a franchise record for most games played by a Kings defenseman as part of the Kings-Dallas Stars game at STAPLES Center at 1 p.m. Blake is slated to play in his 780th game as a King, which would tie the mark set by Mattias Norstrom (Blake previously held the record of 662 games until Norstrom surpassed that mark in November of 2005).
No morning skate with the early start time on Saturday. Sunday is an off day. Monday practice is slated for 11 a.m. with the team flying to Edmonton shortly thereafter.
Updated Jan. 10 at 9:45 p.m.
Jason LaBarbera has set a career-high for saves stopping 48-of-50 and 24-of-25 in the third period. Final score 5-2.
Updated Jan. 10 at 9:45 p.m.
Darcy Tucker took a cross-ice feed and beat a screened LaBarbera on the glove side and it is now 5-2 at 11:41. Kyle Wellwood and Andrew Wozniewski with the assists.
Updated Jan. 10 at 8:40 p.m.
New goalie, same result. At 6:41, Rob Blake with his fourth of the season, an absolute laser top shelf over the left shoulder of Toskala and the score is now 5-0. Toronto has given up 11 straight goals. Blake has 13 points in the last 16 games (3-10=16). Frolov has 13 points in the last nine games (4-9=13), with multi-point games in three of his last five.
Updated Jan. 10 at 8:30 p.m.
We are back from the break. Raycroft has been pulled in favor of former Shark Vesa Toskala. Remember the last time the Leafs were here, the Kings led 4-1 entering the third period and ended up in a 4-4 tie.
Updated Jan. 10 at 8:10 p.m.
Dustin Brown matches his career high with his second goal of the game. Rob Blake put a shot on net on the power play at 19:06, Lubomir Visnovsky had a shot at the rebound that was again stopped where Brownie found the puck and beat Raycroft over his left shoulder and it is 4-0 Kings. Toronto lost last night, 5-0. The Leafs have given up TEN STRAIGHT goals.
Updated Jan. 10 at 8:06 p.m.
Kings up 3-0. Alexander Frolov with the goal, his eighth of the year at 17:32. Ladislav Nagy and Derek Armstrong with the assists. Army pressured the puck behind the Leafs' net and won the puck after a battle with a Toronto defenseman. He passed the puck along the boards to Nagy who found Frolov, again behind the Toronto net. Frolov controlled the puck with a defenseman draped all over him and skated to the front of the net with his back to Raycroft. He then spun and put a wrist shot on net to beat Raycroft, who has given up three goals on just eight shots.
Updated Jan. 10 at 8 p.m.
Kings up 2-0. Dustin Brown with his 21st goal at 13:52 on the power play. Anze Kopitar carried the puck into the Toronto zone, passed to Patrick O'Sullivan whom put a backhanded shot on net that Raycroft blocked. Brownie cleaned up the rebound and put the biscuit in the basket and the Kings lead 2-0.
Updated Jan. 10 at 7:40 p.m.
Eight-game streak of allowing the opponent to score first has just come to an end. Kyle Calder with a backhand at 2:44 and it is 1-0 Kings. Michal Handzus with the first assist and Brian Willsie with the second, his 100th and third in four games (1-2=3). Willsie had five points in the first 30 games.
Updated Jan. 10 at 7:40 p.m.
Jaroslav Modry just rung one off the post after the puck beat a screened Raycroft, but no goal...still scoreless two minutes in.
Updated Jan. 10 at 7:30 p.m.
The Kings will start All-Star Anze Kopitar, centering a line with Patrick O'Sullivan and Dustin Brown. Jack Johnson and Rob Blake on defense in front of Jason LaBarbera in net. For the Maple Leafs, Mats Sundin will center a line with Alexei Ponikarovsky (I will spell this wrong later) and Nikolai Antropov. Pavel Kubina and Tomas Kaberle on defense in front of Andrew Raycroft.
Updated Jan. 10 at 9 a.m.
The Kings will be on the ice today for a pre-game skate at 10:30 a.m. at Toyota Sports Center as they prepare to take on the Maple Leafs whom visit STAPLES Center for the first time since Nov. 13, 2003...Toronto is also a struggling hockey club at the moment, losing last night to Anaheim, 5-0.
Updated Jan. 10 at 8:45 a.m.
Anze Kopitar was named to the NHL All-Star team...this will be the first of many selections for the young forward.
Updated Jan. 9 at 5:45 a.m.
Also after practice on Wednesday, there was a representative from Upper Deck there to get autographs from Michael Cammalleri, Anze Kopitar, Kyle Calder, Alexander Frolov and Ladislav Nagy for a special limited edition set of cards the "Frozen Foursomes."
To be released soon, not sure on the date but will get that info out when I get it, in select packs of NHL cards for the 2007-08 season...a set of five limited edition cards that actually has a piece of each player's jersey inside the card, as well as an autograph of that player. The Kings Frozen Foursome consists of Cammy, Kopi, Calder and Frolov. Nagy is grouped with Marek Svatos, Marek Zidlicky and Miroslav Satan.
Updated Jan. 9 at 1:15 p.m.
The team held a meeting before practice and got on the ice a little late around 11:15 a.m....the team worked really hard and had a lot of sprints at the end.
Crawford said after practice today: "We have to move forward from last night's game. That was not us. We have to move forward. We know how we have to play and the type of effort we have to give and the type of execution we need and that is what we concentrated on today and what we will continue to concentrate moving forward.
"When you work very hard, your equipment sticks to you at the end of practice and you have that satisfaction that you put an effort in."
Also, some news from Manchester, Teddy Purcell was named a starter in the AHL All-Star game...
After practice, Marc Crawford had lunch at the Toyota Sports Center with the winning bidder on a Royal Experience, dining on Lobster bisque, filet mignon with a warm apple tart dessert.
Updated Jan. 8 at 9:35 p.m.
Jed Ortmeyer with his fourth goal of the season form Jason Arnott and the score is 7-0...And 7-0 is the final.
Updated Jan. 8 at 9:35 p.m.
Predators lead 6-0 at 11:20. J.P. Dumont with a pretty goal off assists from David Legwand and Marek Zidlicky. Dumont now has goals in six straight games.
Updated Jan. 8 at 8:45 p.m.
Predators up 5-0. Martin Gelinas with his seventh goal of the season at 9:22...it looked like Gelinas fired a shot on net that was stopped by Aubin and hit off the skate of Blake who was trying to prevent the rushing Predator in front of the net. The puck appeared to stop right on the goal line as a mad scramble ensued. The net came dislodged and the puck crossed the line for a Nashville goal.
The goal has been changed. The official reading now is Martin Erat from David Legwand and Gelinas.
Updated Jan. 8 at 8:35 p.m.
4-0 Nashville. Jack Johnson wheeled around the back of the Nashville net and tried to center a pass...the puck deflected off a skate or stick and was rushing toward the Kings net with two Predator forwards chasing after the puck and two Kings defenders in tow...J-S Aubin charged the puck and played it around the red face off circle and attempted to clear the puck. Scott Nichol kept the puck in the zone and beat Aubin and the score is 4-0.
Updated Jan. 8 at 7:35 p.m.
The streak continues. Nashville scores the first goal of the game at 5:25 and there is A Whole Lotta Shaking going on...Darcy Hordichuk scores on a juicy rebound in front of the net, his first goal of the year. Scott Nichol and Jerred Smithson with the helpers. Before I could finish typing Nashville added two more goals and have three goals now on just six shots and LaBarbera is pulled in favor of Aubin. Jason Arnott scored his 15th of the season at 6:11 and David Legwand at 6:40.
Updated Jan. 8 at 7:35 p.m.
It is a little weird playing a hockey team from Tennessee on Elvis' birthday. Hopefully the Kings will send the Predators to the Heartbreak Hotel.
Updated Jan. 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Kings starters: Jack Johnson, Rob Blake on defense with Jason LaBarbera in net. Dustin Brown, Patrick O'Sullivan and Anze Kopitar as the forwards.
Predators starters: Marek Zidlicky and Ville Koistinen with Jason Arnott, the young forward Alexander Radulov and J.P. Dumont as the forwards with Chris Mason in the net.
Last time we saw Arnott, he was celebrating a hat trick in the Preds' 4-3 win over LA in Nashville.
Updated Jan. 8 at 11:30 a.m.
Cammalleri again wore the red jersey and skated at the end of practice...Also, Kevin Dallman was seen walking around without his walking boot for the first time since injuring his foot.
Updated Jan. 7 at 12:30 p.m.
Cammi skates and Brownie is fine.
As some of the Kings players began coming off the ice at the end of practice, Michael Cammalleri wore the red no contact jersey and skated around while coaches yelled drills at him. Marc Crawford was unable to give a clear time for his return, saying he hopes it would be prior to the end of the home stand, but his most likely return is during the Western Canada road trip next week.
Kings fans should rest assured, it is not the same shoulder, nor the as severe an injury that caused him to miss two games in late December.
Updated Jan. 6 at 10 a.m.
Nothing to update today, the Kings canceled practice and will participate in the Rink Tour...In case you are wondering...
Pasadena: Jack Johnson, Brad Stuart, Derek Armstrong and Mike Johnston.
Riverside: Alexander Frolov, Tom Preissing, Jon Klemm, Jeff Giuliano and Daryl Evans.
Palos Verdes: Michael Cammalleri, Scott Thornton, Michal Handzus and Marc Crawford.
A liso Viejo: Lubomir Visnovsky, Jason LaBarbera, Patrick O'Sullivan and Nelson Emerson.
Ontario: Kyle Calder, Ladislav Nagy and Dave Lewis.
Simi Valley: Rob Blake, Brian Willsie, Jaroslav Modry, Kevin Dallman and Bob Miller.
Valencia: Anze Koptiar, JS Aubin, Raitis Ivanans, Nick Nickson and Jim Fox.
Updated Jan. 5 at 10 p.m.
Final score, Calgary 6, Los Angeles 4. Huselius strips the puck from Visnovsky and scores in the empty net.
Updated Jan. 5 at 9:55 p.m.
This crazy game continues, Daymond Langkow puts the Flames back on top, 5-4. Anders Erikkson and Iginla with the assists on the play.
Updated Jan. 5 at 9:45 p.m.
And the score is now tied. At 13:05, Kristian Huselius scored on a pass from Jarome Iginla and we are knotted at four.
Updated Jan. 5 at 9:40 p.m.
Anze Kopitar scores on a rebound of a Rob Blake slapper on the 5-on-3 advantage. Alexander Frolov also credited with an assist. Blake had the puck in the center of the ice and Kipprusoff stopped his shot with Kyle Calder in his grill. Calder was pushed from behind as he waived at the puck as it trickled between Kipprusoff's legs. Kopitar snuck in and put the puck home and the Kings lead for the first time, 4-3.
Updated Jan. 5 at 9:35 p.m.
Kings tie it at three. Ladislav Nagy put home a rebound 4:48 from Alexander Frolov and Lubomir Visnovsky and we are tied at three.
Updated Jan. 5 at 9:30 p.m.
Kings are rallying...Brad Stuart scored on a slap shot early in the third to cut the deficit to 3-2. Both Michal Handzus and Kyle Calder were in the path of the shot, not sure if either made contact with the puck, but it fooled Kiprusoff and the score is 3-2 at 2:08. Assists from Brian Willsie and Handzus.
Updated Jan. 5 at 8:50 p.m.
Jarome Iginla is good. He just scored his 32nd goal of the season at 13:14 from Anders Eriksson and Kristian Huselius on the power play. Dustin Brown was in the sin bin for slashing which created the power play. Kings trail 3-2.
Updated Jan. 5 at 8:35 p.m.
Kings on the board...Alexander Frolov with an unassisted goal. Kiprusoff misplayed the puck behind the net and Frolov grabbed the puck and beat Kiprusoff to the front of the net at 6:14 and we are at 2-1.
Updated Jan. 5 at 7:45 p.m.
Kings have the first opportunity to score with Kiprusoff beat, but Robyn Regehr slid in front of the net and was able to block the shot...at the other end of the ice, Robyn Regehr slap shot shattered the stick of Raitis Ivanans and had a weird bounce that just cleared the head of LaBarbera at 2:27...just over one minute later at 3:39, Daymond Langkow scored on a pass from Owen Nolan and the Flames are up 2-0.
Updated Jan. 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Kings opening is playing right now...in case you have not been to a game this year, we got you covered...check out the DTLA opening. 700K
Starting lineups: Kings will skate out O'Sullivan, Kopitar and Brown on their first line, with Tom Preissing and Jaroslav Modry on defense and Jason LaBarbera in the net. Calgary will counter with their top line of Jarome Iginla, former King Craig Conroy and Kristian Huselius with Robyn Regehr and Cory Sarich on defense. Of course Mikka Kiprusoff will be in net, the Flames back up has played in only four games!
Updated Jan. 4 at 5 p.m.
'We have cleaned up our game'
Kings practiced today at 11 a.m. with the Flames on the ice to follow. The Kings focused on creating offensive chances during the hour-long session, with an emphasis on crashing the net, being hard on lose pucks and battling for rebounds.
Marc Crawford on Jason LaBarbera: "He is showing signs of being at the point where he can play more often. If you are a goaltender, you want teams playing in front of you the way we are playing in front of them right now. They are not seeing an abundance of break downs. I can't remember the last time we gave a two-on-one or a three-on-one or a player with an open scoring chance. We have really packed it in nicely.
"We have cleaned up our game."
Updated Jan. 3 at 10:00 p.m.
Michael Peca, just activated off of IR today, tipped in a Jason Chimera shot and the Jackets now lead, 4-3 late in the third period. It was Peca's second goal of the night. Final 4-3. Kings have chances at the end on a 6-on-4 power play with an empty net but are unable to convert and the three-game winning streak will come to an end.
Updated Jan. 3 at 9:35 p.m.
Patrick O'Sullivan just tied the game with a wonderful goal. He battled along the boards with Ron Hainsey and cut directly to the net, the puck was deflected in the air and O'Sullivan beat it out of the air to tie the game. O'Sullivan now has 11-11=22 on the season.
Updated Jan. 3 at 8:55 p.m.
Game getting rather chippy, Jason Chimera is bloodied after Ivanans threw his body around on his last shift. The assist, by the way was the 100th point of Anze Kopitar's career. For his career, Kopitar has tallied 36-64=100 in 114 games.
Updated Jan. 3 at 8:45 p.m.
Aubin is pulled after Michael Peca scores at 6:04...Aubin has given up three goals on 12 shots.
Updated Jan. 3 at 8:35 p.m.
Lindstrom scores his second of the season over the shoulder of Aubin, a rocket that hit off of the crossbar and into the net. About one minute later, Dustin Brown then tallied his 20th goal of the season, a redirect of a back hander by Patrick O'Sullivan and we are tied again. Anze Kopitar credited with the second assist.
Updated Jan. 3 at 8:30 p.m.
A look at the numbers from the first period...the Kings out-shot Columbus, 12-8, the Kings were 0-for-2 on the power play while the Jackets failed to convert on their one opportunity with the man advantage...As I was typing Brian Willsie scores his second goal of the season, a redirect of a Rob Blake slap shot.
Updated Jan. 3 at 8 p.m.
Joakim Lindstrom centered the puck to Sergei Fedorov who beat Aubin stick side for a 1-0 CBJ lead...rumor has it that the first part of the Royal Race that the Kings filmed back in November.
Updated Jan. 3 at 7:24 p.m.
Kings will start Jack Johnson and Rob Blake with Kyle Calder, Michal Handzus and Brian Willsie as the forwards and Jean-Sebastien Aubin in net. Aubin won his last start, stopping 29-of-30 shots in the Kings 2-1 win at Colorado. For his career, Aubin is 3-0-0 vs. Columbus with a 2.31 GAA and a .927 save percentage. Kopitar, Brown and O'Sullivan on the Kings' top line, with Nagy, Armstrong, and Frolov on the second line and the fourth-line of Giuliano, Thornton and Ivanans. The Handzus line will have it hands full stopping Rick Nash.
Updated Jan. 3 at 12:24 p.m.
Some notes from the morning skate...J.S. Aubin will start in net tonight...Michael Cammalleri again did not skate with the team and is continuing to rehab with the trainers for his rib injury that have held him out of the line up since Dec. 22 at Nashville.
The Kings canceled practice for today and will return to the ice tomorrow for a 10:30 morning skate at Toyota Sports Center prior to facing the Columbus Blue Jackets at STAPLES Center at 7:30 p.m. Columbus plays tonight at Anaheim.
Updated Jan. 2 at 2:50 p.m.
Judging by my email, Kings fans are wondering when was the last time two Kings recorded five or more points in the same night...Oct. 9, 1993 – Wayne Gretzky and Tomas Sandstrom each had six points in a 10-3 home win over the Red Wings. Ladislav Nagy tallied 3-2=5 while Alexander Frolov recorded 2-3=5 in an offensive explosion last night.
The Kings canceled practice for today and will return to the ice tomorrow for a 10:30 morning skate at Toyota Sports Center prior to facing the Columbus Blue Jackets at STAPLES Center at 7:30 p.m. Columbus plays tonight at Anaheim.
Updated Jan. 2 at 9:30 a.m.
Nagy named No. 1 Star for the NHL for last night's game after his 3-2=5 effort. Click here to read the article.
Updated Jan. 1 at 9:50 p.m.
Wow, Kings score to make it 9-2. Lubomir Visnovsky on the power play, actually had a two-man advantage at the time at 7:40. Calder and Frolov with assists on the play. The nine goals are a season high for the Kings. Frolov's two goals and three assists sets a career high of five points in a game...the last time the Kings scored nine times in a game was Nov. 16, 1995 vs. New York Islanders.
Updated Jan. 1 at 9:45 p.m.
Now 8-2, Dustin Brown with his first of the night and 19th of the season after stealing the puck at the blueline and skating the distance on a break away, putting on a little move and scoring for an 8-2 lead. Kings have five multi-point scorers on the evening.
Updated Jan. 1 at 9:35 p.m.
Just 16 seconds into the third period, Ladislav Nagy scores again for a Hat Trick. He is the first King to get a hat trick since Luc Robitaille. Nagy is having a huge night with three goals and two assists, playing very well with Kopitar and Brown. For Nagy, it was his Third career hat trick and his five points ties career high (had five pts. Dec. 3, 2005)
Frolov now also has four points on the evening and is starting to look like the Frolov that Kings fans saw prior to his groin injury.
Updated Jan. 1 at 9:30 p.m.
Breaking news: Highly touted rookie Jonathan Toews, who skated off the ice early in the second period and has not taken a shift since, will not return after suffering a sprained knee. More info on this in the coming days, I am sure.
Updated Jan. 1 at 9:05 p.m.
Alexander Frolov scored his second goal of the game (and 100th of his career) off assists from Kyle Calder and Ladislav Nagy at 15:16. Nagy passed the puck to Calder in front of the net who sent a neat pass across the crease to a rushing Frolov for an easy goal. For Frolov, it is his second goal of the game (he had just four entering tonight's game) and Nagy has now had four points on the evening, by far his best performance as a King. Nagy is the second player to record four points in a game for the Kings, as Anze Kopitar tallied four assists vs. Buffalo.
A closer look at the numbers shows that the Kings are 4-for-5 on the power play so far tonight.
Updated Jan. 1 at 8:45 p.m.
Interesting development, Raitis Ivanans, on his 28th birthday no less, just went toe-to-toe with David Koci, it was Ivanans' second fight since removing his face shield which he had to wear after having surgery on his face as a result of taking a Rob Blake slap shot to the face on Nov. 2 at San Jose. Ivanans and Adam Burish, who is listed at 6-1, 187 pounds, began rough housing on the faceoff...Koci, listed at 6-6, 238, began yelling at Ivanans from the bench...after the faceoff, Burish skated to the Chicago bench and on came Koci for his rendezvous with Ivanans.
Updated Jan. 1 at 8:40 p.m.
The goals keep coming for Los Angeles Alexander Frolov redirects a Brad Stuart shot from the blueline and the score is now 5-2.
Updated Jan. 1 at 8:10 p.m.
Ladislav Nagy just tallied his second goal of the game also on the power play, Tom Preissing and Brad Stuart with the helpers. It was a wrist shot at 15:35. Nagy now has 2-6=8 over his last five games during this five-game point streak. Khabibulin was pulled after the goal, surrendering four goals on nine shots.
Updated Jan. 1 at 8:05 p.m.
Patrick O'Sullivan's break-out year continued with his 10th goal of the season on the power play. Dustin Brown and Lubomir Visnovsky with assists. O'Sullivan took a pass from Brown and beat Khabibulin five-hole. Kings were on the power play with Danny Richmond in the box for hooking. The Kings have three goals on eight shots.
Updated Jan. 1 at 8 p.m.
Blackhawks back on top and Kings tie it again...13 seconds later. Patrick Sharp with a power-play goal, Patrick Kane with a neat pass in front of the net to Sharp who beat LaBarbera with an open cage at 11:01. Thirteen seconds later, Ladislav Nagy intercepted a clearing pass from Magnus Johansson and beat Khbabibulin and we are tied again at two.
Updated Jan. 1 at 7:45 p.m.
Blackhawks take a 1-0 lead...Kings quickly tie it. Martin Lapointe got a pass from behind the Kings net and beat LaBarbera to his stick side at 3:32. The Kings tied it 30 seconds later with Patrick Sharp in the sin bin for hooking, Tom Preissing scored his fifth goal of the season, all of which have been scored on the power play. Nagy took a shot that was blocked by a Blackhawk defenseman and the rebound went to Tom Preissing who blasted a shot past the Bulin Wall and we are knotted at two. Nagy earned the assist on the goal, his fifth straight game with an assist, which is a career high. Alexander Frolov was also credited with an assist.
Updated Jan. 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Jason LaBarbera is expected to be in net again tonight. LaBarbera got the win at Chicago stopping 30-of-32 shots in the Kings 3-2 win on Saturday. For LaBarbera, it was his first win since Nov. 28. If you recall, LaBarbera was injured in his next start Dec. 1 vs. Colorado and missed two weeks. Upon his return, he lost five straight games (and a sixth he was pulled early in vs. San Jose). For the season, LaBarbera is 7-13-1 with a 2.82 GAA and a .911 SV%.
Starters for tonight: LaBarbera in net with Jack Johnson and the rejuvenated Rob Blake on defense, Anze Kopitar centering a line with Dustin Brown and Ladislav Nagy, who is in the midst of a four-game assist streak.
The rest of the line combinations are Frolov, Armstrong and O'Sullivan; Calder, Hanzus and Willsie, and a fourth-line of Ivanans, Giuliano and Thornton.
Chicago is starting the Nikolai Khabibulin with a forward line of Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews and Rene Borrque with Danny Richmond and Dustin Byfuglien on defense.
Updated Jan. 1 at 2:30 p.m.
The Kings, winners of two straight, will host the Blackhawks tonight at 7:30 at STAPLES Center. Of course the Kings defeated the Blackhawks by a 3-2 OT score in their last game of 2007. Some interesting thoughts on the importance of those two wins to close out 2007:
- It does not even need to be stated but the two wins snapped an eight-game losing streak
- Both wins were on the road where the Kings had won just four of their first 17 road games (record now 6-12-1)
- Wins were in a back-to-back setting, which was the first time that the Kings had won each of a back-to-back
Sept. 29 vs. ANA* 4-1 W Sept. 30 @ ANA* 4-1 L
Oct. 18 @ CGY 4-3 L Oct. 19 @ VAN 4-2 W
Nov. 2 @ SJ 5-2 W Nov. 3 vs. SJ 3-1 L
Nov. 24 @ SJ 2-1 W Nov. 25 @ ANA 3-2 L
Dec. 5 @ PHX 4-1 L Dec. 6 vs. BUF 8-2 W
Dec. 12 @ CHI 6-3 L Dec. 13 @ DAL 4-1 L
Dec. 21 @ CBJ 2-1 L Dec. 22 @ NSH 4-3 L
Dec. 29 @ COL 3-1 W Dec. 30 @ CHI 3-2 W (OT)
- In both wins the Kings were trailing in the third period...entering the road trip, the Kings had just ONE such victory when trailing after two periods and now own a 3 - 19 - 2 mark when trailing after two.
With that we move on to today's game, the Kings are 7-2-1 (1 tie) all-time on New Year's Day (4-1-1 at home) (3-1-0 on road). The last time the Kings played on New Years Day: was in 1998 at Phoenix (lost 0-4)...The last time the Kings played at home on New Years Day: 1/1/79 vs. Colorado (won 5-3).
Updated Jan. 1 at 2 p.m.
I was watching the Winter Classic and I saw an AMP Commercial with a familiar face in J-S Aubin trading your mama jokes with the Sabres' Ryan Miller...if you have yet to see it, follow this link.
Updated Jan. 1 at 11 a.m.
Happy New Year's! And with the new year comes a new blog. The Kings blog will offer an entertaining inside look at your Los Angeles Kings. Visit this page often for news and notes from the team, commentary, game logs, photos, links and much more.