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Thread: Los Angeles Kings

  1. #31
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    Mayor's Manor had a great column on goalie prospect Martin Jones.

    Some highlights of the piece:
    Only 21, he was signed as a free agent in October 2008. The following season he wrapped up his junior career in stellar style, being named the 2009-10 WHL Goaltender of the Year (behind a 2.21 goals-against average and .919 save percentage).

    What did he do for an encore? He turned pro, went to Manchester (AHL) and practically stole the starting job from Jeff Zatkoff. In 39 games played, he posted a 23-12-1 record with a 2.25 goals-against-average and a .924 save percentage. He also was the starting goaltender in the AHL All-Star Game - yes, as a rookie.

    Summing it up, he's pretty much sky rocketed to third on the team's overall depth chart in net.
    Here's what goaltending coach Bill Ranford had to say:
    Coach Ranford on Jones' confidence in camp - "From the first goalie session on, he's been lights out. He's always had a great demeanor. But, I think he's getting better at reading releases, getting better at reading plays. And that's how you become a better goalie and that's how you move to the next level. I'm really looking forward to seeing how he does against the big boys in training camp, that's the next step for him."

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    Kings will introduce recent addition Mike Richards to local media this Wednesday.

    The Los Angeles Kings have scheduled a Press Event luncheon featuring newly acquired All-Star center Mike Richards for next Wednesday, July 27, at Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo. Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi will also be available during next week’s event.

    The event will begin with an informal luncheon from Noon – 12:45 p.m. in the Kings main conference room (second floor, Kings business operations office area) followed by media availability with Mike Richards beginning at approximately 1 p.m. in the Kings locker room. That portion of the Press Event is slated to be streamed live on LAKings.com.
    They are serving lunch, if you are in the area, RSVP's are appreciated

  3. #33
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    Coach Terry Murray spoke with Mayor's Manor about two prospect D-men: Jake Muzzin and Nic Deslauriers.

    Even with the defensive group in LA pretty much set (Drew Doughty, Jack Johnson, Willie Mitchell, Rob Scuderi, Matt Greene and Alec Martinez), the Kings still have a pretty deep pipeline, with guys like Muzzin, Deslauriers, Thomas Hickey, Andrew Campbell, Derek Forbort and Kevin Gravel - just to name a few.

    For specific comments on the performance of Muzzin and Deslauriers this week, we turn to Kings Coach Terry Murray, who shared the following:

    On Muzzin, who played 11 games in the NHL this season (with one assist) and 45 games in the AHL (3g, 15a) - "Well, just looking at Jake first of all, he's more mature. You can see the growth in his appearance. I think the time that he had here (in Los Angeles) at the start of the year last season is always a good thing for a young guy like that. It really gives a lot of confidence. He might have not went down to Manchester and taken a hold of things the way I would have liked to have seen him - in the sense that you're going to try to be the best guy on the ice every night. But, I think that's part of the experience you go through. He's going to be a better player as a result of that. But, he's definitely come a long way. Here's a player who we end up signing as a free agent, he plays games for the LA Kings last year, big body guy, big shot. He's going to contribute in all areas of the game when he finally established himself in the National Hockey League. So, again, the commitment he's made so far is going to pay off for him."

    On Deslauriers, who helped lead his team to the QMJHL Finals and was tops among Quebec league defensemen in postseason points (5g + 15a = 20 points in 24 games) - "Nic is more under control now. He's playing the game more with a mentality where he he has a good grasp on what needs to be done and how to play it the right way. To me, that's the maturity in the emotional part of the game. Sure, physically he's bigger and stronger, he has a couple summers under his belt now and working out with the program. So, that's just going to be the natural progression of his game. We have a good prospect there."

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    I was digging around Mayor's Manor, and I came across this post from end of regular season. Coach Murray was asked to name his choice for team rookie of the year. He gave the nod to Kyle Clifford over Jonathan Bernier, Trevor Lewis and Alec Martinez.

    "I really like what Bernier has done in the second half. His game has been quality and he won some huge games for us. I think Clifford, as a young guy coming in, not having any pro experience at all - out of juniors, surprising us, making the team, making a difference in games, trying to get energy into a team, maybe, on a tough night, tough game, by going out and fighting somebody - that's a hard job. He deals with it, he handles it, he does it just on his own, he figures that part of it out. Now he's playing an important role on this hockey club. So, you'd probably have to look at him."

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    Not sure if you've seen this already or what-not but I thought it was a pretty cool interview with Mike Richards.
    http://watch.tsn.ca/featured/clip507254#clip507254
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    The biggest frustration among King fans last year was the lack of power play production. Mayor's Manor has a good piece with Coach Murray about the PP unit for the coming season. Here's the link to the full article, and a few quotes:

    Kings coach Murray discusses next season's power play

    As many Kings fans recall, Murray and his coaching staff came under heavy fire last season for the lack of success the team had with the man advantage during the regular season - a paltry 16.1% conversion rate, ranked 21 out of 30 teams. Then, somewhat miraculously, they found their groove in the playoffs, converting nearly 21% of the time.

    Still, 'Fire Jamie Kompon' was something lighting up message boards and social media sites once the season ended.

    - - - -

    At a meeting with season ticket holders about a month prior though, (GM) Lombardi said there were many things wrong with the power play - "We need to gain the zone more with possession, battle in front of net and the team is short on skill." Later, he was more direct on one of those points - "(You need) really skilled players to become unpredictable on the power play and we're a little short there."

    So, with the 'personnel' piece of the equation receiving significant upgrades over the last few weeks, it now begs the question - Where does the system and structure go from here?

    - - - -

    Then, Murray went back to a familiar script when describing what the power play could really use - "A little better shot mentality. We've been talking about that right from the day that I got here. Shooting the puck more, hitting the net. I think from our blueline, sometimes we just don't get that puck through (to the net) the way you'd like to see it get though in critical situations. So, that's something we'll work on through training camp (in September) and talk a lot about and keep pushing it."

    - - - -

    Specifically, how does he plan to use Richards? Well, Murray says he hasn't spent anytime on that just yet. However, he pointed out that the skilled centerman can play just about any position on the power play - "He can play the backend and he does a very good job back there on the power play. He's also a guy you can play right down on the goal line or in front of the net. He's a gritty guy to be able to do that."

    In conclusion, Murray said that given the new tools at his disposal, he'll spend some more time on sorting out what he wants to do with the power play prior to camp - where they'll work things out on the ice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sudden Death View Post
    The biggest frustration among King fans last year was the lack of power play firepower. Mayor's Manor has a good piece with Coach Murray about the PP unit for the coming season. Here's the link to the full article, and a few quotes:

    Kings coach Murray discusses next season's power play

    Good find, thanks bud. Both waves of that Kings PP should be pretty lethal now with Kopitar/Richards/Penner/Brown/Williams/Gagne upfront and Doughty/Johnson at the point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffl97 View Post
    Not sure if you've seen this already or what-not but I thought it was a pretty cool interview with Mike Richards.
    http://watch.tsn.ca/featured/clip507254#clip507254
    interesting...he appears to be 95% truthful throughout the entire interview except for a couple key points, anyone else spot them?

  9. #39
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    Wow, that article brought back painful flashback memories of the inept power play unit last season.

    Kopitar holding the puck on the half boards.
    No movement by the other forwards.
    Fans screaming "SHOOOOOOOT!"
    Doughty or Johnson winding up for one-timer rockets
    - straight into the defender's shin guards
    Stoll launching slap shots high and wide
    - straight into the glass behind the net.

    I sure hope Jamie Kompon gets more creative this year - his job may depend on it.

    Is it hockey season yet?

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    Mike Richards was officially introduced to the local media yesterday - no word on if he showed up drunk.

    He did find time to do an interview with Mayor's Manor. Link & quotes below:

    http://www.mayorsmanor.com/2011/07/m...irst-game.html

    Friday, October 7th - when he makes his official debut as a member of the Kings in game one of the 2011-12 NHL season.

    Their opponent? Yes, the New York Rangers.

    He wasted no time jumping in with both feet when I asked him about the match-up earlier today - "Well, I didn't think I was going to have to fight (Brandon) Dubinsky anymore. I've already fought him five times. I can't get rid of this guy," Richards said.

    "It's going to be interesting. We had a great rivalry over the past couple of years, a ton of great games against them. Like I said before, about LA and New York, there's always a buzz when you play the Rangers...whenever you play them it just sticks with you and there's a hatred there because guys compete so hard against each other. It's going to be a good start. It's not going to be hard to kinda get up for it. I know everybody on that team and how they play. So, I think it's going to make it easier."

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    An odd PR snafu unfolded this past weekend. The Kings scheduled a three-day Fan Cruise to Ensenada Mexico. There were three players scheduled to be on the cruise: Drew Doughty, Wayne Simmonds and Trevor Lewis. Well, that was before Simmonds was shipped off the Philadelphia in the Mike Richards trade. Then, unsigned RFA Doughty announced at the last minute that he would not be attending the cruise. I guess the prospect of spending a weekend at sea with drunken hockey fans asking him over and over when he will re-sign with the team didn't appeal to him.
    Lewis was still scheduled to be on the trip to Ensenada aboard the Carnival Cruise Lines Fun Ship Paradise, along with radio analyst Daryl Evans and former King Ian Turnbull. And mascot Bailey too.

    There’s no official word on why Doughty stayed on dry land but it’s likely he wanted to avoid facing constant questions about his contract status with no easy escape from those inquiries except a lifeboat.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sudden Death View Post
    An odd PR snafu unfolded this past weekend. The Kings scheduled a three-day Fan Cruise to Ensenada Mexico. There were three players scheduled to be on the cruise: Drew Doughty, Wayne Simmonds and Trevor Lewis. Well, that was before Simmonds was shipped off the Philadelphia in the Mike Richards trade. Then, unsigned RFA Doughty announced at the last minute that he would not be attending the cruise. I guess the prospect of spending a weekend at sea with drunken hockey fans asking him over and over when he will re-sign with the team didn't appeal to him.
    Wow, that is definitely going to piss some people off.

    No disrespect to Lewis intended, but when he's the highlight of the cruise that was originally supposed to feature Drew Doughty (and Simmonds)... Sheesh, that's not gonna go over well.

    As for the Kings powerplay, I'm expecting BIG things this year...
    Goalies: If I'm pickin em you best be sittin em!


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    Here's a big surprise, Coach Terry Murray is planning on juggling his lines this year.

    ... And the most common complaint is his (Murray's) apparent fascination with juggling lines. There probably wasn't a post-game Kings Talk radio show last season when the subject wasn't brought up at least once.

    Part of the issue really hasn't been his fault though. When you don't have the necessary pieces to truly assemble two top lines, you're left scrambling. It's like a cat constantly chasing its tale. Or, better yet, like robbing Peter to pay Paul.

    So, now that he has a legit top-six...and by the far the deepest Kings roster he's ever had - on paper - will he be putting the blender away?

    ---

    Then came the comment that can be used for some fun debate over the next six weeks until camp opens - "I do have a tendency to go with two players on a line and kind of fit it in from there and see how it falls in place."

    Which he went on to explain, is how he's setting up the top two lines - "With (Dustin) Penner and (Anze) Kopitar (on the first line), Gagne and Richards (on the second line) - I'm kind of playing around with that in my mind and on paper right now."

    What about the captain, Dustin Brown? He started last season on the top line with Kopitar. Where is Murray thinking of playing him next season? "I've gone through that process. I've moved it around to different looks. Justin Williams is in there too. I have Williams with Kopitar sometimes."

    Nothing is set in stone quite yet though. "Again, getting some thoughts down on paper right now is all that I'm doing," explained Murray. "Just getting myself ready for what I want to do as training camp approaches. We'll just play it out. I'll have some conversations with players by phone over the rest of the summer and see how they're feeling."

  14. #44
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    Penner-Kopitar-Williams
    Gagne-Richards-Brown

    Would be a sweet top 6. Though like the article says he'll probably juggle them up.

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    More off-season filler.

    I found an interview with Kings' captain Dustin Brown on the website of their AHL farm team, Manchester Monarchs.

    Brown talked about his early love of hockey:
    I started skating by pushing a metal chair, a folding chair, around the ice. When I got old enough to play hockey, I came from a small town but I was always like the best player in my town. So it came pretty easy at that age.

    I loved the game right away. I couldn’t wait to get on the ice whether it was a 5 o’clock practice in the morning or going to skate and shoot after school. This really peaked around the time I was in middle school. Me and a couple other guys would use our Friday night to skate and shoot and not go to a movie with all the other kids from school.
    Pee wee = hitting!:
    I am a forward now but in mite and squirt hockey I was a defenseman. I think I played ‘D’ purely because it’s an easy way to be on the ice a lot. Like I said, as a kid from a small town who is always the best player the coached will play you at defense so you can get more ice time from that position. Then around pee wee I switched to forward and I’ve been there ever sinse.

    Pee wee is also when you can start hitting. I was pretty excited about that. I think every kid likes pee wee unless you are a small kid. And I was pretty big when I went to pee wee and it kind of evolved each year. The higher levels you get you have to find a way to make an impact on the game. I was physical coming into my NHL career but I remember my first year with the Kings I had gone from scoring 30-40 goals in junior hockey and I knew I wouldn’t do that here so I had to find a way to make an impact and that was something I was really good at before.
    The tough choice between playing in OHL or going to college:
    I think a lot of kids in my hometown, and to me some extent, really looked at Cornell University as a great place for hockey. They have a pretty good hockey program and for me I remember watching the NHL and that’s what I wanted to be. The closest thing we had to the NHL in my town was Cornell which has produced many NHLers. You could go there every Friday night for a game and that was pretty big back home. But my goal was the NHL, not Cornell.

    That road for me began with the Select 15 festival which is like a national thing. I tried out for the New York team and I got cut from the New York state team. I didn’t even make it to the team that would go to the nationals and play the other regions. I then went for the select 16s. That was the summer I got drafted by Guelph in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). Then I made the New York team and I was like the top pick for the national team. So I went from not making the New York team to making the national team in a year. That was the same year I got drafted into the OHL.

    Going and playing in the OHL was a hard decision. My whole life all I thought about was going to college to play hockey. I didn’t even know what the OHL was honestly. Around 14 is also when I met Scott Norton, who is my agent. He gave me the options back then and tried to help me make a decision. It was an easy decision for me but hard for my parents to let me go when I was 15 and throw away my college eligibility.

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