Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles Kings’

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(Photo: AP)

If you pay attention to most hockey media, you’re hearing names like Jonathan Toews and Henrik Lundqvist as mid season frontrunners for the Hart Trophy, awarded annually to the National Hockey League’s MVP. By definition, the Hart Trophy is to be awarded to “the player adjudged most valuable to his team”. While a strong argument could be made for the aforementioned Toews and Lundqvist, I can think of one guy who eclipses both in value to their team. Just one problem: Most hockey writers are in bed before his team plays their home games.

In my mind, it’d be difficult to say there’s anybody more valuable to their team than Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings. At press time, the Kings sit just two points out of first place in their division (and 3rd overall in the West). Quick has posted 20 of the teams 23 wins, and sits in the top 5 in the NHL in goals against average (1.95), save percentage (.934), wins (20) and leads the entire league in shutouts with 6 – 3 of those coming consecutively back in October. And he’s done it all behind the lowest scoring team in the entire league.

Quick has given up 2 goals or less in 24 of his 39 starts. He hasn’t allowed more than 4 goals in a single game even once this season. He has 12 wins in games where the Kings have scored two goals or fewer. No goalie in the league is under more pressure to perform on a nightly basis.

He’s one of the league’s absolute best goalies, and at this point, probably the frontrunner to start in goal for the US at the 2014 Winter Olympics (provided NHL players are allowed to play).

It’s certainly possible, given their talent laden roster, that LA will increase their scoring before the season ends. Dean Lombardi has built a stable of young defenders that will carry high value on the trade market, and he will likely deal for a sniper on or before the trade deadline. That said, if the Kings meager offensive output continues and the team wins their division (highly possible if not likely), I don’t think that any other player in the league can be said to have been as valuable to his team.

Let’s just hope some of the hockey media decide to stay up and watch.

JS

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Alec Martinez, Davis Drewiske and Slava Voynov

Having depth on defense is good, but making the choice of who to keep and who to send down is a difficult decision to make. This is the situation that the Kings management is currently facing. With Drew Doughty on injured reserve, Slava Voynov got the call to fill his spot and made his NHL debut in the Kings home opener. That left Davis Drewiske in the same position he was in most of last season: a healthy scratch. With speculation that Doughty could return to the line-up on Tuesday against New Jersey, who stays?

Before Doughty’s injury, the Kings were carrying seven defensemen. Why not just play Drewiske? During training camp, Voynov impressed the Kings management so it was only expected that he would get the call. Chatter amongst Kings fans is whether or not they think Voynov should stay with the big club and what should become of Drewiske. There are a couple of questions that I have my own answers for.

Why not keep Voynov and send Drewiske to Manchester?

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Doughty Watch

Posted: September 17, 2011 by Kingie in Los Angeles Kings
Tags: ,

Drew Doughty

Last season for the Kings, it was Ilya Kovalchuk. This year’s off-season dilemma? Re-signing Drew Doughty. Put aside trying to land Brad Richards via free agency, Dean Lombardi has been trying to get a new deal in place for the defenseman before training camp. The plan was to have Drew signed by July 1st, but here we are, the start of training camp and no new contract. So what’s the hold up? The past few days have seen a lot of fans blaming Doughty and calling him a “diva” for turning down a long-term deal worth what is believed to be an average of $6.8 million. We don’t know the specifics of what the Kings offered, but it has been reported that Doughty’s camp is asking $7 million. Lombardi has publicly stated that he thinks what he offered is fair and wouldn’t be offering more. The Kings have no issues with cap space, so why can’t Lombardi give Doughty what he is asking? The easy answer would be that he is spending wisely. We have seen this team go through the rebuilding process since Lombardi was hired on as General Manager in 2006. He is taking every step to make sure the Kings are going to be successful for years to come. He is taking extra care to be sure he can have all the right pieces in place to make that vision become reality. Drew Doughty is a valuable player. With the direction the team has been headed the past few seasons, getting a contract in place is a priority.

So, is Doughty the diva here, or is it his agent, Don Meehan? (more…)

This weekend, the Kings hosted their third annual Hockey Fest at Staples Center. It sold out to 3,000 fans and was an opportunity to interact with the Kings players and staff.  The organization and fans recognized those who lost their lives in the September 11 terrorist attacks and the players who lost their lives this off season, including those involved in the tragic Yaroslavl Lokomotiv plane crash by observing a moment of silence.

First up on the agenda was the State of the Kings, where fans were able to ask questions to Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi, Assistant GM Ron Hextall, Head Coach Terry Murray and VP of Hockey Operations Jeff Solomon. Bob Miller, who hosted the panel, got the ball rolling with the question everybody had on their mind: Drew Doughty. Lombardi seemed more interested in whether or not Heidi Androl would be coming back for another season with the broadcast team, which got some laughs out of the crowd. Much to the dismay of many (male) fans, Bob announced that Heidi would not be returning, yet would still be involved in the Kings organization. As for the Drew Doughty situation, Lombardi’s answer was not more revealing than what we already knew. He did, however, sound confident that Doughty would be in Los Angeles for a long time. There were also questions regarding the health and fitness of other players, namely Anze Kopitar and Dustin Penner. Good news on both: Kopitar has been having a successful rehab and Penner is in great shape. Another concern fans wanted addressed was the power play. Off-season additions of Mike Richards and Simon Gagne; shot-mentality and net presence? Dean Lombardi’s recipe for power play success. There was also a question regarding leadership and Terry Murray made one thing certain: Dustin Brown will remain the Captain.

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