Catching up with the week.

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Jack Johnson, second from right, is congratulated by teammates Patrick O'Sullivan (12), Anze Kopitar, center, and Drew Doughty (8) after scoring against the Minnesota Wild during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009 in St. Paul, Minn. The Kings won 2-1 in a shoot-out.Game 59: Kings 2, Wild 1 (shootout)  Game 60: Flyers 2, Kings 0

If a blogger posts in the woods, does he make a sound? What if he posts from his bed?

I've been knocked on my ass this week, thanks to a combo of a wicked cold and a recent diagnosis of vertigo (WTF?!?) And no, not the U2 version of Vertigo, either. Although, that would be really cool. Apparently, Tom Preissing and I have something in common.

At any rate, I wanted to post something about Games 59 and 60, as the Kings continue to hover just outside the playoffs. Some important things to note: Dustin Brown has been out the last two games, thanks to the birth of his second child! So while the Captain has been out, Ted (Don't Call Me Teddy) Purcell has been called up, and his performance has been mixed. The CBS line has been one of the Kings most productive lines. You throw an outside skater on there, and it upsets the balance.

But now, the Kings are planning on getting an extended look at Purcell, as he skates on a line with Kopitar and Frolov tonight. This means O'Sullivan will skate with Brown, who returns Friday against the Red Wings, and Stoll. Calder drops down with Handzus and Simmonds, while Armstrong and Ivanans will skate with either Zeiler or Richardson. It'll be interesting to see how Purcell does on that line with Frolov and Kopitar.

Another interesting thing to note: Jack Johnson and Drew Doughty skated on the same line for a full game against the Flyers. THis is nothing but bad news for opposing players. The Alliteration to Obliteration Blueline should cause some problems for the opposite team, but maybe not against the veteran Detroit squad tonight. Still, it's exciting to see the pieces fall in place for the club, as it evolves into a contender before our very eyes.

Take a look at that picture: that's the future of the franchise. Kopitar, O'Sullivan, Doughty and Johnson. That's the core, lets hope for a long, long time.

• AP:  Doughty scores shootout winner as Kings beat Wild

• AP:  Flyers’ Biron records 25th career shutout
“It’s a good sign to see your team not play its best, against a good L.A. team, and still find a way to win,” Philadelphia head coach John Stevens said.
• Yahoo: Team report
Dustin Brown missed a second consecutive game to be with his family in Southern California. Brown’s wife gave birth to the couple’s second child Monday night. Brown is scheduled to rejoin the Kings Thursday and is expected to play in Friday’s game at Detroit.
• Royal Road Report: Forget Shorty
"He made one big save, I forget who it was against, maybe Koivu (Mikko) on the one-timer. It was a glove save. We’re in a situation where we have to have everyone playing at the top of their game, and we need a goaltender to give an "A" performance every night," said Kings coach Terry Murray. "Most of our games that are remaining are on the road and as you know the goaltenders are going to be tested. He’s a young guy who is playing pretty innocent and playing very well for us."
• Royal Road Report: Shut out in Philly
“You don’t want to instill hesitancy when you do the pre-scout before the game,” said Murray. “It’s all about awareness. I liked the way we moved the puck on the power play tonight. The opportunities were there.”
They said it
“Change sometimes brings focus back to details. When you change, you’re maybe not just relying on instinctive play as much. You really have to be alert when you’re playing as a new pair. Those kids played big minutes and important minutes for us.”—Kings coach Terry Murray, on the new defensive pairing of Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson.
Looking through purple-hued goggles

• A Queen Among Kings: Finishers, anyone? 1-1-0
This back-to-back the Kings just finished illustrated their need to get a finisher. Find the guy that can get the puck in the net when it matters; not just in the game, but at this point in the season. Is this person Dustin Brown? Maybe it’s that simple; he stayed in Los Angeles for these two games for the birth of his second child (CONGRATS!). Or maybe Brownie’s not the answer.
• The Royal Half: Act like you've been there before

• The Royal Half: And away we go

• Inside Hockey: A simple "yes"

From the other side of the ice, the Minnesota and Philadelphia view

• The Hockey Wilderness: The morning after
his aggression by Los Angeles also caused problems for the Wild on the forecheck and the Kings drove the net shift after shift, creating traffic and getting pucks on net. Unfortunately, the Wild refused to clear the low slot and didn't create enough traffic on their own.
• Russo's Rant: Los Angeles Kings 2, Wild 1 (shootout)
This was not like last month’s game when the Wild returned home from a big win in Chicago and laid an egg against the Kings. This time the Wild showed desperation. The team just couldn’t score, partially because of Jon Quick, partially because it missed the net and partially because it kept making passes that just didn’t exist.
• The 700 Level: Flyers Return to Their Kingdom

• Broad Street Hockey: Biron shuts out Kings, pours fuel onto goalie controversy
• It's Biron's turn to be 'The Story' in Flyers' win over Kings

Peeping the dailies


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