Category Archives: Hockeywood Tonight

Hockeywood Tonight: SCF Game 2 Preview videos

Hockeywood Tonight

NHL Network’s E.J. Hradek and Steve Mears preview game two between the Kings and Devils

Daryl Evans and LA Kings Insider Rich Hammond give updates from the Prudential Center in New Jersey.

NHL Network’s Steven Mears shares the latest news from the LA Kings on the off day.

NBC Sports takes a look at the literal Kings of the road.

Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun look back at Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals

Steve Mears and Darren Pang reports from Kings practice prior to tomorrow’s game 2 vs. the Devils.

Jonathan Quick of the LA Kings spoke with the media following practice on Friday.

Anze Kopitar of the LA Kings spoke with the media following practice on Friday.

Jeff Carter of the LA Kings spoke with the media following practice on Friday.

Rob Scuderi of the LA Kings spoke with the media following practice on Friday.

Coach Sutter of the LA Kings spoke with the media following practice on Friday.

NHL Network analyst Steve Mears speaks with Los Angeles Kings Anze Kopitar.

Jonathan Quick of the LA Kings spoke with the media following practice on Thursday.

Dustin Brown of the LA Kings spoke with the media following practice on Thursday.

Matt Greene of the LA Kings spoke with the media following practice on Thursday.

Coach Sutter of the LA Kings spoke with the media following practice on Thursday.

Hockeywood Tonight: Stanley Cup previews videos

Hockeywood Tonight

Cisco NHL Live gives you what to expect in game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final

Hockey Night in Canada’s David Amber and Mark Osborne explore a very equal Stanley Cup Final.

Y! Sports’ Nick Cotsonika and Greg Wyshynski make their picks for hockey’s championship series.

Here’s NBC Sports storylines to watch for the SCF.

Here’s ProHockeyTalk’s Stanley Cup preview

Yahoo’s look at the Devils and the Kings who will play a key part in their respective teams winning a title.

ESPN’s Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun offer up their picks to win the 2012 Stanley Cup.

Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final starts Wednesday. Katie Strang, Don La Greca, Dan Arritt and Barry Melrose give you an inside look at the upcoming series.

Who will be drinking out of the Stanley Cup? FOX Sports’ Larry Murphy makes his pick.

FOX Sports’ Larry Murphy breaks down the key matchups between the Kings and the Devils.

FOX Sports’ Larry Murphy channels Simon Cowell to pick his Stanley Cup Final X Factors.

Aliya-Jasmine Sovani has the top 10 facts you might not know regarding both the Kings and Devils.

Hockeywood Tonight: WCF Game 4 previews

Hockeywood Tonight

Anze Kopitar #11 of the Los Angeles Kings scores a second period goal past goaltender Mike Smith #41 of the Phoenix Coyotes in Game Three of the Western Conference Final during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staples Center on May 17, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

To peep out all the videos online about this game, check out today’s Hockeywood Dailies.

• LA Times’ Helene Elliott: Kings are not used to this company

A victory over the Phoenix Coyotes today at Staples Center would give the Kings a berth in the Stanley Cup finals with a 12-1 record, the fewest games any finalist will have played since the NHL expanded the first round to a best-of-seven format in the 1987 playoffs. The quickest route has been 14 games, taken several times, most recently by the 2008 Pittsburgh Penguins.

• LA Times: Kings are not taking 3-0 series lead against Phoenix for granted

The Kings, at this point, should know how to handle a 3-0 series lead. They won the first three games in the two previous series against Vancouver and St. Louis, though they did lose Game 4 to Vancouver.

• LA Times: Rookie Dwight King has been a surprising scorer for Los Angeles Kings

The kid from Meadow Lake — a town of about 4,000 — has gone from starting the season in the minor leagues in Manchester, N.H., to one game from making the Stanley Cup finals. Game 4 of the Western Conference finals is at noon Sunday at Staples Center with the Kings on the verge of sweeping Phoenix.

• LA Times: Coyotes’ coach changes his tune on diving

Playoff rants are a time-honored tradition in the NHL, like the team handshake after a series is over. Usually the chatter starts when a playoff series tilts in one team’s favor. And Tippett’s accusations Thursday night amused Kings players to some extent.

• OC Register: Kings know history awaits, but first they must win

Different players, it seems, have taken turns starring in every game of the Kings’ 11-1 run in these playoffs. Their 3-0 lead over Phoenix — the third consecutive series in which they have had that advantage — has highlighted their impressive depth.

• OC Register’s Mark Whicker: Unstoppable Kings refuse to look ahead

It could end Sunday and, if it does, would put the Kings into a Stanley Cup Final for the second time ever and the first since Wayne Gretzky marched through Toronto in 1993.

Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick blocks a shot by the Phoenix Coyotes during the first period of Game 3 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference finals, Thursday, May 17, 2012, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

• Fox Sports West: Defensively astute Kings on verge of Cup berth

The Kings have not sat back at all in these playoffs, instead relying on waves of barreling, forechecking forwards that force disproportionate action in the offensive zone. It’s an evolution of the defensive play they exhibited in the regular season, when their blueliners led the way to a second-place finish in hits and several games against Phoenix and Dallas — two other top-five teams in the hitting category — turned into physical, emotional affairs.

• Fox Sports West: Kings one win from Stanley Cup Finals

ince suffering a shootout loss and an overtime loss to San Jose in the final two games of the regular season — games in which the Kings uncharacteristically allowed four power play goals — they have taken three consecutive 3-0 series leads over their three division-winning playoff opponents. Los Angeles had never taken a 3-0 series lead in the 44 seasons prior to this year, yet when Jonathan Quick leads his team onto the ice Sunday afternoon at Staples Center, he will have a pair of Game 4 home close-out chances to draw experience from.

• Sporting News: Kings’ Dustin Brown close to complete success

Dustin Brown was credited with nine hits in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals on Thursday night. Since the Kings’ captain donates $50 to the Newborn and Infant Critical Care Unit at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles for each of his hits, the Phoenix Coyotes’ pain was sick kids’ gain.

• CBC Sports: L.A. rookie Dwight King has Saskatchewan hometown abuzz

Meadow Lake, population 5,045, is the hometown of Kings’ rookie sensation Dwight King. His No. 74 sweater has yet to be added to the collection that hangs inside the Milltown haunt, that includes three other NHLers from Meadow Lake, but manager Darcy Friesen said that if Dwight brings a Kings sweater back home this summer, they will be more than pleased to find some wall space.

• SLAM Sports: Kings whipped into shape

Darryl Sutter has a voice like a gravel road in rural Alberta.
He rumbles more than talks.

• New York Times: Far From Land of Nip and Tuck, Kings Are Thriving Incognito

Crossing the intersection at East 42nd Street and Vanderbilt Avenue, I had them lined up perfectly. I stepped in, took a sign and interrupted with a “Let’s go, Kings.”
Nothing. No caustic words, no dirty looks, no witty retort.
I might as well have said: “Excuse me. Never mind.”

Dwight King #74 of the Los Angeles Kings is knocked back by Derek Morris #53 of the Phoenix Coyotes in the second period in Game Three of the Western Conference Final during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staples Center on May 17, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

• Lewis continues to play huge role for Kings

“He was always a terribly fast, hard-working guy and he’s invaluable at this level,” Kevin Westgarth said. “You can see he works the hardest out there, and he’s got a lot of confidence going now. That’s huge. He’s willing to carry the puck through the neutral zone and do a lot of stop-up plays. But his work ethic and his speed is what obviously has really gotten him to this level and made him flourish.”

• Kings know there is still work to be done

“I think the biggest mindset right now is to finish this series,” Scuderi said. “You get up 3-0, and everyone starts looking ahead. I think one of the good things that this team has had is we’ve been able to stay grounded and focused on what we have to do and that’s to hopefully close out the Phoenix Coyotes sooner rather than later.”

• Depth at center has Kings on brink of Cup Final

“Depth is something that we had success with all year,” Richards told “It has never been one line. I don’t think our line had the best game [Thursday] night, but [Kopitar’s] and [Stoll’s] line stepped up. The depth of our team is something that we take pride in. We play four lines and we play six D. We more or less just roll it over on the bench unless specialty teams are involved. I think that is were a lot of our success comes from.”

• King, Nolan have formed their own support group

Dwight King and Jordan Nolan are two strapping 22-year-old professional athletes living in the shadows of Hollywood, a short drive from the beach, a freeway jaunt from the action. Talk about the dream, right?
Fun in the sun, parties, fine dining, celebrity lifestyle …
Uh, not so much.

• Kings’ forecheck is grinding down opponents

Time after time, the Kings would dump the puck behind the Phoenix defensemen and then go hard after it. More often than not, the dump-ins were placed in such a way as to ensure that Smith, perhaps the best puck-handling goalie in the League, could not play it.

Hockeywood Tonight: WCF Game 1 Previews

Hockeywood Tonight

Drew Doughty #8 of the Los Angeles Kings scores the winning goal in overtime against the Phoenix Coyotes at Staples Center on January 5, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noah Graham/NHLI via Getty Images)

• For the Hockeywood Dailies previews of the Kings/Coyotes Western Conference Finals series, click here

LA Times coverage

Elliott: Kings and Coyotes have overcome a checkered past

Theirs is an unlikely convergence, a dramatic shift away from the usual playoff powers to teams whose dreary postseason pedigrees have often gone unnoticed except to be mocked.

Coyotes and Kings rely on the same strengths

The teams, separated by two points in the regular-season standings, might be spiritual cousins from the Pacific Division but not twins. Phoenix finished two points ahead of the Kings in the Western Conference, but the Kings had the edge in their season series, by one point.

Kings GM Dean Lombardi: A circuitous career for a circuitous guy

From the sofa squatter to four wins away from the Kings landing in the Stanley Cup Finals for the second time in franchise history. Game 1 of the Western Conference final between the Kings and Coyotes is Sunday at Phoenix.

Los Angeles Kings’ Mike Richards finds success away from Philadelphia

Not many would have predicted a few months ago that Richards and his linemate Jeff Carter would be the ones playing for a spot in the Stanley Cup finals, not the Philadelphia Flyers. Exile in Los Angeles never looked quite so good.

Elliott: Kings’ foursome knows what it takes to win Stanley Cup

All four have been valuable resources in the locker room and on the ice while the Kings advanced to the Western Conference finals against the Phoenix Coyotes, counseling less-experienced teammates on small matters such as getting the proper rest and bigger issues such as how to breathe when the pressure tightens their chests.

Elliott: Kings know they’ll face a Phoenix team much like themselves

Time off hasn’t dulled Jonathan Quick’s reflexes. The Kings’ stellar goaltender took two days off the ice but still displayed excellent speed and lateral moves while trying to dodge onrushing reporters at the team’s practice facility Tuesday.

Times are good for Kings’ Jordan Nolan and family

Youngest son Jordan Nolan, 22, scored his first NHL playoff goal in the 3-1 victory over St. Louis that launched the Kings to the Western Conference finals. The same day his father, Ted, the former coach of the Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders, coached the Latvian national team to a victory over Germany at the world hockey championships in Stockholm.

Elliott: Kings, especially Dustin Brown, appreciate the rest

His body needed the respite after he dished out 39 hits over two rounds and helped carry the Kings to the Western Conference finals for the first time since 1993. But Brown, who had six points in the team’s sweep of St. Louis and has 11 points in the playoffs, said the cerebral side of the game has taxed him more than the physical side during upsets of the No. 1-seeded Vancouver Canucks and No. 2-seeded Blues.

First look: Kings vs. Coyotes

Canada’s Team stood between the Kings and a spot in the Stanley Cup Finals nearly two decades ago. Now, it’s merely the NHL’s team.

Linesman Jonny Murray #95 gets taken down with Kyle Clifford #13 of the Los Angeles Kings during scrum with the Phoenix Coyotes at Arena on February 21, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHL coverage

Kings back in a routine as Game 1 nears

Other than not having a morning skate, the Kings finally feel like they are back in playoff mode after a hiatus of nearly a week following their four-game series sweep of the St. Louis Blues. And, yes, it feels good.

Kings’ Penner credits Sutter for playoff renaissance

Kings forward Dustin Penner feels like he’s been taking one long breath in this postseason, only finally there is fresh air coming into his lungs, spreading good will and good fortune throughout his body. He doesn’t want it to stop. He’s challenging himself to make sure it doesn’t.

Sutter settles into life in Southern California

Kings coach Darryl Sutter couldn’t quite figure out what that noise was. At first he thought it was a train, but that’s only because on his Alberta farm he can hear trains coming for miles.

Sutter has led re-education of Kings

“Everyone wants to paint him as a farmer, but this guy had a full boat to Princeton — and quite frankly if he had gone that way, I wouldn’t be surprised if this guy was on Wall Street right now,” Lombardi told “He is very sharp, but because he’s a cowboy, us liberal intellects from the Northeast want to label him as stupid. We tend to do that. That’s the thing that is really underrated here.”

Carter’s scoring touch could change course of series

The Phoenix Coyotes have yet to see Carter’s trademark shot. Carter came to the Kings from the Columbus Blue Jackets in late February, after L.A. had finished its six-game series against the Coyotes. Carter, in fact, didn’t face Phoenix as a member of the Blue Jackets and last played against Phoenix on Feb. 22, 2011, with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Transforming Quick into NHL goalie took time

Kings goalie coach Bill Ranford recalls marveling at the athleticism and swagger Jonathan Quick had when he was a collegiate star at the University of Massachusetts.
“He was the show,” Ranford, an ex-NHL goalie, told “He was the superstar there, the big man on campus, and he could do whatever he wanted. His game was all athletic.”

Early wake-up call jump-started Quick’s career

Imagine that — Hextall, one of the most ferocious and fiery goaltenders to ever play in the NHL, was considered the mild-mannered one when it came to lecturing Quick about his indefensible and irresponsible act of sleeping through a part of a practice and a breakfast meeting with goalie development coach Kim Dillabaugh when he was a first-year pro in the minors.

Coyotes and Kings use same formula for success

The Coyotes won the last two regular-season meetings and edged the Kings for the Pacific Division title. Los Angeles has been the better team during the playoffs and is favored by many to take home the first Stanley Cup in franchise history. But the Coyotes have been the underdogs since the playoffs began and have reveled in the role, beating Chicago and Nashville eight out of 11 times.

Lombardi talks Quick, Sutter and Kings’ success

Did you ever feel that it was unraveling this season?
“No, because the guys cared and I knew it was a good team. A lot of the problems at the beginning of the season were my fault. I violated a couple of the rules I was taught, I got away from fit. We had brought in good players, but they weren’t in the best position to succeed.”

Kings GM Lombardi feels indebted to pair of mentors

If not for the advice of steady-handed Lou Lamoriello in 1996 and the friendship and eventual job offer from the fiery Bob Clarke in 2003, Lombardi might be somewhere back in Massachusetts right now, putting his Tulane University law degree toward something far more safer — but far less rewarding — than he is right now as the general manager of the Los Angeles Kings, one of the five teams still standing in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Shane Doan #19 of the Phoenix Coyotes fights against Dustin Brown #23 of the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on February 16, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)

Other coverage

• The Hockey News: Kings investment in Drew Doughty already paying off

Based on the way Drew Doughty has played for the red-hot Los Angeles Kings lately, it seems almost unfathomable his worth to the team was questioned over the summer. But that was exactly the case during those negotiations – and neither side was wrong.

• The Hockey News: How did Quick get missed?

Clearly, there were aspects of Quick’s game that caused him to fall to the third round (72nd overall) of the 2005 entry draft. But it isn’t as if the Kings or any other league franchises whiffed on not drafting him sooner. It happens all the time with goalies, who in many cases are notorious late bloomers. And as my Draft Preview story argues, that’s why you see so few teams willing to use a first round pick on a goalie.

• Patience pays for Voynov and Kings

It started out as yet another winter of discontent in New Hampshire for Slava Voynov, who last October unhappily began his fourth season as a pro hockey player in North America. Drafted 32nd overall by the Los Angeles Kings in 2008, the Russian defenseman knew he’d likely have to spend some dues-paying time in Manchester before he got his shot in the NHL. But four years? Nyet.

• Sporting News: In playoff time for winter sports, our lonely eyes turn to…L.A.?

And this week, all of those common pastimes seemed a tremendous waste because Los Angeles, global capital of illusion, tossed aside its lovable shallowness and slipped into something far more interesting.
Yes, the city snobby East Coasters derisively call La-La Land is far and away the best sports hub on the continent. Tinseltown has grown a pair.

• Variety: Rangers-Kings matchup could pump NHL

The Stanley Cup Finals are still a couple of weeks off, but if the puck rolls NBC’s way, there is a possibility of an attractive bicoastal New York-Los Angeles matchup.
While it may not be the Yankees vs. the Dodgers, the two cities have a storied sports rivalry, and ratings could soar — at least by NHL standards.

• The Hollywood Reporter: Hollywood’s Hockey Jockeys: How Industry Execs Are Lending Their Support to the L.A. Kings

Not only do the Los Angeles Kings have a lot of passionate fans in the industry, they even have a few working for them — for perks, not pay. With an assist from its under-the-radar Hollywood Advisory Board, the hockey team is cooking in the NHL playoffs for the first time in years and eyeing its first Stanley Cup in its 45-year history.

Hockeywood Tonight: WCSF Game 3 previews

Hockeywood Tonight

Los Angeles center Jeff Carter scores the third goal of the first period past Blues defenseman Kris Russell (4) and goaltender Brian Elliott during a second-round playoff game between the St. Louis Blues and the Los Angeles Kings on Monday, April 30, 2012, at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Post Dispatch, Chris Lee)

L.A. Times coverage

After down season, things are looking up for Kings’ Dustin Penner

His performance is a reprise of his success with the Ducks during their 2007 Stanley Cup run, when he contributed three goals and eight points while teamed with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. The young trio was split up when Penner signed a five-year, $21.25-million offer sheet with the Edmonton Oilers that summer, and without them to exert peer pressure his passion soon vanished.

Kings try to maintain road karma at home

“I think it’s more like we want our rink to feel like it’s our rink,” he said Wednesday. “We’ve never practiced there. Four years I’ve been here, we’ve never practiced there. Maybe that could do with our subpar home record the past few years. Maybe you don’t get a feeling like it’s your rink because you’re never there, and I think I like this idea of being able to go there and practice there.”

Short-handed goals have been huge for Kings

The Kings have scored four short-handed goals in seven playoff games this spring. That stands out even more considering they scored nine in 82 regular-season games, led by Mike Richards with four and Kopitar with two.

Los Angeles Kings' Dwight King, left, and St. Louis Blues' B.J. Crombeen fight during the first period in Game 2 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series Monday, April 30, 2012, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) coverage

Kings aim for 60-minute effort in Game 3

“It wasn’t the best,” Anze Kopitar said. “There’s no secret to it. I’m sure every other guy will tell you the same thing. We had, what, six shots the rest of the way? It’s not good. It didn’t hurt us last night. We had the start we wanted. But you want to stay consistent, obviously, and play like that for 60 minutes. There’s room for improvement and we’ve got to be ready for Game 3. “That’s probably one of the worst periods they had in their season so far. They said it, at least what I’ve heard from them. They’re going to be ready for Game 3. We have to be focused.”

Despite road success, Sutter still prefers home cookin’

“If you have a distinct home crowd flavor, it’s always better. I go back again, those old buildings, old Chicago Stadium. Now they say what’s the difference? All the buildings are the same. The ice surfaces are the same. But your home crowd can influence if you handle it right. Composure with young players is a big thing. Preparation is a big thing. When you weigh all that stuff … I’m just set in my ways now.”

Clifford skating, working his way back into shape

Clifford said he passed his “psych” test and feels better but is cautious about possibly coming back too soon after seeing other players make that mistake.

Penner’s year goes from pancakes to playoff heroics

In theory, Penner’s Stanley Cup pedigree is a benefit to the young Kings, most of whom have not advanced past the first round. Penner said that 2007 season gave him a distorted view of the postseason, though.
“Obviously you’re excited to be in the playoffs and you think it’s going to be this easy all the time,” said Penner, who missed the playoffs three straight years after 2007.

Jonathan Quick #32 of the Los Angeles Kings makes a save against the St. Louis Blues in Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Scottrade Center on April 30, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Kings beat the Blues 5-2. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

More coverage

• Fox Sports West: Kings pushing, grinding way through playoffs

“99% of fights start with both guys dropping their gloves and a punch is thrown, and then when I saw a third man in…that’s when I said, ‘well, that’s not fair, I have to come and help,’ Penner said. “It wasn’t a DDT, it was a rear naked choke hold. That’s what they call it in UFC. It’s terminology I’m not familiar with, it’s just what I was told it was.”

• Kings: How they got from there to here

Forget trying to put a finger on what turned this season around. You won’t have enough hands.
One of the favorites to finish high in the Western Conference standings coming into the season, with a roster full of skill, youth and experience, the Los Angeles Kings were underachievers almost from the start.
Well, except for goalie Jonathan Quick.

• OC Register: Kings treating home like the road

The Kings have routinely held their practices and game-day skates at their El Segundo practice facility, but Coach Darryl Sutter downplayed the maneuver, saying that he took advantage of a rare opening while the Lakers and Clippers are out of town.

• NBC Sports: No joke: Dustin Penner’s been a force for Kings

From taking a thunderous hit from T.J. Oshie that generated quite a skirmish (including some knuckle sandwiches exchanged between Oshie and Mike Richards) to other rougher bits, Penner was very much in the thick of things.
Before the playoffs, many would say he was just thick.

• NESN: Quick, Kings Could Have A Legitimate Claim to Throne As L.A. Continues to Dominate West’s Elite

But Quick isn’t a one-man act. The Kings are playing solid defense in front of him and using a balanced attack to overwhelm the Blues the same way they did the Canucks. Add in the physical play the Kings have brought and there are shades of the formula Tim Thomas and the Bruins rode to a Cup last year.

• Slam Sports: Penner starting to look like old self

The irony of Penner speaking to L.A.’s focus and intensity isn’t lost on many; those words haven’t been used in a lot in discussions about the former Edmonton Oiler recently but he looks a driven man right now.

• Carter: Kings’ fight forged in stretch run

“We had to fight just to get in, and once you get in, anything can happen with how close the teams are,” Carter added. “An eight seed doesn’t really mean anything once you’re in. Anything can happen. That month before the playoffs started has helped us. We just kept rolling the way we’ve been playing. It’s good.”

• The Globe and Mail: Kings becoming the team that GM envisioned

Consider that at the de facto three-quarter mark of the season, the Kings and Calgary Flames had identical records, 66 points from 61 games, and both were outside the top eight in the West. The Kings needed about 70 games to sort themselves out, played 10 strong games down the stretch, mailed in the final two and entered the playoffs as an unknown wild card, sitting there with some dangerous potential because of the overall consistency of its goaltending, and the certainty that all the key pieces, from defenceman Drew Doughty on out, could be better – in some cases, a lot better.

Hockeywood Tonight: WCSF Game 1 Previews

Hockeywood Tonight

Goalie Jonathan Quick #32 of the Los Angeles Kings knocks the puck out of the crease in front of Kings defenseman Matt Greene #2 and Patrik Berglund #21 of the St. Louis Blues at Staples Center on March 22, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

• For all the previews you can possibly handle, check out Hockeywood Tonight.

LA Times coverage

Kings-Blues preview: a first look

If the Kings walk by and look in the mirror, they see the St. Louis Blues.
Pleased to meet me.

Kings, St. Louis Blues may stretch playoffs

Purists embrace the absence of the shootout when it comes to playoffs. Even some purists, however, embrace the concept of sleep, which may be in short supply after Kings-Blues games.

Eliiott: Kings and Blues can’t help but like each other

Blues Coach Ken Hitchcock was so generous he declared the Kings the top team in the West because they eliminated the No. 1-seeded Canucks. But he wasn’t generous enough to give the Kings the home-ice advantage that comes with the top seeding, so the series will start in St. Louis on Saturday and Monday before moving to Los Angeles next Thursday and Sunday.

Elliott: Kings follow rules of playoff success, chapter and verse

The gospel of successful playoff hockey, according to Kings Coach Darryl Sutter, is indisputable.
“Goaltenders, special teams, top players, unsung heroes and discipline. Write it down and don’t forget it,” he said. “It’s true. It’s part of the hockey bible. I’ve seen it for 35 years, live.”

Kings hope Dustin Penner’s line switch pays off

The revamped lines will stay together against the Blues, with Sutter looking for Penner to respond to postseason pressure the way he did while playing for the Ducks’ 2007 Stanley Cup championship team.

Drew Doughty #8 of the Los Angeles Kings pushes Jamie Langenbrunner #15 of the St. Louis Blues to the ice at the Scottrade Center on November 22, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

NHL coverage

Blues, Kings eager to drop puck on battle of a series

“I think the media has drawn a lot of similarities … I think if you look at the stats, the defense, the scoring, everything is very similar,” Kings captain Dustin Brown said. “Right now, we’ll see what the difference is. There’s going to be differences that show up once you have to play each other six or seven times.”

Goalies, defenses could reign in Blues-Kings series

The Blues were the League’s stingiest team in the regular season allowing just 155 goals for a total of 1.89 goals per game. The Kings, however, were second, allowing just 170 goals for a total of 2.07 goals per game.
Those trends have carried over into the playoffs, as each team allowed a League-low eight goals in winning their first-round playoff series in five games.

Kings’ Mitchell still looking for ways to get better

Mitchell arguably has been L.A.’s best defensive player in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He was instrumental in funneling the Vancouver Canucks to the outside lanes in the Western Conference Quarterfinals. He logged a game-high 28:17 of ice time and had eight blocked shots in a series-clinching victory in Game 5 that was a microcosm of a season in which he got back to the shut-down role he had with Vancouver from 2006-10.

Top picks Doughty, Pietrangelo make early impact

The evolution of a player from starting an NHL career to firmly establishing his presence often takes a significant amount of time. It can be measured in a number of years before a player’s potential is in full bloom.
But looking at the draft class of 2008, particularly among the defensemen, they’ve made their mark on the NHL in such a short span.

X-Factor: Carter is wild-card to Kings’ success

The Kings can play defense and prevent goals. They needed more offense to be a serious threat in the postseason, and the addition of Carter has provided that –whether it is his own production or other players on the roster benefitting from the attention his line now commands.

X-Factor: Kings need Penner to play to his potential

Facing the League’s best defensive team in the regular season, the Kings will need as much offensive help as they can find. With a top line anchored by first-round star Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar, and a second line featuring proven playoff performers Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, getting positive contributions from Penner on the third line would make them that much tougher to beat.

Jonathan Quick #32 of the Los Angeles Kings makes the game-ending save during a shootout against Chris Stewart #25 of the St. Louis Blues at Staples Center on March 22, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noah Graham/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Associated Press coverage

Well-rested Kings, Blues set for Game 1

”L.A. plays nasty, they play real nasty,” Hitchcock said. ”They follow the coach’s orders, and they finish all their checks. They play with a level of commitment to physical play that’s going to be a challenge for any team.”

LA Kings excel in playoffs with meager offense

While the Blues aren’t exactly an offensive powerhouse, Los Angeles is easily the lowest-scoring team to make the playoffs. The Kings spent most of the season with the NHL’s most inept offense, relying heavily on Quick and an improving defense to make up for weeks of offensive struggles.

LA Kings make long-awaited playoff breakthrough

The Kings had lost in the first round in two straight seasons after an eight-year postseason absence, but they’ve finally achieved something commensurate to their potential after a seven-month struggle to find their game. Their midseason woes cost coach Terry Murray his job, but the lowest-scoring team to make the postseason kept moving right through the Canucks.

Kings-Blues Preview

Ken Hitchcock of the St. Louis Blues and Darryl Sutter of the Los Angeles Kings both have top-shelf goaltending and the two stingiest defenses overall. Both teams dispatched their first-round opponents in five games, too, with relentless styles of play.

Hockeywood Tonight: Game 5 previews

Hockeywood Tonight

Los Angeles goalie Jonathan Quick led the NHL with 10 shutouts this season. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

• LA Times: It’s like old times for Kings’ Quick, Canucks’ Schneider

Quick, a native of Milford, Conn., and Schneider, who was born in Marblehead, Mass., are familiar foes. They opposed each other in prep school, when Quick attended Avon Old Farms School in Avon, Conn., and Schneider attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass. They went on to play against each other in college, too, with Quick at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Schneider at Boston College.

• LA Times: Kings hope to break through in Game 5 after another extended break

It’s been 11 years since the Kings won a playoff series, so what’s another four days? Well, plenty actually, if you believe Kings Coach Darryl Sutter, who wasn’t too happy about the extended break in their best-of-seven Western Conference first-round series against the Vancouver Canucks — and maneuvered his way through yet another off-day Saturday.

• LA Times: Kings benefit from Darryl Sutter’s varied personality

If you don’t like the personality of Kings Coach Darryl Sutter, then simply wait five minutes for the cold front to swirl out the door.
Or, in some cases, not even a minute.

• Fox Sports West: Kings looking for production from second line

That the fourth line was the team’s best line is a trend that should not continue. If the Kings are going to finish off a significant upset — they would become the 10th eight seed to upset a one seed since conference playoff realignment in 1994 — they’re going to need the Dustin Brown-Anze Kopitar-Justin Williams line and the Dwight King-Mike Richards-Jeff Carter to be their best lines on a nightly basis.

• Outlook not promising for injured left wings

While the Kings wait to find out what time the puck will drop Sunday for Game 5 of their Western Conference quarterfinal against the Canucks in Vancouver, there has been some clarity on the status of three injured left wings.

• Kings’ focus shifts to Sedins

The Kings are on a mission to slow the Sedins, a mission that few teams are able to accomplish.
Daniel and Henrik Sedin, the Vancouver Canucks’ start twin-brother forwards, were reunited in Game 4 on Wednesday when Daniel returned from a concussion. The Sedins were on the ice for all three Vancouver goals as the Canucks stayed alive in the series by beating the Kings.

• AP: AP Preview

The Canucks, down 3-1 in the best-of-seven series, face another must-win situation after beating the Kings 3-1 in Los Angeles on Wednesday night. Vancouver, first overall in the NHL for the second straight season, is attempting to become the fourth team in Stanley Cup history — 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, 1975 New York Islanders and 2010 Philadelphia Flyers — to rally from a 3-0 deficit.

• Kings will be no pushover for Canucks

The last time the Vancouver Canucks were up against a Darryl Sutter-coached team in the playoffs, they saw their season end in the first round of 2004 when Calgary Flames forward Martin Gelinas scored 85 seconds into overtime in the seventh and deciding game.

Hockeywood Tonight Game 4

Hockeywood Tonight

Here’s pregame with Drew Doughty.

Matt Greene had microphones shoved in his face after practice.

Anze Kopitar was crushed by the media after practice.

Darryl Sutter’s post practice presser.

Jeff Carter was on NHL Live on Tuesday.

Mike Richards spoke after practice Tuesday.

Jonathan Quick has his usual game face.

Dustin Brown knows how important tonight’s game is.

Rob Scuderi spoke his mind as well.

Coach Darryl Sutter’s post-practice presser form Tuesday.

Dustin Brown was featured as one of EJ Hradek’s top 5 stories.

Hockeywood Tonight: Game 3

Hockeywood Tonight

Cisco NHL Live has the first look at what to expect in playoff hockey on Sunday, April 14th.

Here’s CBC’s McDonalds Morning highlights.

Here’s NBC Sports’ preview of Sunday’s games with Bill Patrick and Jeremy Roenick.

First on the Kings’ side: Here’s Mike Richards, Jarret Stoll and Dustin Brown addressing the media after practice.

Drew Doughty’s post-practice comments.

Anze Kopitar added his point of view.

Here’s Brad Richardson talking after practice.

Finally, coach Darryl Sutter’s post-practice presser.

Now Vancouver: Henrik Sedin fields questions about the Kings, the series, and the status of brother Daniel who will not travel to LA.

Bob Long’s, aka Roberto Loungo’s, take on the series to date and possible changes for Game #3 in LA.

Bieksa shares his insights on battling back from a two-game deficit against a tough Kings squad.

Finally, Alain Vigneault talks to the media in advance of Game 2 tonight between the Canucks and Kings.

Hockeywood Tonight: Apr. 10

Hockeywood Tonight

Here’s the NHL Tonight preview of the Kings/Canucks series.

ESPN’s Barry Melrose takes a look at the series between the Kings and Canucks and smells an upset.

ESPN takes a look at the numbers between the Kings and Canucks.

Here’s NBC Sports quick preview, where they ask the question whether the Kings will be “too physical” for the Canucks.

Jeff Carter is interviewed by Daryl Evans after practice on Monday.

Evans also caught up with Drew Doughty after Monday’s practice.

Finally, coach Daryl Sutter held his first post-practice playoff presser.

L.A. Kings Hockey Blog