For a four-year stretch, it was the Kings and Chicago Blackhawks who ruled the roost in the Western Conference. And then there were the Ducks, who couldn’t get by either despite 50-win regular seasons.
Well, these are challenging times for all three. The possibility exists that all – once at the top of the conference hierarchy – could sit out the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs. They’ve surely got work to do to secure a seat at the postseason table.
Change has happened. San Jose finally broke through two years ago with its run to the Cup final and Nashville did so
No one has to tell the Kings about their up-and-down season. Players, head coach John Stevens and vice president/general manager Rob Blake all have acknowledged their inconsistency.
But Darcy Kuemper, backup goalie to Jonathan Quick, believes the team might be on the verge of staying on track for the long haul.
Kuemper on Tuesday stopped 28 shots, earning his ninth career shutout
in a 3-0 victory at Dallas.
It was the Kings’ second consecutive victory and third in four games. They had lost six in a row before that.
“Yeah, I think we’re well aware of the tough skid we were
LOS ANGELES — Saturday night was fevered.
Jonathan Quick played on a sub-Olympian level. Corey Perry somehow wheeled around to fire a puck from his own right circle to the faraway empty net.
Those are extenuating circumstances, ones that can’t escape a team hungering for points and position. The Ducks won, 4-2, then wasted no time beating it out of downtown L.A., lest someone throw a challenge flag to restore normalcy.
“When you hold a team like that to 25 shots on goal in your own building, that doesn’t happen very often,’ said Cam Fowler.
“It’s always a collective effort against those guys.”
To some, these are the dog days of the NHL season. Teams are at or around their midway point. The stretch drive to the playoffs won’t really be on until after the All-Star break. This is the time to reflect on the first half and reassess what needs to be done in the second half.
With that in mind, we thought it was a good time to unveil our inaugural 2017-18 midseason awards for the major categories and even throw in one we’ve made up. Imaginary trophies will be handed out and the winners need not be present to accept
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Anze Kopitar and the Kings have put those slow starts behind them.
Kopitar broke a tie with 2:14 left with his second goal of the game, and Kings beat the Columbus Blue Jackets, 6-4, on Saturday night to remain the only NHL team unbeaten in regulation.
Kopitar also had an assist, Dustin Brown added a goal and three assists, and Jake Muzzin had a goal and two assists. Trevor Lewis, Drew Doughty also scored for the Kings, and Jonathan Quick stopped 32 shots.
At 6-0-1, the Kings are off to the best start in franchise history.
“The last three years
EL SEGUNDO — Last season, the Kings were without Jonathan Quick for 59 games.
Surprisingly, they had a slightly better winning percentage without their two-time Stanley Cup champion goaltender than they did with him.
A groin injury in the first period of the 2016 season opener shelved Quick for the longest stretch of his career, giving the franchise a chance to see how another goalie would fare behind their defense, which is perennially one of the NHL’s best.
Peter Budaj, who had played in exactly 55 NHL games the previous four season combined, was Quick’s primary replacement last season. He finished fourth
Here is a short bio of new Kings coach John Stevens: