Postgame quotes (3/31)

(Re game recap): “Well, the start of the game tonight was probably as poor a start as we have had all year. We don’t start to get into the game until five minutes into the third period. We haven’t been home for 15 days and during this stretch, these games are very important. I have talked about that in the past, talked about it today, that you need to dig in and play the games the right way and come away and learn something from these games.”

(Re the play of Justin Williams): “Well, Justin is coming, but he’s gone through a couple of injuries that are going to take some time for his body to re-adjust again to play the game. He’s missed a lot of time. You’ve seen improvements along the way, but I don’t know if we will see the real Justin Williams this year. It might take a full offseason, getting ready to play again and coming back, and now hopefully at the beginning of training camp he’ll be hitting the ground running. We know what he is. He’s a 30-goal scorer, and he knows how to get it done.”

(Re game recap): “If we maybe came better prepared, we wouldn’t have had to play from behind or try and come back, and that’s something that we have to learn.”

(Re Stars’ power play): “Modano made a pass, and it was a world-class pass and a good finish at the back door. The other power play was a miscue with our forwards. We got two forwards caught on one side and the Stars were able to walk into one and that’s just a mental error on our part on the penalty kill.”

(Re game recap): “The Stars had the upper hand in shots, they had the upper hand in speed, quickness. They beat us to pucks. It was an unacceptable performance from us.”

(Re Joining the Kings on the ice): “It’s a lot different coming in when you are a healthy player in the swing of things. It’s been tougher to start for me. I haven’t shown what I’m capable of yet and I know that it’s going to take a little bit of time, but I’m working as hard as I can to make sure that that happens quicker rather than later. It’s tough to believe that when you come off a road trip, the first game at home always seems to have a tough time getting into it. But at this level of the game it is unacceptable for us to be, albeit, not quite in the playoffs, but knowing that we have to win out to even have a chance, and our performance was ugly and it won’t happen again.”

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Postgame notes (3/31)

— The Kings went 0-for-2 on the power play and 3-for-5 on the penalty kill. The Kings are 0-for-14 on the power play in their last four games. They allowed more than one power-play goal in a game for the first time since Feb. 18 at Anaheim, a span of 20 games.

— Jonathan Quick stopped 32 of 35 shots and had a couple streaks ended. Quick had won three consecutive home games and had not allowed a goal to the Stars this season. In two previous appearances against the Stars (one start, one relief), Quick had stopped all 33 shots he faced in 85 minutes.

— Jack Johnson scored the Kings’ first goal, giving him goals in consecutive games for the first time this season.

— Anze Kopitar scored the Kings’ second goal. Kopitar had only one point, an assist, in his previous four games.

— Derek Armstrong had an assist. Armstrong had one point, an assist, in his previous 12 games.

— Brad Richardson had an assist to break a nine-game scoreless streak.

— Sean O’Donnell had an assist.

— The Kings were outshot 35-28. Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown each had four shots for the Kings. Brown and Matt Greene tied for the team high with six hits.

— Drew Doughty played a team-high 26:28. Davis Drewiske was second at 22:43. Michal Handzus led all Kings forwards at 21:44.

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Quick learner

Here’s what Terry Murray had to say about the recent play of goalie Jonathan Quick, who must be happy to be in L.A. Quick is 2-4-1 in his last seven road games but has won three consecutive home games. For the season, Quick has an 18-12-2 record, a 2.58 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage. If that GAA holds up, it will be the lowest by a regular Kings goalie since 2003-04, when Cristobal Huet finished at 2.43 and Roman Cechmanek finished at 2.51.

MURRAY: “He’s really showing us a lot as an organization. From the time he joined the team in December, he has continued to show improvement. His work habits are good, and are excellent really, more than very good. The instinctive part of his game, when it really gets heated up and the game gets to a high pace, his instinctive play comes out, and he’s been showing a nice talent level in that area. It’s not only the physical side but also the mental side. I’m very pleased with how his game has come along and how he has played. He seems to be hungry to succeed. He wants to play as many games as I give him, and we like what we’re seeing.”

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Kings sign Corey Elkins

The Kings have signed Corey Elkins, who recently completed his college career at Ohio State, to a one-year entry-level contract. Here’s the release from the Kings…

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings have signed free agent forward Corey Elkins to a one-year entry-level contract, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced Tuesday.

Elkins, 24, finished with a team-leading 18 goals and 41 points (18-23=41) in 42 games during his recently completed senior season at Ohio State University. The 6-2, 215-pound native of West Bloomfield, Michigan also finished with 18 penalty minutes and he shared the team lead with a plus-24 rating. He led the Buckeyes to a record of 23-15-4 and a berth in the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament (OSU was eliminated from tournament play last weekend).

In four seasons with the Buckeyes, Elkins – a three-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete, two-time Academic All-Big Ten choice and 2007 Coaches Award winner for hard work and determination – recorded 60 points (27-33=60) and 40 penalty minutes in 102 career games with the Buckeyes.

Elkins skated with the Sioux City Musketeers (USHL) during the 2004-05 season and his 19 goals and 42 points (19-23=42) helped lead the Musketeers to the USHL’s Western Conference championship that season. Before that, he played with the St. Louis Heartland Eagles (USHL) in 2003-04 (57 GP, 12-17=29, 36 PIM) and the Compuware Ambassadors (NAHL) in 2002-03 (49 GP, 8-11=19, 37 PIM).

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Playing through pain

There can be debate about some players, but it seems to be generally accepted that Kyle Quincey has been one of the Kings’ strongest defensemen this season. Quincey has four goals and 34 assists in 72 games entering tonight, which is all the more impressive considering that he’s been playing with back pain. Quincey, most likely, is going to require offseason surgery to correct what I believe is a herniated disc. Here’s what Terry Murray said about Quincey’s effort this season…

MURRAY: “OUr training staff does a great job of keeping an eye on, and watching, the players. When he came here, it was something we knew was going to have to be taken care of eventually. The doctors, each time they talk about it, everything is status quo. There is an issue and it will be addressed, but there is no further risk to his back by him playing. He had a follow-up meeting and conversation with the doctors and they reassured him in that area. But we do know that the operation will take place at some point. He’s been doing a wonderful job playing through it. Sometimes he feels nothing, and sometimes he feels a lack of strength in the back and the legs. He has done a great job of playing through it.”

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Murray pleased with Williams

Here’s what Terry Murray had to say yesterday about Justin Williams’ first few games with the Kings. In his five games with the Kings, Williams has yet to record a point but did score a game-winning shootout goal. He has recently been elevated to the top line, alongside Anze Kopitar and Michal Handzus…

MURRAY: “We’re seeing a player who is improving with every game. He seems to be getting his legs under him. He’s handling the puck with more confidence and he’s getting to know the players he’s playing with. I know that his best hockey is in front of him and I know we will not see that hockey until next season. He will have these games, and then he will get back to work in the summer and get that work ethic in place. In training camp, we’ll see who Justin Williams is and what he can bring to the Kings. I’ve seen it over the years and I’m looking forward to having that kind of player.”

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Tonight’s Kings `teleconference’

The Kings tonight held a 90-minute “teleconference” in which season-ticket holders were allowed to call in and ask questions of Dean Lombardi, Terry Murray, Luc Robitaille, Ron Hextall, Chris McGowan and Jeff Solomon. According to Nick Nickson, who moderated the event, more than 1,300 people called in, and the Kings allowed me to be one of them. There were some technical issues that made it a bit difficult to hear at times, and I wasn’t attempting to get a full transcript anyway, but I’ll give a rundown of each of the questions and answers.

Here it goes…
Continue reading “Tonight’s Kings `teleconference’” »

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