Sorry, folks

Sorry I haven’t been posting, but due to a communications snafu and being out of town covering the NCAA Tournament, I didn’t realize I was going to post on the Kings this week. My apologies, and I’ll try to keep you guys up to date in between covering quadruple toe loops and triple axels at the World Figure Skating Championships!

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Going off the grid

I’m now officially on furlough for a week. For those not familiar with the term, don’t worry. I had no clue either, until about six weeks ago. Basically, it’s a week off without pay, a measure enforced by our company to try to save costs. I’m not going to complain, since others are far worse off these days than I am.

I know Jill will do her best to keep everyone updated on Kings news, but she’s in the middle of March Madness and we already ask her to do 18 other things at the paper.

So for the next week, you might want to visit the blog’s Facebook page. Per company rules, I can’t post on this blog until next Monday, but fortunately my company doesn’t own Facebook, so I can do as much personal “blogging” as I choose. The format is different, of course, but the content will be roughly the same. Facebook members can comment as well, so it could be fun.

So feel free to check it out here:

Rich’s completely non-Daily-News-related Kings page on Facebook

EDIT: For those who can’t access Facebook at work, try putting this URL into any feed reader.

http://www.facebook.com/feeds/notes.php?id=49384086650&viewer=3433802&key=465e878945&format=rss20

I’ll be back here on the 30th, and most likely with some changes to the comments part of the blog. I’ve asked, over and over, for people to be civil and communicate like adults, and there are some people who are just unwilling or unable to figure out how to get that done. So I’m going to figure out exactly how to fix that. It’s not a threat. I’m just letting people know, in advance, that change is coming. Thanks.

See you all on the social-networking side…

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Hockey Fest coming in August

The Kings yesterday announced that their inaugural “Hockey Fest” event, which will be held at LA Live in August. I remember some readers asking when the Kings would put on an event such as this, so hopefully this will be a strong event. From the Kings’ news release:

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LOS ANGELES – LA Kings Hockey Fest ’09, a three-day interactive festival celebrating the Los Angeles Kings and the game of hockey will take place beginning Friday evening, Aug. 28 and conclude on Sunday, Aug. 30.

This inaugural event will feature Kings’ players, coaches, alumni, hockey dignitaries, special Kings’ merchandise, hockey memorabilia, special Q&A sessions with players and autograph sessions.

All activities and events during the LA Kings Hockey Fest ’09 will take place at LA Live in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles.

Season Ticket Members will have an advanced opportunity to purchase tickets for the first-ever LA Kings Hockey Fest at the discounted rate of $45 beginning Tuesday, March 24. This is an all-inclusive ticket price which entitles ticket holders admittance into all LA Kings Hockey Fest events for the weekend. Tickets for the General Public will go on-sale on Monday, March 30 at 10 a.m. and will cost $60.

“Hosting Hockey Fest at LA Live will be a great way for fans to interact with the LA Kings in ways they have never done before. It’s a celebration of the best game in the world and a can’t miss event for anyone who loves the LA Kings and the sport of hockey,” said Kings’ President of Business Operations Luc Robitaille. “Hockey Fest will be a fantastic way to kick off the 2009-10 season.”

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Postgame “incident”

Seth Rorabaugh, who maintains a fantastic Penguins blog on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette website, made mention of a brief postgame incident last night that was apparently in response to Malkin’s hit on Wayne Simmonds:

“We almost had a scuffle at center ice after the game. A few Kings bumped a Penguin on their way to the locker room. A few of the Penguins immediately went over and seemed to challenge the offending Kings players. Guerin, ever the veteran stepped in and quickly defused the situation by acting as a peacemaker.”

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Postgame notes (3/20)

– The Kings’ only goal in their 4-1 loss to Pittsburgh, initially credited to Drew Doughty, was later given to Michal Handzus, with assists to Doughty and Kopitar. Handzus has now scored a goal in three consecutive games and has three goals and two assists in his last four games.

– Justin Williams made his Kings debut. He played 13 minutes, 36 seconds, was credited with one shot on goal and was charged with one giveaway, which led to a Penguins goal.

–With Justin Williams joining the lineup, Terry Murray took the opportunity to shake up the Kings’ lines. The first line of LW Teddy Purcell, C Anze Kopitar and RW Dustin Brown stayed intact, but Williams fit into the second line, alonside LW Kyle Calder and C Jarret Stoll. C Michal Handzus and RW Wayne Simmonds stayed on the third line and were joined by enforcer RW Raitis Ivanans. LW Alexander Frolov, the Kings’ leader goal scorer, and RW Peter Harrold were dropped from the second line to the fourth line, alongside C Derek Armstrong.

–Alexander Frolov, in his fourth-line role, played 17 minutes and recorded one shot on goal.

–The Kings had the odds against them before they even stepped on the ice. This was the 13th time this season that the Kings had played games on back-to-back nights. With Friday’s loss, their record dropped to 4-8 in the second game of those back-to-back situations.

– Drew Doughty had an assist, following up on his two-point game Thursday against Boston. Doughty had previously gone five games without a point and 15 games without a goal. Doughty led the Kings in ice time, at 26:56.

– Jonathan Quick was back in net, in the second of a back-to-back games scenario, and it didn’t go well. Quick stopped 22 of 26 shots to fall to 1-5 in his last six road games. Quick has allowed a total of 19 goals in his last five road games.

– Dustin Brown had a game-high six shots on goal.

– Anze Kopitar had an assist, one night after his seven-game point streak got snapped in an overtime victory over Boston. Kopitar now has six goals and five assists in his last 10 games. Kopitar led all Kings forwards in ice time at 21:09. (edit)

– Davis Drewiske, recalled Friday morning from the American Hockey League, played in place of injured Denis Gauthier. Drewiske played 15 minutes, 30 seconds, and was credited with one shot on goal.

– Denis Gauthier missed the game with an undisclosed upper-body injury and returned to Los Angeles. Gauthier is expected to be out until the second week of April.

– The Penguins outshot the Kings 26-25.

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Williams’ Kings debut

On today’s Kings road report, Justin Williams talked about playing his first game for the Kings tonight, against a talented Pittsburgh team…

“I know that Pittsburgh is a very skilled offensive team,” Williams said. “They’ve even added some more talent with Bill Guerin and Chris Kunitz up front so they’re one of the most talented teams in the league up front and we need to be good defensively, it’s plain and simple. We know how dangerous they can be and no lead is safe since they have the top two scorers in the league. They’re tough to stop and we need to try to skate with them tonight.

“We are a young team in the fact that nothing really phases us. Regardless of how the game goes tonight, if we’re down a goal or if we’re down two goals or three, we have the attitude that says, ‘nothing is going to phase us.’ So we need to come out and try and get a lead tonight and try and get the crowd against them and I think we can do that.”

There are also quotes from Drew Doughty about facing the Penguins’ forwards

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