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Kings…But Not of the Road

It’s been a whirlwind week for the Kings. They played the first in a series of road games against their Southern California rivals, the Anaheim Ducks, where they experienced a devastating loss.

Within five minutes of the puck dropping, Anaheim had scored two goals against Conn Smythe winner, Jonathan Quick. This prompted head coach Darryl Sutter to pull the revered goalie, a move Sutter has only had to make about five times in his coaching career.

The move wasn’t based solely on Quick’s performance, but on the woes the team has faced as a whole. Having two veteran defensemen out has hurt them, but the offense has had problems getting the puck into the net.

It seems like the 7-4 loss did the Kings good. They came back and played hard against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night. Russian Defenseman Slava Voynov, a rookie who became a Stanley Cup Champion in his first NHL season, impressed with his d-man skills while managing to score the game winning goal.

Kings...But Not of the Road
COLUMBUS, OH – FEBRUARY 5: Mike Richards #10 of the Los Angeles Kings throws a punch while fighting with Brandon Dubinsky #17 of the Columbus Blue Jackets during the second period on February 5, 2013 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
(Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

That game also saw some heavy penalty times. Blue Jackets Brandon Dubinsky received a major and game misconduct for boarding Kings Rob Scuderi, sparking Mike Richards to jump in and defend his teammate, earning his own penalties. Dubinsky later received a $10,000 fine, the highest amount allowed under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Richards was the Gordie Howe Hat Trick star of the game, with an assist in the first period, a goal in the third and his scrap with Dubinsky.

On Wednesday, the Kings announced that Center Andrei Loktionov was traded to New Jersey for a fifth round draft pick. The move was unsurprising, as he had requested the move a week before. With centers like Anze Kopitar, Richards, Jarret Stoll, and Collin Fraser, Loktinov was not abe to see very much ice time, and he wasn’t able to prove himself an asset to the team during the game time he did receive.

Andrei Loktionov #48 of the Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 11: Andrei Loktionov #48 of the Los Angeles Kings holds up the Stanley Cup after the Kings defeated the New Jersey Devils 6-1 to win the Stanley Cup series 4-2 in Game Six of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center on June 11, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

As of today, the Kings are in the bottom of their division and twelfth in the Western Conference, though most teams are rounding out or have surpassed the 10-game mark. Tonight’s game will be the Kings ninth of the season. There is a margin for them to catch up, but in a shortened season, racking up the points is key.

This evening, last season’s road warriors continue their travels east to Tennessee, where they will play their second game against the Nashville Predators. Hopefully, they have ironed out some of their trouble areas and can earn themselves a couple of much needed points and begin to reclaim their road win crown.

Lisa Dancel

Lisa Dancel

Los Angeles Kings Contributor at Hooked On Hockey Magazine
I'm an LA girl living in the greater Orlando area. After moving from one sunny state to another, I've never lost my love of hockey. Saturdays are spent at the rink, where my twin boys take lessons. I spend my Sunday mornings singing or otherwise serving at church. By day, I'm a paralegal; by night, I'm a paralegal who goes home. If you see me around, we should share a pitcher of beer. Dark brews only, please.
Lisa Dancel

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