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Drew Doughty of Kings leaves game vs. Sharks with upper-body injury

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By Darian Somers

It looked like a harmless play, but Kings defenseman Drew Doughty left Thursday’s game against San Jose with an upper-body injury. He was not expected to return, according to Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times.

Doughty hit Sharks forward Tyler Kennedy and immediately slowed up, bending over and making his way to the Kings’ bench before leaving the game.

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  • Published On Apr 04, 2014
  • Can the Kings become an NHL power?

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    Kings cornerstones Jonathan Quick (left) and Drew Doughty are just entering the prime of their careers. (Mark J. Terrill/AP Photos)

    By Stu Hackel

    The Kings are making the rounds with the Stanley Cup – The Tonight Show, the Jimmy Kimmel Show (here, here and here, Off the Record, etc.), Wednesday night’s Angels-Dodgers  game – and will show it off to their fans as they ride on double-decker buses in a parade through downtown Los Angeles on Thursday. (“Fans are encouraged to celebrate responsibly and be prepared for warm weather by drinking water and wearing sunscreen,” cautions The Los Angles Daily News.) After the parade, there’ll be a rally at the Staples Center. Tickets for the rally are free, distributed to season ticket holders, team sponsors and the like, although KCBS-TV reports some are ending up on eBay and Craigslist for over $200 each.

    “In the days when the Montreal Canadiens won the Stanley Cup almost every spring,” writes The Los Angeles Times’ Helene Elliott, “the city’s mayor would succinctly announce the details of the championship celebration. ‘The parade will follow the usual route,’ was all he needed to say, and everyone knew what that meant. There is no usual route for the Kings, who Monday won the first Cup title of their 45-year existence….They actually took an unusual route to get here, but if a few things go right, their parade could become a familiar ritual.”

    “We built this for a long run. It’s a good young team with the core tied up, and we have the resources to keep our key guys and look to add,” Tim Leiweke, the Kings’ governor and chief executive of parent company AEG, told Elliott. “We want to compete for a long time now.”

    Can they? Do the Kings have the makings of an NHL powerhouse?

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  • Published On Jun 13, 2012
  • Bernier not goat in Devils’ Cup loss

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    The boarding call on the Devils’ Steve Bernier was a cruel blow to a team that thrives on the forecheck. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    By Stu Hackel

    You may want to fit the Devils’ Steve Bernier for goat’s horns after his five-minute major in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, the penalty that essentially handed the championship to the Kings with their 6-1 victory. But there are many other people who deserve a share of the blame that history will unfairly heap on New Jersey’s fourth-line left wing for costing his team a chance to get to Game 7.

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  • Published On Jun 12, 2012
  • Devils’ adjustments push Stanley Cup Final to Game 6

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    Adding Henrik Tallinder (7), who has fresh legs, has made a huge difference for the Devils’ defense. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    By Stu Hackel

    The Stanley Cup Final moves to an unlikely Game 6 on Monday night as the Kings get a second chance to close out the Devils at home and win the hallowed chalice. Usually if you blow a chance to wrap up a series on home ice, it can be fatal and if L.A. coughs up a second opportunity and we get Game 7 on Wednesday night in New Jersey, anything is possible.

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  • Published On Jun 11, 2012
  • Devils forced into a must-win Game 3

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    Zach Parise and New Jersey’s other big guns have been misfiring or silent, a major reason why the Devils find themselves in such a dangerous 0-2 hole on the road. (Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

    By Stu Hackel

    The fat lady in this 10 month-long hockey opera hasn’t started to sing yet, but she’s put on her makeup and is warming up in the wings.

    A Game 3 win by the Kings tonight in Los Angeles will leave us within one game of the Stanley Cup championship. They’ve won the first two games and not really played their best hockey of the postseason — and that’s fine: You don’t get style points in the playoffs.

    Four times now, the Kings have put a team that had the supposed home ice advantage at a distinct disadvantage by forcing it to win twice at the Staples Center to draw even in a series. No one has done it yet, not Vancouver, St. Louis, or Phoenix. It’s a remarkable achievement.

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  • Published On Jun 04, 2012
  • Kings and Devils thrive in Game 2s

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    The Kings were able to keep Ilya Kovalchuk in check in Game One. (Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

    By Stu Hackel

    After an underwhelming opening night performance by both teams, the stakes have suddenly gotten quite high for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. Two opposing trends will be on the line when the teams face off in Newark on Saturday evening.

    The Kings have taken a 2-0 series lead on the road in each of the three rounds they’ve played so far. Their Game 2s have been strong outings all spring.

    The Devils, conversely, have lost the first game in the last two series they’ve played and come back to win the second and the round. They say they are quite comfortable being down 0-1 and they’ve played well in their Game 2s.

    Both trends can’t continue. One will end on Saturday and that should have a lot to do with the course this series takes. A win by L.A. in this one will send the Kings back home for the fourth straight series with a chance to make this one a quick affair and hoist the Cup on home ice.. A win by New Jersey could at least mean that what many prognosticators expected, that we’re in for a six- or seven-game series, will indeed ensue.

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  • Published On Jun 01, 2012
  • Was Lidstrom the MVP of his era?

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    By Stu Hackel

    Of the many things that Nick Lidstrom said Thursday morning while announcing the end of his remarkable playing career (video), it was perhaps the last one in his prepared remarks that spoke the loudest: “Retiring today,” he said, “allows me to walk away from the game with pride rather than have the game walk away from me.”

    This is a player who for much of last season was considered the best defenseman in the NHL, and if he returned next season, he’d still be one of the best players. But after being slowed by injuries and unable to raise his level of play in this year’s postseason, Lidstrom has his own standard of excellence to uphold. He knows he’s lost the inner drive to train as hard as he must this offseason in order to bounce back and reach that level of greatness again. He won’t cheat himself, he won’t cheat his teammates and he won’t cheat the fans if he can’t play with the same determined excellence that made him, without question, the best defenseman of his era.

    That’s not just me making that evaluation of Lidstrom’s talent and legacy, that’s the opinion of Scotty Bowman.

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  • Published On May 31, 2012
  • Keys to the Stanley Cup Final

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    You can expect that Mike Richards’ Kings and Zach Parise’s Devils will go at each other fast and hard. (Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

    By Stu Hackel

    So here’s the Stanley Cup Final no one could have anticipated in early April. Kirk Penton of The Winnipeg Sun figured out that this is the “worst” match-up in 20 years: “New Jersey was ninth overall and the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, while the Kings were 13th overall and eighth in the Western Conference,” he wrote. “Their regular-season placings total 22. The only higher sum was in 1991, when the No. 7 Pittsburgh Penguins beat the No. 16 Minnesota North Stars. In fact, not since the playoffs expanded to 16 teams in 1980 has the better seed among the finalists been as low as No. 9 overall.” But he was quick to say that this was just a technicality, insisting “New Jersey and Los Angeles should be solid entertainment.” True that.

    As low as their seeds may have been, the Devils and Kings belong in this series. The Kings were underachievers for most of the regular season, in part due to not having Mike Richards at full strength after he was concussed in December. The Devils were without their top center, Travis Zajac, for 67 games. And both teams had to adjust to new systems brought in by new coaches — one at the start of the season, one during it — that emphasized aggressive forechecking. The saying goes that “It’s not the best teams that get to play for the Cup  but the teams playing the best.” Now that they’re healthy and comfortable playing a style that fits their personnel, it’s hard to argue that these two currently aren’t the best teams in hockey.

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  • Published On May 29, 2012
  • Keys to the Western Championship

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    The Coyotes must do a better job of protecting goaltender Mike Smith through all three periods as the games will be close and the Kings have the firepower to strike late. ( Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)

    By Stu Hackel

    We move to the playoffs’ third round on Sunday, and anyone who tells you they predicted before the postseason began that the Coyotes and Kings would meet for a chance to advance to the Stanley Cup Final should not be trusted. But here they are, two unlikely foes that have both peaked at the right time, knocked off favored opponents, gotten timely scoring, and thrived on defense and stellar goaltending. Any team that combines those elements belongs in a conference championship series.

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  • Published On May 11, 2012
  • The fallout from Weber’s award

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    All eyes are now on the contract negotiations between the Kings and RFA defenseman Drew Doughty. (Jason O. Watson/U.S. Presswire)

    By Stu Hackel

    Now that Shea Weber’s arbitration award is settled, what will the immediate ripple effect be on the remaining top unsigned NHL defensemen – Drew Doughty of the Kings, Luke Schenn of the Maple Leafs, and the Jets’ Zach Bogosian?

    The one-year $7.5 million salary that Weber received is the largest arbitration award in NHL history and it makes him the NHL’s top-earning defenseman, bypassing the Florida Panthers’ Brian Campbell, who pulls down slightly over $7.1 million per season. That in itself is crucial because it will provide a standard for all other defensemen contracts going forward.

    More immediately, there had been speculation that the three above-named RFA players, teams and their agents were waiting for Weber’s salary to be determined before moving forward with deals for the other RFA defensemen, figuring that Weber’s payday would provide something of a guide for what a top young blueliner should earn in the salary cap NHL.
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  • Published On Aug 04, 2011


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