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Sports Then and Now



Will the Defending Champion Los Angeles Kings Be Left Out of the NHL Playoffs? 16

Posted on February 15, 2015 by Dean Hybl
If the NHL Playoffs began today, the defending champion Los Angeles Kings would have no chance of repeating.

If the NHL Playoffs began today, the defending champion Los Angeles Kings would have no chance of repeating.

If the NHL season ended today, the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings would be left on the outside looking in at the 2015 playoffs. However, a recent hot streak has the champs back within striking distance and they still have a chance to make the playoffs.

Beyond the Kings, the race to the Stanley Cup seems wide open with many teams capable of hoisting the Cup. The top sportsbooks at SportsbookNavigator.com rate several teams as good bets to claim the title.

Of all the major sports, regular season success historically has been the least important to the eventual champion in the NHL.

You need look no further than last season when the Kings were sixth in their conference and their finals opponents the New York Rangers fifth in theirs during the regular season only to pull out big wins at the right time during the playoffs.

So far this season, the Nashville Predators have the best record in the league at 38-12-6. Quite a turnaround for a squad that won 38 games all of last season while missing the playoffs for the second straight season. New coach Peter Laviolette and 20-year-old star Filip Forsberg (with a team best 50 points) have the Predators on track to finish first in the conference for the first time in team history. Read the rest of this entry →

The Slovenian Superstar: Anze Kopitar of the LA Kings 3

Posted on November 10, 2009 by Scott Weldon
Vancouver Canucks v Los Angeles Kings

Anze Kopitar is the top scorer in the NHL so far this season.

Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings is the NHL’s leading scorer almost a fifth of the way into the season. His twenty eight points in eighteen games have pushed him past the injured Ovechkin. This is the fourth year in the NHL for the twenty two year old Slovenian. He has flirted with the point a game barrier but this year is looking to smash through it. Kopitar is on pace to score over one hundred and thirty points.

The LA Kings scored the third fewest goals in the league last year ahead of only the Islanders and Colorado. They finished behind such offensive power houses as the understaffed Nashville Predators, the caught in their own trap Minnesota Wild, and even the offensively bankrupt Phoenix Coyotes. This year the Kings are third in the league in scoring behind only Washington and San Jose. They’re threatening to take a playoff spot. It’s not all because of Anze Kopitar, but his breakout season is helping.

Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
      August 7, 2021 | 6:59 pm

      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

      During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

      Read more »

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