Darryl Sutter

Report: Players growing tired of Darryl Sutter


For the first time since the 2008-09 season there won’t be postseason hockey in L.A. this year.

The Kings were officially eliminated from postseason action with Thursday’s 3-1 loss to the Calgary Flames.

L.A. has appeared in 64 playoff games over the past three seasons while winning the Stanley Cup twice.

According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, all that time together has the players growing tired of coach Darryl Sutter’s act.

Brooks reports the players locked Sutter out of the team’s room during a recent road trip.

Here’s the story from the Post:

Slap Shots has been told by two sources that the Kings locked the door to their locker room following a defeat on the road within the last two weeks so that Sutter could not get in and deliver what the players apparently expected to be another in a series of lectures/tirades.

As the tale was told, after Sutter finally tracked down an arena operative to unlock the door, he was greeted by three heavy waste receptacles lined up as barricade to what had become an empty room.

This has led to speculation that Sutter will be relieved of his duties during the offseason.

However, when reporters asked him on Saturday “whether we’re going to see you in September”, Sutter responded, “Absolutely. What do you mean, ‘see me?’ Am I invisible?”

Over parts of four seasons behind the Kings’ bench Sutter has a 138-84-39 record.

Video: Kings stretch streak to six with win over Avs


Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog opened the scoring with his 14th of the season at 3:09 of the first period; however, it was all L.A. after that.

Jeff Carter tied it 1-1 at 1:16 of the second and Tyler Toffoli scored the eventual game winner at 6:24 of the middle frame as the L.A. Kings defeated the Colorado Avalanche 4-1 Wednesday night.

Drew Doughty had a pair of assists in the win.

“With the way the schedule is and the way the season is and the importance of every game, you need something out of everybody,” said Kings’ coach Darryl Sutter. “It’s really hard to play guys who have only got five or six goals. We need more out of [them]. If they’re going to play teen-minutes as forwards, you have to get more out of them, and what you’re seeing is some balance out of our forward group.”

L.A. has now won six straight while out-scoring opponents 23-12 during the win streak. The Kings now have the same point total as the San Jose Sharks (66) for the second wild card spot in the Western Conference.

Jonathan Quick made 42 saves in the win including 18 in the second period.

Semyon Varlamov stopped 21 shots in the loss.

“I can’t complain,” said Avs coach Patrick Roy. “I understand it’s frustrating because that was a big game for us. At the same time, I’m very happy with the effort. I’m very happy with how we competed. I’m very happy with how hard we worked, back checked [and] our fore-check was there.

“We got a lot of shots [and] we had a lot of traffic in front of the net. I thought we did a lot of good things. Nothing to show for it tonight, but I think this is how we have to play.”

Carter added his second of the night into an empty net. Dustin Brown had the other Kings’ goal.

Tonight marked the first of three games between the two clubs. They’ll meet again on March 10 in Denver.

Video: Martinez injured following a shot block (Updated)


L.A. Kings defenseman Alec Martinez left Thursday night’s 2-0 loss with 9:29 remaining in the second period after taking a Jordie Benn point shot to the midsection and did not return.

Here’s a look at the play:

“Left the game in the second period and did not return. Once the doctor gives us some more information, that’s about all I can tell you,” coach Darryl Sutter said post-game.

According to Rich Hammond of the Orange County Register, Martinez left the Staples Center post-game with his hand wrapped up.

L.A. Times reporter Lisa Dillman, reported that via text Kings’ GM Dean Lombardi indicated Martinez’s injury was not serious.

With the Kings’ down to five defensemen for essentially half the game, Drew Doughty finished the night with a game-high 31:39 in time on ice.

Sutter admitted he’s over-working the blue liner.

“He has been playing a lot of minutes. Do we like that? No. But that’s where we’re at,” he said. “You know what? I look at that all the time, too. It’s too many minutes. He’s going to tell you he’s fine with it, but over the long haul, that’s too many.”

The Kings have Friday off before hosting the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday afternoon.

According to CapGeek, since the Jamie McBain recall, the Kings have under $15,000 in cap space.

If Martinez is unable to go, the Kings will likely have to dress five defenseman again (like they did last weekend against the Canucks) due to salary cap limitations. The other option would be to move a player to Long Term Injured Reserve, which would force the player to miss 10 games and 24 days.

Defenseman Robyn Regehr skated on Thursday, but isn’t expected to be ready for Saturday’s game.

Martinez, who has two goals and seven points while averaging over 20 minutes in ice time in 16 games, is one of only four Kings’ defensemen to appear in every game this season.

Kesler leads Ducks to comeback victory over the Kings


Anaheim center Ryan Kesler played in his first battle of Southern California on Wednesday night and left his mark scoring twice, including the shootout-winner, and assisting on another helping the Ducks to a 6-5 come from behind victory over the L.A. Kings at the Honda Center.

The Ducks trailed 3-1 and 5-3, but battled back to snap a three game losing skid. The loss meanwhile drops the Kings to 1-3-3 on the road this season.

“It was a good game from us. Definitely a wild one,” said Kesler. “We could have given up, but the team stayed positive.”

Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty gave L.A. a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes. After Ducks’ defenseman Cam Fowler got Anaheim on the board in the second, Trevor Lewis netted his second of the season forcing Bruce Boudreau to make a goaltending change – Frederik Andersen’s night was done after he allowed three goals on nine shots.

“It was very little, quite honest,” said Kings’ coach Darryl Sutter of the intensity Wednesday night. “It was just kind of a pond hockey game. It looked like one of our preseason games.”

Jakob Silfverberg and Kesler’s first of the night tied the game 3-3 just over two minutes into the third.

However, Marian Gaborik and Justin Williams restored L.A.’s two-goal lead midway through the final period.

Anaheim would not give up, captain Ryan Getzlaf and Kesler each picked up their fifth goals of the season to force overtime.

“I don’t think we let it ‘get away.’ We never really had the lead,” Sutter continued. “I know you define it by goals having a lead, but we really never had the lead. If it wasn’t for Jonathan (Quick), it wasn’t even close. They’re a much better team that we are.”

Kesler scored in the second round of the shootout for the winner. Jason LaBarbera made 13 saves in relief to improve to 2-0-1 on the season.

“I’m proud of our guys,” said Getzlaf. “We had our ups and downs, but I felt like we played a great game tonight.

Quick made 37 saves in the loss.

“I don’t think we had much energy, much focus, much execution,” said Sutter. “We used a short bench. Too bad actually we lost the shootout, because then Jonathan feels tough, right? He stood on his head to get us a point.”

The Kings don’t have to wait long for another shot at the Ducks – the rematch goes Saturday night at the Staples Center.

Report: Kings could be shorthanded Saturday


The L.A. Kings could be playing with five defenseman tomorrow night when they play host to the Vancouver Canucks at the Staples Center.

Defenseman Robyn Regehr left the team’s Friday practice after just 10 minutes and his status for Saturday is unknown.

However, due to the Kings salary cap woes, they will not be able to recall a blue liner from the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League.

According to Rich Hammond of the Orange County Register, the Kings are $160 short on cap space to recall a player with a minimum NHL salary. The league’s minimum salary is $550,00. As of Saturday morning, the Kings have $549,840 in cap space.

The Kings’ Twitter feed was poking fun at their dilemma Friday night:

The Kings’ cap woes are a result of Slava Voynov’s suspension. Though he’s not eligible to play due to the domestic violence allegations, Voynov is still being paid his $4.167 million salary, and it counts against L.A.’s cap.

“It’s challenging. It’s not easy,” Coach Darryl Sutter said of the Kings’ cap issues. “We’re playing as good as we can. That’s what I ask, and that’s what we do.”