Los Angeles Hockey: Erik Cole

Kings: Question of the Week

November, 1, 2010
The new rules regarding blind-side or lateral hits in the NHL have certainly caught the attention of the Kings.

Drew Doughty suffered a concussion on a questionable hit by Erik Cole of Carolina on Oct. 20. Two games later, Dustin Brown was given a game misconduct after delivering a hard check to Antti Miettenin of Minnesota.

When rules are implemented to tone down the physical side of any sport, there tends to be some self-examination among the players involved. Do they alter their style of play to conform, or do they continue to play the way they’ve been taught and hope it fits within the new parameters.

ESPNLA.com asked Rob Scuderi, Jack Johnson, Wayne Simmonds and Brown about the new rules and whether they've had any impact on their game.

Kings: Bringing the heat to Phoenix

October, 21, 2010
Kings (4-1-0) vs. Phoenix Coyotes (1-2-1) at Jobing.com Arena, 7 p.m. (PST)

Five storylines to track:

1. Doughty injury - Kings defenseman Drew Doughty left the 4-3 victory against the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday night with an upper-body injury and wasn’t seen again. Kings coach Terry Murray said Doughty would not accompany the team to Phoenix, but didn’t rule out a return later in the five-game trip. Murray said the injury occurred on a late hit by Erik Cole in the neutral zone. Here’s a replay of the hit, as well as some verbal pokes at Cole from the folks at NHL network.

2. Greene cleared – Not long after Doughty was knocked from the game, it was announced that veteran defenseman Matt Greene had been "medically cleared to resume full hockey activities." Greene, 27, had offseason surgery on his left shoulder. He's not the offensive threat that Doughty is, but ranked third among NHL defensemen with 238 hits last season and recorded at least one blocked shot in 55 of his 75 games. He led the Kings with 126.

3. Simmonds returning to form – After a very bland start to the season, third-liner Wayne Simmonds is beginning to show signs of the player that scored 40 points in his sophomore year in the NHL last season. He took just one shot on goal against Carolina, but it was deflected into the net by Michal Handzus, tying the score in the final seconds of the first period. "Simmonds was very good," Murray said after the game.

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Kings rally to defeat Hurricanes, 4-3

October, 20, 2010

A night of firsts for the Kings was only tempered Wednesday night by an injury to one of their top players.

Andrei Loktionov scored his first NHL goal, Anze Kopitar and Michal Handzus added their firsts of the season and goalkeeper Jonathan Bernier won his first game since last April, adding up to a 4-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes at Staples Center.

But the parade of highlights was dimmed when star defenseman Drew Doughty left in the first period because of an undisclosed upper-body injury and did not return.

Doughty, runner-up for the best defensemen in the NHL last season, was hit by Carolina left wing Erik Cole as he brought the puck up the ice and into the neutral zone.

Kings coach Terry Murray was mum on the extent and precise area of the injury but indicated it wasn’t a clean hit by Cole. Doughty will not accompany the team to Phoenix for their game Thursday night against the Coyotes.

“Doughty carried the puck out of our zone and the puck had long gone,” Murray said. “He didn’t have it for a long way.”

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