Join Times Kings writer Lisa Dillman and Hockey Hall of Famer Helene Elliott for a live video chat at 1 p.m. today, when they will discuss our two local teams and the amazing start of the Chicago Blackhawks.
As Elliott wrote earlier this week about the Kings,
"The kids are more than all right, and coming from Coach Darryl Sutter that's saying a lot.
"Since losing veterans Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene to long-term injuries early this season, the Kings have had to rely on a generally young defense corps. The kids' collective performance has been on an upswing, a key factor in the Kings' 9-2 surge.
"Jake Muzzin recorded a career-high three points in the Kings' 6-4 comeback victory over St. Louis on Tuesday; Keaton Ellerby has had an even or plus defensive rating in eight straight games; Slava Voynov has scored four points in his last two games and has had only one minus rating in his last nine games, and Drew Doughty — though still seeking his first goal — had two assists Tuesday and has had one negative defensive rating in his last six games.
"I thought the four kids [on Tuesday] were really, really good," said Sutter, who believes it takes young defensemen more time to mature and handle responsibility than it takes forwards. "I thought Muzzin, Ellerby, Voynov and Drew were all outstanding."
"He isn't the only one to notice.
"It's great to see, for Muzz to step up like he did the last couple games," center Anze Kopitar said. "He's been playing really well for us and we're going to need him to play like this with Willie and Greenie out.
"You need somebody to step up and I think Slava and Muzz are going to continue to do that."