This is my preview for the LA Kings. I don’t really have anything important to say in the introduction, so I’m just going to keep typing words until it looks like there are enough. Yup, that should do it.
Anze Kopitar – He was selected 10 picks after Sidney Crosby in 2005. Kopitar is the captain of the team and is coming off a year where he only put up 52 points. Look for him to finish around 65-70 this season.
Jeff Carter – No one really talks about him, but he’s a 10-time 20+ goal scorer. Like Kopitar, he was also taken 11th in his draft year (2003).
Tanner Pearson – After winning a Stanley Cup in his rookie season (2014), Pearson has steadily improved his offensive production each year since. He’s on the cusp of a 50-point season.
Notable – Tyler Toffoli, Nick Shore, Dustin Brown
Drew Doughty – This is his 10th NHL season and he’s only 27-years-old. He’ll bring the offense, the defense, the passion, the beard, and a winning spirit. He’s one of the best. Bow down to this king.
Jake Muzzin – He’s built like a house. He can shut down opposing players. He can put up points. What more could you want?
Alec Martinez – He was great for my fantasy team last season until I dropped him. He’s also a two-way defenseman, if that’s a thing. I notice a trend.
Notable – Derek Forbort
Jonathan Quick – John be nimble, John B. Quick. Sorry, I had to. He only played 17 games last season after getting injured early on. Get your tickets now for the Jonathan Quick Redemption Tour. He’s one of the best goalies in the game.
Darcy Kuemper – The 27-year-old was a backup in Minnesota for the last five seasons. If he needs to start 20-25 games this season, the Kings should feel comfortable with him.
1. The Kings were 25th in the NHL last season with 201 goals scored.
2. Star Wars Beanie Giveaway Night is December 9th. So, get your head ready?
3. In the last 6 years, they’ve won the Cup twice, and missed the playoffs twice.
4. Kyle Clifford bobblehead night was October 14. Sorry, you all missed it by a day. I’m sure there will be some available on eBay.
5. The Kings share the Staples Center with the LA Lakers and LA Clippers. On some days, there will be a hockey game in the afternoon and a basketball game at night. Hats off to the conversion crew. I’m sure they don’t get paid enough.
WHAT CHRIS THINKS
Who are Alex Iafallo and Derek Forbort? Good question. They are LA’s #1 left winger and #2 defenseman, apparently. LA missed the playoffs last year – all I can say is good luck to them.
LAST MINUTE OF PLAY
The Kings aren’t a young team, but they aren’t an old team either, it just feels that way because their players have been there a long time and most of them have won two Stanley Cups together.
Guys like Kopitar, Carter, and Brown are in their early 30s now, but the Kings have done a great job of constantly introducing youth to their lineup.
The “next generation” is lead by Toffoli and Pearson.
After missing the playoffs last season, the Kings fired Daryl Sutter and promoted John Stevens to Head Coach. Last season’s shortcomings can’t be blamed on the absence of Quick, since Peter Budaj put up a 2.12 GAA as his replacement.
The offensive production just wasn’t there.
I expect the Kings to make a strong push for a playoff spot this season.
ONE WILD PREDICTION
Drew Doughty wins the Norris Trophy.