HOCKEY GM ADVICE
Team Power Rankings: L.A Kings #13
The Kings made the playoffs last season, and had one of the most intense low scoring playoff series I have ever seen. Never have I ever seen a team only allow 7 goals in 4 games and lose! They played a great defence system against the Vegas Golden Knights, just unfortunately they could not solve Fleury and find the back of the net.
Last season with the new coaching staff seemed to bring Kopitar and Brown back to life. Kopitar set a career high in goals (35) and points (92), Brown a guy who everyone thought was going to be just a bad contract for the next few years also set a career high in points with 60. Safe to say, this team was happy with the regular season last year and all this was done with an injured Carter.
Going into this off season they wanted one thing; to add goal scoring. And they did just that by adding one of the best goal scorers the National Hockey League has ever seen, in Ilya Kovalchuk who has just returned from his trip to the KHL.
No one quite knows what to expect from Kovalchuk as he has not been in the league for a few years and that age and the lower skill of the KHL may have taken a toll on his ability to be an elite goal scorer in the NHL, but if you have seen some of his highlights from the preseason, all Kings fans are jumping for joy, because they landed one elite goal scorer who still has quite a bit in the tank remaining.
They have a very solid defence core with Doughty, who just signed an 8 year contract, Muzzin, Martinez and Phaneuf. I would say this team is pretty set on the defence core this season.
As long as Quick stays healthy I would not worry about their goaltending either. Quick remains one of the top goaltenders in the league.
The only hole I see in this teams lineup is the bottom 6 forwards. Kempe is a very good center has top 6 potential, but anyone other than him I do not have the most confidence in. Clifford, Thompson and Lewis are not the players they once were. If you have seen in the past few years of Stanely Cup Winners, you need scoring in your bottom 6. And this team just will not have it unfortunately, which will be their demise.
But Kings you are a playoff team!
Goals: Kovalchuk 33
Assists: Kopitar 51
Points: Kopitar 81