The Los Angeles Kings are set for their second trip to the Western Conference Finals in as many years. Up to this point in the playoffs, there have been several similarities from this year’s trip compared to the franchise’s first Stanley Cup Championship last year. Things like Jonathan Quick doing his best impersonation of a brick wall and the Kings’ dominance while under the roof of the Staples Center.
Hopefully for the Kings their is one more trend that carries over to this season as well. That trend would be Dwight King’s surge into the limelight through his offensive production in the Conference and Stanley Cup Finals.
Dwight King has been receiving some slack through the Kings’ first 13 playoff games because of his low offensive output. He has only recorded three assists and has a minus-1 rating through the first two rounds of the playoffs, which is very similar to his production a year ago when he scored just one goal and had a minus-3 rating through two rounds.
It was in the third and fourth rounds when King kicked into gear. In the Conference Finals against the Phoenix Coyotes, King scored four goals, two of them game winners, and finished the series with a plus-4 rating. In the Stanley Cup Finals, King recorded three helpers and had a plus-2 rating.
A major improvement from King’s performance through the first two rounds of play.
Sure, when an organization and a fan base see the results they want, they expect that at all times and anything short of that production is unacceptable.
That is the faze that King has found himself in, a faze he has struggled to get out off all season. In a lockout-shortened season where he averaged about 13-minutes a game he managed just four goals and ten points in 47 games played.
He is not living up to the expectations that were bestowed upon him because of the energy that came with his late season call up, a few clutch goals and minutes with the top-six forwards last season.
This might be one of those cases where one goal could loosen King up and unload a scoring machine onto the Kings’ opponents. For the Kings and their fan base, a King that can find the back of the net would be welcomed with open arms for the rest of the playoffs, however long that may be.