All Our Favorites: The Los Angeles Kings


2015 Stanley Cup winning favorites?  The Los Angeles Kings.  And not just by Kings fans.

Last week RinkRoyalty posted the article What are the Odds? which discussed odds of top teams to win the Cup in 2015.  After further review, everyone seems to be leaning on the Kings.

“Marian Gaborik will be on the roster the entire year, and if he maintains his health and chemistry with Anze Kopitar they will be a deadly duo.”

Perhaps its because the Kings are the defending champions.  Fans tend to favor incumbent champs because they’ve shown they can do it.  Especially when the roster of the defending champs hasn’t changed very much, which is the case for the Kings as it was for the Blackhawks when everyone was predicting they would repeat after winning in 2013, a season where the Hawks were unstoppable all the way to the Cup. The Hawks started the season with a record of 21-0-3, before losing their first game in regulation to the Colorado Avalanche.   Many fans of the NFL are predicting the Seattle Seahawks to repeat as Super Bowl champions for the same reasons: the core of their roster has remained intact with only two or three minor changes, and they were dominant in the playoffs.

Perhaps everyone is favoring the Kings because of the way they won in 2014.  During the playoffs the Kings won three game seven’s on the road.  An extremely difficult task.  A task that included the nearly insurmountable chore of eliminating the San Jose Sharks after being down three games to none.  The Kings are the fifth team in playoff series history to come back from a 3-0 deficit.  That’s for all sports. The other historic teams are the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs over the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Final, the 1975 New York Islanders over the Pittsburgh Penguins in playoff quarterfinals, the 2004 Boston Red Sox over the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series, and the 2010 Philadelphia Flyers over the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference semi-final.

Another argument is that the Kings could be even better this season than they were in 2013-2014.  Marian Gaborik will be on the roster the

Apr 2, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings center Jeff Carter (77), left wing Tanner Pearson (70) and center Tyler Toffoli (73) celebrate after a goal in the third period of the game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Staples Center. Kings won 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Jun 13, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; The Los Angeles Kings pose for a team photo with the Stanley Cup after defeating the New York Rangers in the second overtime period in game five of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

entire year, and if he maintains his health and chemistry with Anze Kopitar they will be a deadly duo.  Willie Mitchell is gone but the emergence of Jake Muzzin will smooth the transition.  “That 70’s line” of Jeff Carter #77, Tyler Toffoli #73, and Tanner Pearson #70, are pushing the pace of the game and cementing their place as one of the toughest lines to play against in hockey.

In 2013-2014 Carter put up 27 goals and 50 points for the Kings, as well as 3 goals and 5 points in 6 games for Team Canada on route to their Olympic Gold.  ESPN thinks Carter could be even better this season.  With Toffoli and Pearson as fulltime line-mates, and no Olympics tournament, Carter could exert more of his focus and energy on the NHL regular season, and that’s bad news for opposing teams.

It seems the Kings have become everyone’s favorites, from ESPN to SiriusXM – NHL Network Radio, hockey analysts agree.  In early April of 2014 everyone was talking about the possibility of a Blackhawks dynasty.  Now in mid-September as the season is about to get underway everyone is discussing the potential of a Kings dynasty.

Like D’Angelo Barksdale says in the HBO original show The Wire, “The King stay the King.”  Hockey just like chess is all about the unit; the team accomplishing one objective.  Each piece is unique and has it’s own moves and talents; each piece can be deployed in a number of different ways.  L.A. has demonstrated they are the masters of their domain on the ice.  Another Cup, and the legacy of a dynasty is all the evidence needed that the Kings stay the King.