Los Angeles Kings: Ready to Move Forward in 2015-16 Season


Jun 13, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) reacts as the Los Angeles Kings celebrate the game-winning goal by defenseman Alec Martinez during the second overtime period in game five of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Kings have unfortunately had a long break from hockey this year since they did not make the 2014-15 postseason.

We all know how horrible that was, but it is even worse since that makes our Los Angeles Kings the first team to not make postseason since 2007-the Carolina Hurricanes held that lovely title before us according to NHL.com Correspondent Curtis Zupke.

Zupke pointed out that last season the team faced a few issues that got the best of it:

"Last season’s uphill path started with the defensemen. Slava Voynov was suspended in October and Alec Martinez and Robyn Regehr missed significant time with injuries, as did midseason acquisition Andrej Sekera. That forced Doughty to lead the NHL in total ice time, and coach Darryl Sutter consistently said it was too much for the Norris Trophy finalist. Regehr retired and Sekera signed with Edmonton, which left Los Angeles with little depth after the core of Doughty, Martinez, Jake Muzzin and Matt Greene. Voynov’s situation remained unresolved as of mid-August.The push for the playoffs ultimately forced Sutter to play Quick 72 games, tying his NHL career high; his total ice time was the second-most among goalies behind Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals."

Apr 6, 2015; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks defenseman Yannick Weber (6) moves the puck against Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick (32) during the second period at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

A playoff-free season should have given the guys enough time to get over this.

However, there is no telling how the team will move past the roster changes that have left a hole in the team dynamics we are familiar with. We now have an active roster without many familiar names as noted by Zupke:

-Justin Williams (RW) has signed as a free agent with the Washington Capitals

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-Jarret Stoll (C) has signed as a free agent with the New York Rangers

-Mike Richards’ (C) contract has been terminated by the organization which is now pending investigation

-Defenseman Robyn Regehr has retired

– Andrej Sekera (LW) has signed with the Edmonton Oilers

­-Martin Jones (G), defenseman prospect Colin Miller and the 13th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft were traded in exhchange for former Bostin Bruin Left Wing Milan Lucic

It is safe to say there were many offseason changes for the Los Angeles Kings’ roster, but the team has to pull forward.

There is no excuse.

Mar 12, 2015; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Los Angeles Kings forward Dustin Brown (23) celebrates the win with goaltender Jonathan Quick (32) against the Vancouver Canucks during the third period at Rogers Arena. The Los Angeles Kings won 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Captain Dustin Brown has had time to recover from what is agreeably one of his worst seasons statistically.

Center Anze Kopitar has had time to recover from a not too hot season statistically as well.

As for the rest of our forwards-Jeff Carter, Kyle Clifford, Marian Gaborik, Dwight King, Trevor Lewis, Jordan Nolan, Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli- we hope to see a lot more action this upcoming season: pucks to the net, boys. It is okay to be a bit selfish if you have the clear shot.

Defenseman Drew Doughty and Goalie Jonathan Quick have had plenty of time to rest after being pushed to new heights on the ice.

Our remaining defensemen-Matt Greene, Alec Martinez, Jamie McBain, Brayden McNabb and Jake Muzzin-you simply have to defend our man in front of the goal. You have to admit, there are times when they could have stopped offensive attacks on Quick and Jones; we do not need any little slip ups.

Jhonas Enroth-hopefully you’ll see your time as goalie so that we don’t exhaust Quick. When you get the chance, Enroth, show us you have what it takes to be a Los Angeles King.

Bailey-keep doing what you do. We have the best mascot in the league.

March 5, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings mascot Bailey celebrates the 4-3 shoot out victory against the Montreal Canadiens at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone has had their time to watch the playoffs off the ice. Everyone needs to be ready to step onto that ice and show the NHL once again that we are the Los Angeles Kings, we play to win and we will be bringing home the Stanley Cup.

Jun 13, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings players celebrate after defeating the New York Rangers in game five of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports