The Los Angeles Kings kicked off their season on October 5th, and since then have done quite well. In that time, the Kings have not lost a single regulation game.
Five games into the season, the Kings have to be feeling good. Some of the biggest names on the team are performing quite well, and they’re getting production in unexpected areas as well. Of the five games played, two were against teams who were in the playoff picture last season. In fact, four out of five teams they have faced thus far were well above the .500 mark in the prior season. So that just goes to show you that these Kings are no fluke.
The Kings’ season kicked off with a 2-0 win over Philadelphia, but they really got moving in San Jose a few days later. In that game, they scored four goals against the rival Sharks, en route to a 4-1 victory. The Kings lost the next game against Calgary in overtime, but would move on to defeat Buffalo and the Islanders in the following couple of days. So what have been their keys to early success?
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Well, in short the answer is production. Last season the Kings missed out on playoffs due to a lack of production from key players. That’s changed this year, at least thus far. Anze Kopitar leads the offense in goals, assists and overall points early on. The captain has scored four goals while dishing out four assists over the first 5 games of the regular season. Dustin Brown and Drew Doughty, two other core players, have also stepped it up early on. Those two have combined for 12 overall points thus far.
Their offense has been great, but it’s their defense that really has a different feel to it. With Jonathan Quick back in the net, the team has to feel confident. And it’s shown early on, as top defenseman Drew Doughty has already posted a +/- of 6 in the early part of the season. Quick has been a big reason that the Kings are looking like they are ready to compete again, as he is putting up a .943 save percentage. Currently, Quick is 3-0-1 on the season, and has allowed just seven goals versus 115 saves.
The Kings will host the Montreal Canadiens tonight, a team that has struggled tremendously over the first six games. Montreal is 1-4-1, and has been outscored 22 goals to just 10. Look for the Kings to put up big numbers tonight, getting in as many shots on goal as possible.
The Kings will the travel to Columbus to face off against the Blue Jackets on Saturday. The Blue Jackets are 5-1-0 this season, defeating some pretty decent teams. They did, however, get blown out in their second game of the season losing to the Blackhawks 5-1.