Los Angeles Kings: The Kings Offense is Coming Together

OTTAWA, ON - OCTOBER 24: Adrian Kempe
OTTAWA, ON - OCTOBER 24: Adrian Kempe /

Following a shootout win against Ottawa on Tuesday, the Kings have seven wins versus just one regulation loss. Adrian Kempe has led the offensive surge of Los Angeles early on this year.

It’s still to early to say, but it certainly looks like the Kings are back to their winning ways. Sitting atop the standings at 7-1-1, Los Angeles appears poised for a decent run this year. So with essentially the same roster taking the ice as last year, what has been the difference thus far? Well in short, they have back some key players who are contributing early on. After a relatively down year in the 2016 season, Anze Kopitar is tied for 7th in the NHL in goals scored, with 6 over his first  nine games played.

Another big contribution has come from the younger players. Most notably, Adrian Kempe is really making a name for himself early on in the season. The young Swedish wing has five goals and 2 assists thus far, as well as the deciding shootout goal from last night. With just 34 career games under his belt, you have to think that Kempe will only continue to mature and get better as he learns the game.

Dustin Brown is in his 14th season of professional hockey, and hasn’t really lived up to his 16th overall draft selection since the 2011-2015 season. Since then, Brown has not eclipsed 20 goals or more than 22 assists in a single season. For a guy that’s on the ice for almost every game of the season, those numbers are definitely a disappointment to Kings fans. And while some have argued that Sutter’s offense held him out of the offensive attack, there will be big expectations on Brown this year. So far so good, as he has racked up five goals and six assists across nine games.

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The return of Jonathan Quick has no doubt aided a defense that did pretty well without him last year. In the 2016 season, the Kings allowed the sixth least goals against in the entire league. Quick is averaging 2.15 goals against him, good for 8th best in the league. Though his save percentage has dipped a bit to .934, Quick is still a huge addition to an already great defense this year. As a unit, they appear to be one of the best in the league early on, allowing the fewest points in the league thus far.

Looking Ahead: The Kings will travel to Montreal Thursday, to face a Canadiens team that they beat 5-1 last week. The Canadiens are 2-6-1, and haven’t really been able to get off much offense. After that, they travel to Boston to match up with the Bruins for the first time this year. The Bruins are also struggling to get going, with a 3-3-1 record and very little offense.

Next: Season Outlook Two Weeks In