There are a couple of reasons why the Kings could be a team that benefits from playing a 56-game season rather than an 82-game one.
For one, the longer a season is, the more likely it is for the best teams to eventually end up at the top of the standings. In a shorter season, there’s less time there is for a lesser team’s hot start to evaporate.
Furthermore, all the time off some of the Kings’ older players have gotten off since they last played nearly 10 months ago could have done them some good. Kopitar noted in last week’s Zoom call that several veterans he spoke with indicated the 2004-2005 lockout year extended their careers by two or three more years.
Jeff Carter underwent core muscle surgery last June and turned 36 last week. Like Doughty and Jonathan Quick, Carter is another veteran King who has seen his play fall off over the last couple of years. Perhaps all this time off will allow them to show up with their bodies feeling fresher than they have in a long time and get off to a hot start to the season.