LA Kings: Missed opportunities normal for a younger team

LA Kings (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LA Kings (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

The LA Kings have been losing close games this year and missing out on valuable points, but this is all part of the process for younger players.

If you were looking at the LA Kings record as a whole you would probably determine that this season has been a success to date. However, if you have been watching on a game-by-game basis you would know that the Kings have left valuable points on the table.

The LA Kings so far this year are 2-6 in games determined after the full 60 minutes. There have also been two instances where the Kings gave up last-second goals to the Minnesota Wild, a team that is seen by many as the main competition for the fourth seed in the West.

The number of times the Kings have clawed their way back in games only to lose by one goal or in overtime have also been more than a few. These losses, however, are somewhat normal for a team with young talent up and down the lineup.

The Kings have a plethora of young players already on the NHL roster and that excludes the likes of top prospects Alex Turcotte, Quinton Byfield, Arthur Kaliyev, etc. You can already see the chemistry the younger players are building with the veteran corps of Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty, and Dustin Brown.

The two main examples of younger players making significant contributions are star rookie Gabriel Vilardi playing as the second line centerman, and fellow rookie Mikey Anderson playing on the first defensive pair alongside Drew Doughty. They have looked comfortable in their new roles and are not out of place at all.

Trending. Maatta’s play further justifies dynamic defenseman need. light

However, as the kids develop even more throughout this year, I fully expect to see the Kings close out more of these one-goal games they have found themselves in.

And if the LA Kings could pick up two points instead of one or none in these close games moving forward, they should again be in the mix for that fourth spot in the West.