Last season: 40-27-15, 95 points, 8th West, won Stanley Cup
Key Additions: none
Key Losses: none
Offense: Anze Kopitar lead the team in both goals (25) and points (76). His linemates, veteran Justin Williams and captain Dustin Brown each notched 22 goals. The trio came alive in the playoffs, combining for 20 goals in 20 games. Jeff Carter only played 36 combined games after being acquired from Columbus, but scored 14 goals. Being reunited with best buddy Mike Richards seemed to have a positive effect on Carter, who struggled as a Blue Jacket. Richards himself scored 18 goals and brought solid two way play as the #2 center. Dustin Penner earned himself a new contract after a strong playoff saw him almost match his regular season points (17 in 65 regular season games, 11 in 20 playoff). Simon Gagne and Jarret Stoll provide good leadership in the bottom six, while youngsters Dwight King and Trevor Lewis look to build on a good playoff run.
Defense: Drew Doughty is the workhorse, playing an average of almost 25 minutes per game in 11-12. He also lead the defense in goals (10) and points (36). His partner Rob Scuderi is a good shutdown defender, complimenting Doughty’s offense well. Willie Mitchell was +20, tops on the entire team. He also lead the defense with 139 blocked shots. Matt Greene had 241 hits, giving the team a physical edge. Youngsters Slava Voynov and Alec Martinez played well after Jack Johnson’s departure opened up more minutes on the blueline.
Goaltending: Jonathan Quick was the backbone of the Kings last season, being a nominee for the Vezina Trophy last season, winning 35 games and finishing with a 1.95 GAA (2nd in the NHL) and a. 929 save percentage (5th in the league). Quick is arguably one of the top three goaltenders in the entire league. He had 10 shutouts and the Kings needed every single one. His understudy, Jonathan Bernier, only got into 16 games, but still has high potential, leading to speculation that he could be traded at some point.
Standout Player: Quick was the team MVP from start to finish. He kept the Kings in the playoff race while their offense was ice cold. His mind boggling GAA of 1.41 and .946 save percentage in the playoffs made him the easy Conn Smythe winner.
Prediction: 1st Pacific, 2nd West
See no reason why the Kings shouldn’t be in the Cup mix again, as their entire roster will be returning. The offense should be better this year as well.