Turns out the Los Angeles Kings may not be suffering from a Stanley Cup hangover after all. After a disappointing start to the season, the Kings have caught fire in February and are currently riding a three-game winning streak. Los Angeles has won five of their last six games thanks to the fact that both of their goaltenders are in top form. Jonathan Bernier has won three consecutive starts, and Jonathan Quick has won his last two starts.
What’s really impressive is how well the Kings’ defense has been performing in the past two weeks. In wins over the St. Louis Blues, Columbus Blue Jackets, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames and Colorado Avalanche, the Kings have allowed just one goal per game.
In that same stretch of games they’ve averaged just over three goals per game, as Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter, Mike Richards and Dustin Brown lead the way offensively. Kopitar’s 12 points lead the team while Carter has goals in three straight games (and leads the team with nine on the season). Carter has six goals in February, and the Kings have won every game this month that he has scored in.
With Quick’s shaky start leading the team to give Bernier a few more starts than normal, the team has fell into a great situation. They now have two goaltenders capable of beating some of the best teams in the league on any given night, which has helped them pull within a point of second place in the Pacific Division. The Kings have also been able to stay healthy recently, with only Matt Greene and Willie Mitchell out.
All signs point to the Kings getting hot at the right time and making a run at the postseason if things continue the way they have been.