Coming off of one of their biggest wins of the season, it’s pretty clear that this is a Los Angeles Kings team that other clubs in the Western Conference need to be terrified of.
The Kings, coming off of a long shutout streak, dropped five goals on the league’s best team on Monday night, the Chicago Blackhawks. They brought that devastating forecheck and solid special teams play to put together a win that probably should have been by a lot more than a 5-4 score.
Though it’s taken them a bit of extra time to find their groove, this is a team to be reckoned with in the West. They probably aren’t going to take the top spot in the conference, or even in their own division, but they could be that team that no one wants to play during the postseason.
They have as much offensive talent as anyone, even if it doesn’t show up on the stat sheet every night. Anze Kopitar is one of the best two-way forwards in the game. Jeff Carter is enjoying an outstanding season, from a goal-scoring perspective. The fact that they added Tyler Toffoli, who does nothing but put the puck in the net, makes them even more dangerous.
They’re solid along the blue line. Drew Doughty is finding his offensive groove in addition to breakout d-man, and Calder Trophy candidate, Jake Muzzin. Not to mention Slava Voynov, who has having an absolutely fantastic year, though not getting the pub for it.
Then there’s the man between the pipes. If Jonathan Quick starts piecing together some consistency and looking like the Jonathan Quick of 2011-2012, this team is going to be nearly impossible to score on. Even with Quick struggling, the Kings just don’t allow a lot of shots, which is why offensive teams struggling against them.
This is a team that is really the total package. They’re solid offensively, bringing a nasty forecheck to the table. They’re very good defensively, whether it’s on the blue line or between the pipes. They started out slow, but they’re rounding back into form at just about the right time.