2013 NHL Playoffs: 5 Players Who Must Step Up For Los Angeles Kings
5 Players Who Must Step Up for Los Angeles Kings
The Los Angeles Kings can’t continue to rely on goaltender Jonathan Quick and center Mike Richards to keep them afloat if they hope to beat the Chicago Blackhawks. The Kings net-minder is stopping .947 percent of the shots he is facing so far in these playoffs. They can’t expect to win games in the Western Conference Finals by scoring only one or two goals and assuming Quick is going to bail them out time and time again.
The Kings pride themselves on defending as a team and will need to get some better efforts from some of their defenders if they hope to keep up with the Blackhawks. Drew Doughty started the season red-hot offensively, not to mention he was one of the Kings’ better defenders. He has gotten lost on a few occasions lately and is going to need to worry less about racking up points and focus on his defensive positioning.
The Kings’ third line has also struggled to be productive lately. Winger Dwight King was a huge piece of the Kings’ championship puzzle last season, but has only registered 13 shots throughout the playoffs and currently holds a plus/minus ratio of minus two. The Blackhawks third line can certainly score goals for them, but they don’t have nearly the size of the Kings’ third line. They will need to figure out a better way to take advantage of that match up in order to be effective.
Jeff Carter has been able to register a boat-load of shots in the playoffs, but is the most penalized player on his team in the postseason. His faceoff percentage has dropped below 40 percent as well. He’s going to need to focus on winning draws and staying disciplined in order to be most effective.
David Fouty is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @davefouty
Dustin Penner needs to use his physicality to be effective in this series. He's been able to get a lot of chances, but has missed the net on many occasions. He has to make the most of his opportunities to help the Kings' second line put points on the board.
Defenseman Robyn Regehr is essentially a non-factor offensively, so he needs to play with more urgency in his own zone. He cannot turn the puck over if the Kings are going to have a shot at making it to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Drew Doughty must contribute offensively from the blue line. He was on fire to start the year, but hasn't been as effective lately on offense. Doughty is currently at minus three. He's usually a big contributor to the Kings' offense, and will need to chip in for the Kings to have a shot.
Dwight King has yet to score a goal in the playoffs and has registered only 13 shots in 14 playoff games so far. King needs to work his tail off to create opportunities for his club.
Jeff Carter has spent almost twice as much time in the penalty box as anyone else on his team. He's scored five goals in these playoffs, which is to be expected seeing as he's one of the Kings' go-to offensive options. Carter's faceoff percentage has dropped below 40 percent. He can't forget to play all aspects of the game and stay disciplined if he hopes to help the Kings advance.
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