The Kings kicked off the season at home against Vegas and right out of the gate the Kings looked as if they were going to compete for a playoff spot. Kopitar had a hat trick with 5 points, Doughty had 5 points, Tkachev the Russian rookie had 2 points. Everything seemed to be pointing towards a strong start from LA, however that was very short lived.
After flying out of the gates the Kings have found themselves with a 1-4-1 record through the first 2 weeks of the season. To make matters worse the team will be without Doughty for the next few weeks due to a knee injury suffered in Dallas. Doughty is tied for the point lead amongst defensemen and looked determined as ever to silence the critics and make the Canadian Olympic team. This will be a huge hole for the Kings to fill over the coming weeks in attempts to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot. While the Pacific division is widely considered the weakest division, if the Kings cannot keep pace with the 3rd playoff spot in the Pacific it’s going to be very difficult to beat out one of the central division teams for a wild card position.
Its not all doom and gloom in LA, Kopitar is tied for 4th in NHL scoring and looking like the Danault signing is freeing up Kopi, allowing him to flourish offensively. However the team cannot rely solely on Kopitar to lead the charge again. The young players need to take a step forward and start chipping in offensively. The depth scoring is almost non existent through the first 5 games, if it weren’t for Kopitar’s goal scoring to start the year the team would be at the bottom of the league in goals for.
It’s still early in the season, there is still plenty of time to make up ground, however the Kings will need to pick up some depth scoring if they are going to right the ship. With a 5 game homestead set to kick off, this will be a great opportunity to pick up a some needed points.