After starting the season 1-5-1 the Kings have been firing on all cylinders and are currently riding a six game winning streak. Top to bottom the kings have looked like an entirely different team on the ice and are coming off two wins on back to back nights. Outside of the home opener the first 7 games of Kings hockey was a bit lackluster however, the last 6 have been very fun to watch and this may be a glimpse of whats to come.
Starting with the defensive end, the Kings have done a much better job tightening things up and keeping the puck out of their net. Over the first 7 games of the season they allowed 3.28 goals per game, while over this recent 6 game stretch they have only allowed 1.83 goals against per game. For a team that has a history of struggling to put up offensive numbers, slashing the goals against number nearly in half has arguably been the most important factor of correcting their poor start. This defensive turn around has been nothing but positive for the Kings, its even more impressive when you factor in they are doing this without both Doughty and Walker on the backend.
Switching gears and looking at the offensive side of puck, the Kings have also upped their goal production. Over the first 7 games the team posted a 2.2 goal per game average, these last 6 games they’ve averaged 3.66 goals per game. One of the main factors for this increased production is the second tier players are starting to chipping in. The first 7 games it was the Kopitar show, now the team is starting to see contributions from players like Danault, Kempe, and Iafallo who has been red hot with 10 points in 7 straight games.
With a few new names it took some time and line juggling but the players are starting to develop chemistry with one another and implementing McLellans system. The Kings appear to be back on track and competing for a playoff spot once again however, going forward it will be important to avoid these peaks and valleys and start developing consistent play throughout the season.