Anaheim Ducks Could Be Just What The Doctor Ordered For LA Kings

LA Kings left wing Milan Lucic
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — If the first thing you’re thinking of with the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings facing off at Staples Center tonight (7:30 PM PDT) is whatever rivalry that might exist between the two teams, well, you’d better think again.

Indeed, the two teams have 99 points in the Pacific Division standings. The Kings have two games remaining before the playoffs begin, and the Ducks have three. Although the Ducks have an edge with a game in hand, if the Kings beat the Ducks in regulation and win their game against the Winnipeg Jets on April 9, they would win the division even if the Ducks were to win their final two games because the Kings would win the tiebreaker with more regulation and overtime wins.

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LA Kings Anze Kopitar Is Finishing Very, Very Fast After A Slow Start

LA Kings center Anze Kopitar
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Although one could easily make a case for Drew Doughty or Jonathan Quick as the biggest reason that the Los Angeles Kings have been one of the very best teams in the Western Conference this season, center Anze Kopitar can put in his own claim as well after putting the team on his back, especially in the last 42 games.

In his first 33 games (through Christmas), Kopitar scored nine goals and tallied eleven assists for twenty points, with a +10 plus/minus rating. But since that time, he has scored 15 goals and has contributed 32 assists for 47 points, with a +21 plus/minus rating.

If you do the math, Kopitar has almost tripled his assists (compared to the first 33 games), and has nearly doubled his points per game average to 1.14 since Christmas (0.61 through the first 33 games).

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LA Kings Are Starting To Look Unstoppable

LA Kings right wing Tyler Toffoli
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — After they melted the ice with a 10-4-0 record in December, the Los Angeles Kings cooled off significantly in January and February, earning a 13-10-2 record over those two months—6-5-1 in January and 7-5-1 in February.

Although the Kings weren’t playing badly, their play during those two months was considerably less consistent in those two months, as their play was up and down in all three zones.

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LA Kings Hoping Back To Basics Approach Cures Offensive Woes

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Luke Schenn
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography”]

EL SEGUNDO, CA — After earning a 3-3-1 record on their annual “Grammy” road trip, the Los Angeles Kings begin a nine-game stretch (starting tonight against the Calgary Flames, 7:30 PM PST, Staples Center) in which they won’t leave Southern California, and they’ll need whatever advantage playing on home ice can possibly provide, with the Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks now trailing them by just two and three points, respectively.

Indeed, the team that was once running away with the Pacific Division lead is now in a vicious dogfight for first place.

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Luke Schenn Is Having The Desired Impact On LA Kings Defensive Corps

Newly-acquired LA Kings defenseman Luke Schenn spoke with
the local media for the first time on January 7, 2016.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Although center Vincent Lecavalier and defenseman Luke Schenn have only been in town for twelve days after being acquired by the Los Angeles Kings in a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers, the Kings are already reaping the benefits of the deal.

As I reported previously on Today’s Slapshot, Lecavalier has given the Kings all that they’ve asked for, and to top it off, he has scored a goal in each of the last two games.

On the other side of the red line, Schenn has also made an impact for the Kings, despite his -2 plus/minus rating in those five games.

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