Western Conference preview: Los Angeles Kings

Western Conference preview: Los Angeles Kings
August 13, 2013, 2:15 pm
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2012-13: 27-16-5, 59 points

Where they finished: 2nd in the Pacific; 4th in the West; 7th in the NHL

Coach: Darryl Sutter (3rd season)

Key additions: G Ben Scrivens, RW Matt Frattin, LW Dan Carcillo

Key subtractions: D Rob Scuderi, G Jonathan Bernier, LW Dustin Penner, C Brad Richardson

Projected Lineup


Dustin Brown - Anze Kopitar - Justin Williams

Dan Carcillo - Mike Richards - Jeff Carter

Matt Frattin - Jarret Stoll - Trevor Lewis

Dwight King – Colin Fraser – Kyle Clifford

Robin Regeher – Drew Doughty

Willie Mitchell – Slava Voynov

Jake Muzzin – Matt Greene

Jeff Schultz

Jonathan Quick

Ben Scrivens

Our take: The 2012 Stanley Cup champions couldn’t defend their crown, but did win two playoff series before falling to the superior Blackhawks in five games. Can they run down Chicago this time?

Like the Blackhawks, Los Angeles didn’t make many changes to the roster. It finally cashed in backup goalie Jonathan Bernier for forward Matt Frattin, new backup goalie Ben Scrivens and a second-round draft pick. 

The health of Willie Mitchell (knee) is crucial to improving the blueline. The 36-year-old veteran missed all of last season. His presence is needed after Rob Scuderi left to return to Pittsburgh. Jeff Schultz, the former Caps defenseman, hopes to make the team. 

Jonathan Quick’s save percentage took a nosedive last season (.902), but the Kings are confident he and Anze Kopitar, their star center, rebound to normal levels. Los Angeles needs both to even think about overtaking Chicago, but it is the obvious favorite in the reconstituted Pacific Division. 

Offseason Grade: C

Will they make the playoffs in 2013-14: Yes.