Kings Redeem LA Posted September 26, 2017 Share Posted September 26, 2017 to this thread...! The Kings have been a strange train to watch rumble along these last few years: 2012 - Stanley Cup champs! 2013 - lost in the conference finals [oh sweet possible three-peat... ] to Chicago 2014 - : The Sequel -- Critics are still raving! Particularly at Hockey Forums dot Net! Especially in this paragraph! 2015 - team misses playoffs in a fashion that's offensive to children, the elderly, and most domesticated pets 2016 - team makes postseason; looks mostly lackluster, loses to a team which shall not be mentioned here 2017 - team looks a playoff contender at times but falls short in season's final month The organization has acted strangely over the last year also. Acquiring Ben Bishop and Jarome Iginla. I got wondering if they were making such moves given their proximity to The Geographically Challenged Angels of Anaheim. Came down with a mild case of the Josh Hamiltons? Both those blokes, Jarome and Benjamin, are now gone from the organization. They're not the only ones. Shakeup/Shake Up Much? Yes! The Kings have been overhauled to where even legendary announcer Bob Miller = gone. But he wasn't asked to leave. Dean Lombardi was though. President and GM since 2006--gone. Darryl Sutter was too. Head coach since 2011--gone. Same goes for assistant coach Davis Payne. Alex Faust assumes Bob Miller's old job. No pressure. You're only taking over for one of SoCal's former holy trinity of broadcasters: Vin Scully, Chick Hearn, and [you know who]. I'll try to keep an open mind about you despite your not growing up a diehard hockey fan, not being in the on-air auditions last season while Mr. Miller was recovering. Luc Robitaille promoted to Prez. Rob Blake promoted to VP and GM. Somebody get Rob a second executive assistant! New Head Coach John Stevens: He's got a lot of pressure on him to turn the Kings into a faster more offensively productive team. But I don't know that he does it because the team, the one he's been on the coaching staff for these last several years, doesn't offer him a whole lot that's new. He's gonna be directing a squad that Sutter insisted on keeping physical and defensive to where it adversely affected the offensive output. It got so bad that fans recommitted themselves to fine-tuning their skills in hurling projectiles: At home of course! Real hockey fans don't throw things at games. Unless of course someone scores a hat trick or it's time to chuck seafood in Detroit! I wonder if this roster still remains one that's more suited to calling out "We got next!" alongside the Nordiques and the Canadiens as they kick the crapola outta one another decades ago. There's some talent on the attack. Anze Kopitar's fantastic. Usually fantastic. But last year wasn't a great year for him. Not at all. He's looked sharp in this preseason. But the Kings are gonna need more than a bounceback year from Captain Kopitar to make the playoffs. Jeff Carter just had his best season for Los Angeles. So if he can match or exceed that, it'll certainly help LA dreams about making another Cup run with the team's core. But it likely won't realize them. The team needs more production from more players: Dustin Brown, over the last few seasons in 79 or more games, has virtually produced annually his point total from 2012-13 when he played only 46 games. It must be nice to make 6.5 million per year for such "production". Wonder if he'd be willing to halve his salary to help with cap space? [for that silly question!] Gaborik's been in decline; PPG slipping noticeably these last two seasons. Martinez has been trending upwardly; another full season this next campaign and we could have a 40-point-scoring defenseman on our gloves. Muzzin slipped big time in points, bigger time in +/-. Nolan's not much for full seasons or serious production. Tanner Pearson has been a better scorer four straight years since his arrival in the league. A healthy Toffoli with a season even better than 2015-16 would definitely aid the cause. Draft Picks: This last draft class wasn't one that got the experts backflipping in glee. But it'd seem improper not to say that Gabriel Vilardi, first rounder for the Kings, looks a good one. His elite two-way game could work well for the Kings. Straddle the new and old team eras, if ya likes. But he does need work on his skating. (I love that at least one expert has commented that his skating wasn't aesthetically pleasing . As if to say that much of anything which smacks of old Kings won't help the cause .) Who knows if he'll get called up. Some players will be asking for him or someone else to replace them if their performances don't improve. I'm looking at you, Brown. Conclusion: So will the team make the playoffs in 2018? Can they, gasp, make another Cup run with this crew? The fan inside me has suddenly begun singing Journey's "Don't stop believing..." But the rationalist inside me wants equal time for Metallica's "Enter Sandman". Even if the boys buy into and jump on the "Let's get some goals, ya mugs!" bandwagon, one year's not much time to deliver such a dramatic turnaround in culture and approach. More core players than not have recently given more pause than please. The Los Angeles Kings are probably going to need everyone at their better-than-ever, as well as a surprise or two, to get into the playoffs, let alone drink from the world's fanciest champagne goblet. I will be doing my best to help out by trying to unleash effective telepathic hexes on the competition. It's gonna take everything this year! Go Kings! Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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