Last Season: 45-29-8 98 pts (4th in Pacific Division; Lost in Western Conference 1st Round)
Key Additions: F Ilya Kovalchuk and G Perter Budaj
Key Departures: D Christian Folin, F Tobias Rieder, and G Scott Wedgewood
Top Questions facing the Kings:
- How will the Kings continue to improve this season?
Last season under John Stevens the Los Angeles Kings saw a resurgence from two key leaders in Anze Kopitar (35g, 57a for a career high 92p) and Dustin Brown (28g, 33a for 61p), and the midseason addition of Dion Phaneuf added more experience and grit to their defensive corps, however, when it came to the playoffs they only scored 3 goals in a 4 game sweep by Vegas. Only key addition was Ilya Kovalchuk who is returning to the NHL after a 5 year absence. Kovalchuk will add some scoring punch, but it still doesn’t solve their speed issue.
2. Will Jonathan Quick be a difference maker again for the Kings?
Quick only played in 17 games in 2016-17 due to injury, but when he returned in 2017-18 he was a force to be reckoned with. In 64 games played Quick ranked ninth in save percentage (.921) and eighth in goals against average (2.40) while posting 33 wins and winning the Jennings Trophy. Plus a key thing for Quick was that he kept the Kings in their first round series against Vegas. For the Kings to be successful, Quick will need to repeat his 2017-18 success this season if the Kings hope to make it back into the playoffs again this season.