With the proposed plan the National Hockey League (NHL) submitted to re-start the season with the Stanley Cup Playoffs it’s official, the LA Kings regular season is over.
The NHL’s proposal to resume the season includes 24 teams and as the 4th worst team in the NHL the LA Kings won’t be included in any postseason scenario. This marks the second consecutive season the Kings have missed out on the playoffs and now three out of four years. For Kings fans, it is a far cry from the glory days of two Stanley Cup titles in three years.
The Kings 2019-20 season started with their third coach in three years and Todd McLellan looked incapable of making things any better than his predecessors as the Kings started by losing 9 of their first 13 games.
The Kings struggled all season scoring goals and ended up 30th in the league, they have traded away a great number of their core players who helped them win their two cups and have entered into a transition period. There is a more youthful look to the Kings and it might be some time before they are contenders again.
Despite the down season, theses were the highlights to the Kings year:
Kopi is still King
Anze Kopitar doesn’t get much notice from the rest of the league because most east coast media members are asleep when Kings games are finishing. It’s a shame because they are missing out on one of the consistent players in the league who shines like a diamond in the dark mediocrity that was the Kings season.
Kopitar led the Kings in every major offensive category while also averaging 21 minutes on the ice second-most on the team. Kopitar was the offense, garnering 62 points nearly 20 points higher than the next Kings skater and over a completed season would have jumped up to 73 points above his career average of 67.
Kopitar participated in his fifth NHL All-Star Game being the lone representative for the Kings.
Trades, Trades, Trades
Prior to the NHL trade deadline the Kings front office traded away core members from their Stanley Cup win in 2012 and 2014, ushering out the second golden age for the franchise and firmly establishing their newest rebuilding period.
Over the period of two weeks in early February the Kings traded Kyle Clifford, Alec Martinez, and Tyler Toffoli for three players and seven draft picks a haul meant to secure the Kings future and not the present.
Before the sudden end of the season, the Kings began to show glimpses of promise going on a seven-game winning streak. The Kings outscored their opponents 22-9 during the streak got great goaltending from both Jonathan Quick and Cal Petersen as both goaltenders traded off wins through the seven games combining to stop 224 out of 233 shots.
The offense was carried by two of the veterans as Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown combined to score seven goals and dish out six assists. Prospects Gabe Villardi and Alex Iaffalo showed glimpses of the future by contributing four goals and 10 points to the cause.