CALGARY, AB – Well over a quarter into the season, the defending Stanley Cup Champions have looked mortal.
A year removed from being crowned the best team in hockey after one of the most dominating runs in Cup history, the Los Angeles Kings have just a 6-6-2 record this season – 12th in the Western Conference. The team has scored but 33 goals this season, last in the league alongside the Minnesota Wild.
Leading all Kings forwards in ice time, Kopitar is making the most of the workload with points in four of his last five games. His stretch has given him the team lead in points with nine in 13 games this season, just slightly off the pace he put up a year ago when he had a career-best 51 assists as part of a 76 point season. Kopitar heating up is great news for a Kings team that is dead last in goals this season.
Last year’s Conn Smythe Trophy Winner, Quick has yet to find the form that made him the most valuable player in the Stanley Cup Playoffs last spring. The 27-year-old has just two wins in his last six outings and had just an .876 save percentage over that span before stopping 23 of 24 in Edmonton a day ago. In all, Quick is just 4-5-2 with a 2.58 goals against average this season, up from his 1.95 mark last season.
THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH
Leading Los Angeles with seven goals – over 20 per cent of the Kings goal total this season – Carter could realistically eclipse his goal total of 21 a year ago despite a shortened season. The six-foot-four former 46-goal scorer has but one assist this season and will be heavily counted on to jumpstart a struggling offense for Los Angeles.
After acquainting himself nicely as an NHL regular last season, Voynov has stepped up into an increased role in Los Angeles this season. Averaging the third most minutes of action on the club, Voynov boasts the team’s best plus/minus at plus-six. He also leads the Kings’ blueline in goals with two and his six points trails only Drew Doughty’s seven.
Scoring just 12 points in 81 games a season ago, Clifford has gotten off to an incredible pace with seven points through the first 14 games of the year. Not necessarily known for his offense, the 22-year-old – who has 170 NHL games to his credit – is currently tied for fourth in team scoring.
BY THE NUMBERS
Los Angeles’ Record This Season: 6-6-2
Los Angeles’ Record Last Season: 40-27-5 (58th in Western Conference)
Calgary’s Record This Season: 5-6-3
Calgary’s Record vs. LA All-Time: 109-79-21-4
Calgary’s Record Head-To-Head Last Year: 2-2-0
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