Los Angeles Kings Details
Missing the playoffs for the second time in the past three seasons was the Los Angeles Kings. After winning the Stanley Cup in 2013-14, the Kings missed the postseason the next year, lost in the first round in 2015-16, and missed again last season. Darryl Sutter’s team struggled with injuries all year, including starting goaltender Jonathan Quick. The star netminder finished just 15 games all season, posting an 8-5-2 record and a 2.26 goals against average. In between the pipes wasn’t the only area hampered by injury last year. After a stellar 2015-16 campaign which included 31 goals and 27 assists, center Tyler Toffoli missed 19 games and tallied just 16 and 18 last season. His speed and skill were sorely missed on an offense that was already average at best. The Kings finished 25th in goals scored and had just two players with more than 20 goals on the year.
On the bright side of things, both of those 20-plus scorers return for the 2017-18 season. Alternate captain Jeff Carter, who led the team in points (66) and goals (34), will once again be in a Kings sweater, as will winger Tanner Pearson. Pearson had his best NHL season thus far, finishing the year with 24 goals and 20 assists in 80 games. In his second full season, the 24-year-old proved that he has what it takes to help lead an NHL offense. The Kings should hopefully get back to what it does best in 2017-18: defense. As long as Jonathan Quick can stay healthy, the team will be much better defensively and have a shot to return to the playoffs. The Staples Center crowd will certainly be ready and raring to go.