Los Angeles, CA – The Los Angeles Kings have had a hard time trying to settle in over the last few seasons. It seems like those Stanley Cup titles are far distant to where the team is now. After signing superstar Ilya Kovalchuck, that snag didn’t seem to pan out as they missed the playoffs for the second time in three seasons.
Youth has been the trend in the NHL, as to what a lot of teams in the Pacific Division are doing. The Kings are quite the opposite, where many of their guns have been around the team for quite some time. They currently hold one of the oldest rosters in the league, with Jonathan Quick at age 34 is expected to play a full, healthy season. His 2018-2019 campaign didn’t go so hot, missing a substantial amount of time (Quick only played in 46 games). In a team where they needed to add some sort of major change to become more competitive in their division, the only big thing was they did not return their head coach Willie Desjardins. Since Darryl Sutter was let go after missing the playoffs in 2017, they have now cycled through three head coaches and have also not won a playoff game.
A lot will be relied on Quick, Drew Doughty, and Anze Kopitar to represent what the Kings have built each and every season. Last season, the Kings were trying to get a lot out of these three to at the very least keep themselves in games. But their lack of scoring and major fallout put the team way behind.
As for Quick, there were times that the Kings showed signs of life even if they were well behind. Backup goalie Jack Campbell was a solid replacement for Quick, accumulating a .928 save percentage in his 31 games at work. All of that did not help since the Kings just could not score last season, ending second to last in goals for.
Right now the Kings are practically bringing everyone back, which does not bode well for teams who are looking to go on the rise. Still, a split squad meeting with the resurged Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday could see where they are in their first preseason matchup. Time will tell with this team as Tuesday comes near, in preparation for 2019-2020.