Pushing for the Playoffs

The Los Angeles Kings have shown sudden success. What does this mean for the team?


Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Los Angeles Kings players celebrate with each other after scoring a goal against the Edmonton Oilers. (Photo by Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The LA Kings have silently been crawling up the NHL’s standings, winning 7 of their last 13 games post-New Year. The team has had a sudden surge of talent after losing against the Buffalo Sabres on December 13th with a final score of 6-0.

The skaters have made immense developments on the forecheck and backcheck. The defense has been helping out the goaltenders more and making sure they keep pucks out of their zone.

The Kings have recently been held down by goaltender Phoenix Copley. Copley was called up from the Ontario Reign, the LA Kings’ minor team, on December 1st. Since then, Copley has posted a record of 15-3-0. 

The LA Times called the goalie the “surprise Christmas gift the Kings needed,” as his calm and poised play lets the players know that they’re solid in the defensive zone and to focus more on offense. 

The Kings’ first two lines of forwards have been incredible offensively. The lines have been switched out due to lack of production or injury, but the players always find a way to work well with each other. 

The first line typically involves the team’s leading goal scorer in Adrian Kempe, captain Anze Kopitar, and rookie Quinton Byfield. The three have played 14 games together and produced in almost every one. 

The second line, nicknamed the M-A-D line, includes Trevor Moore, Viktor Arvidsson, and Philip Danult. This line has been together since last season and is one of the best in the NHL. Unfortunately, the trio has been broken up due to Trevor Moore suffering an injury. But, once they’re back, expect them to be thriving!

The newest addition to the team, Kevin Fiala, has made a large impact on the way the team plays. The forward was acquired in a trade and signed a 7 year contract immediately after. 

He’s played on both the first and third lines, but tends to thrive most with the third. The player was rewarded for his production with a nod to the NHL All Star events this year, in which he landed 2nd place in the fastest skater competition. 

The Kings return from their All Star break on February 11th against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Now that the break has passed, it means all teams in somewhat playoff contention are trying to make sure that they will land a spot. 

As of right now, the Kings are in 3rd place in the Pacific Division and 11th in the league. These statistics put them at a 65.4% chance of entering the playoffs. 

Obviously, this percentage is not ideal, but if the team really puts their mind to winning games they can surely make it. As someone who has been watching the team for their entire life and has a good sense of their game, we can expect them to play well in all aspects of the game for these next few months. 

Some veteran players, like Anže Kopitar and Drew Doughty, have won the Stanley Cup two times with the Kings. They especially know what it takes to compete to land a playoff spot.

The Kings made playoffs last year, but unfortunately made a first round exit against the Edmonton Oilers. The roster hasn’t drastically changed since last year, so all of the guys that played then have a sense of it too. 

 The second half of the season after the break is very exciting in the NHL. Teams are giving it their all to try and land playoff spots and have been playing some great hockey.

Even if you’re not a Kings or hockey fan, you should definitely watch or get out to some Kings games during their playoff push! Since we live in Los Angeles, hockey doesn’t really have a big market here.

We all know that the main sports people pay attention to in California are football, basketball, and baseball. Stereotypically, people on the east coast and in Canada take the most liking to hockey. Even though that may be true, don’t let it stop you from paying attention to the sport!

Kings games are streamed on the Bally Sports app. The team also has home games all throughout the months of February through April and tickets start at just $20.