Going big and heavy, the Los Angeles Kings surpassed all other NHL teams, winning the Stanley Cup in 2011-12 and again in 2013-14. But then the NHL changed direction. Big and heavy gave way to small and quick. Unfortunately for the Kings, they stayed on their original tack and within a few years of their most recent Cup triumph, the rest of the league had passed them by.
The Kings still have some stellar pieces in place. Goalie Jonathan Quick is one of the NHL’s best netminders and perhaps the most flexible, but the cost for some of his many spectacular saves is that he has spent significant time on the injured list. Captain Anze Kopitar is among the NHL’s top two-way centers and a stellar performer in the faceoff circle. Drew Doughty is a Norris Trophy-winning defender.
Beyond that, things thin out rapidly for the Kings, who have gone through three coaches and two GMs in the past three years. The roster is long in the tooth. Both Kopitar and Quick are in their 30s and Doughty is 28. Three of L.A.’s top four scorers in 2018-19 were 31 or older and just one of the Kings’ top seven point producers is younger than 26. They regularly suited up eight players in their 30s during the season.
The Kings are right at the bottom of the NHL in power play and penalty kill and teams that fare poorly in the special teams portion of the game are doomed to failure. They are also among the NHL bottom feeders in goals scored, so betting the Kings to go over is not a wise investment. They were well below the league average in goals for and well above the league average in goals against. The Kings tend to be a better over team at home and a safer under wager on the road.
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