LOS ANGELES KINGS 2013 SEASON PREVIEW:
The Los Angeles Kings have been an afterthought in the L.A. sports market over the past several years, but the 2011-12 season, fans in the area woke up and took notice. The Kings finished the year with a 40-27-15 record and barely squeaked into the playoffs at the eighth seed, but then proceeded to go on a Cinderella run that saw them knock of the first, second and third seeds out of the postseason en route to the franchise's first Stanley Cup title. While most teams would be happy to rest on their laurels following a championship, general manager Dean Lombardi did a wonderful job keeping the squad together in the offseason and should be ready to defend their title during the 2012-13 season.
When scanning the Kings' roster, teams around the league should be worried about the remarkable job that Lombardi has done to keep the team together after winning their championship. The Kings still have one of the best blue lines in the business, featuring center Anze Kopitar who finished with 76 points last season, as well as wingers Dustin Brown and Jeff Brown. The team also has stellar depth behind them in playoff hero Dustin Penner, winger Justin Williams and centers Mike Richards and Jarret Stoll. From top to bottom, the Kings have one of the most potent scoring attacks in the league, and the continuity of playing together for another year can only help their chances.
Defensively, the Kings have one of the better back lines in the NHL featuring defensemen Drew Doughty and Willie Mitchell, as well as a slew of depth players like Rob Scuderi and Matt Greene. However, the biggest move of the offseason was the long-term contract gave to their starting goalie Jonathan Quick. Quick, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy a year ago, posted an amazing .929 save percentage during the 2011-12 campaign and should continue to factor into the team's plans for the foreseeable future.
The Stanley Cup Champions will open up the season at home on Friday, October 12 against one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, the New York Rangers. To avoid a championship slump, the Kings will have to come out of the gates quickly and show that their first title was no fluke.
LOS ANGELES KINGS EXPERIENCE:
Location: Los Angeles, California
Stadium: Staples Center
Conference: Western Conference
Division: Pacific Division
Los Angeles Kings Stanley Cup Titles: 1: 2012
Los Angeles Kings Conference Championships: 2
Notable Players: Wayne Gretzky, Paul Coffey, Marcel Dionne
The Los Angeles Kings play hockey in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey league (NHL). The Kings franchise was founded in 1967 as part of the major NHL expansion of that year. The Los Angeles Kings have struggled for most of their history. Some highlights include the famed “Miracle on Manchester” game against future King Wayne Gretsky and his league-dominating Edmonton squad. Game 3 of the first round of the 1982 playoffs saw the Los Angeles Kings come back from a 5-0 deficit to win the game in overtime 6-5. LA Kings would acquire Wayne Gretsky in 1988 from Edmonton, making the Kings an instant Stanley Cup contender. In 1993, the team would make its first Stanley Cup finals behind the offense of Gretsky and Luc Robitaille. The Los Angeles Kings have really struggled since the trade of Gretsky and the retirement of Robitaille. After rebuilding themselves back into contention, the Kings made their second Stanley Cup appearance and their first ever Stanley Cup win in 2012 against the New Jersey Devils.
The Los Angeles Kings play home games at the award-winning Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. With a capacity of nearly 19,000, the arena is one of the premier sports arenas in the country, and it's the only arena to host five professional sports teams. A game at the Staples Center with its incredible video and audio capabilities, its spectator amenities, and luxury options is one of the great fan experiences in hockey today. Buy Los Angeles Kings tickets now!
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