Editor’s note: Sports writer Kevin Allen has the Kings finishing 2nd in the West but falling short of repeating as Cup Champs. Fair enough. But in the past 2 seasons, the Pacific division has sent 4 of 5 then 3 of 5 of its teams to the postseason. This year, however, Mr. Allen has the Kings as the sole representative from the left-ocean division. He has the Yotes finishing 9th, the Sharks 10th, the Starts 11th and the lowly Ducks finishing 14th in the West. -PA
Pacific Division preview: Kings rule in regular season
Kevin Allen, USA TODAY Sports
If you were drawing up how you wanted your NHL roster to come together, it would probably look like the Kings’. Down the middle, the Kings have a superbly skilled center in Anze Kopitar, an irritating No. 2 center in Mike Richards and a savvy two-way veteran in Jarret Stoll. They have a 30-goal winger in Jeff Carter and a heavy-hitting power forward in Dustin Brown. They have a versatile scorer in Justin Williams.
On defense, they have size, strength, hitting, experience and shot-blocking in players such as Rob Scuderi and Matt Greene. They have a home run hitter on defense in Drew Doughty. He’s dominant in all three zones. Goalie Jonathan Quick might be the top difference-maker in the West. His 1.41 goals-against average and .946 save percentage in the playoffs were unprecedented in the modern era. It’s no wonder they won the Cup.