Los Angeles Kings: Three Things To Look For This DecemberCurrently sitting in fourth place in the Pacific West division (as of this writing), the two-time Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings (2014, 2012) have had a rocky start at just over the one-quarter mark of the season. In their opening game with the San Jose Sharks back in October, the Kings lost both the game and their MVP and Conn Smythe Trophy winning goalie, Jonathan Quick to a groin injury. Other injuries followed – Anze Kopitar, Braden McNabb, Andy Andreoff, back-up goalie Jeff Zatkoff added to already injured Marian Gaborik. But as we end November the Kings once again face-off tonight against the San Jose Sharks, who sit first in the Pacific Division. Can the Kings turn the tables on their archrival and make that critical jump in the rankings as they head into December? Here are three things the Kings can hope for as the team heads into December.
The Importance of Beating the San Jose Sharks
As a Kings fan it's always painful to witness the games with the San Jose Sharks. First off the play is tough and physical (and let's call it as it is – nasty). Then there's the pain of seeing Martin Jones, our once glorious second goalie, playing for our dreaded enemy (and playing well). And must we look at those long horrific beards of Brent Burns and Joe Thornton...but I digress.... The Kings as a team are playing much, much better in recent weeks. Having won five straight games in a row, as well as having Kopitar and Gaborik back in the line up is a huge plus. The "70s Line" (Jeff Carter, Tyler Toffoli, Tanner Pearson) is on a goal streak, and the team has a positive attitude about beating their northern rivals. A win tonight would be huge.
The Kings Need to Return to Being a Fantastic Road Team
In past seasons, the Kings prided themselves on being a strong road team and at times their record showed a higher percentage of wins on the road. Sad to say this isn't the case this year with a record of three wins and eight losses of the eleven games on the road. With a crazy road game schedule this December – only four home games at Staples Center and ten games on the road, the Kings better reach back to a couple of seasons back for inspiration.
Keep the Goals Coming
For the most part, the LA Kings have been a somewhat notoriously low-scoring team, and have relied heavily on strong defense and a great goalie in Quick. Peter Budaj has done a good job stepping in for Quick, but the offense needs to ramp it up. And thankfully they have. During the second half of November, the Kings output of goals has been on the upswing. Four of the last five games have seen the Kings scoring 3 or 4 goals. If they can continue that trend, the team looks to stand strong on their win percentage.
Go Kings Go!
Author's bio: Lori Huck works in television development as well as writes on entertainment, travel and the arts. She's a fan of the vibrant arts scene in Los Angeles and is a member of various film, television, and arts organizations. She's also a huge Los Angeles Kings fan!
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