The Los Angeles Kings and their 2021-22 season is coming to an end. Lots of ups and downs this season, with the payoff earning a spot in the 2022 playoffs. Still questions surround this team, but the Kings accomplished what that wanted to this season.
The positives this season came in waves. Quinton Byfield made significant strides this season, looking like a full-time player by seasons end. Byfield needs to contribute more offensively but the rest of the tools are there.
The defense, most namely Jordan Spence and Sean Durzi, showed the Kings defense on the right side is taken care of for years to come. Although Durzi was more offensively productive Spence never looked out of place and played very well.
Phillip Danault showed why the Kings wanted him in the off-season and he delivered big time. He scored a career high 26 goals while maintaining his second line center duties. Danault took pressure off of veteran center Anze Kopitar and Danault was able to solidify his role as one of the games’ best two-way players.
Adrian Kempe was the biggest surprise this season, scoring a career high 34 goals. His production, like the Kings, had its moments where it was non-existent but when they were playing well, they were hot. Kempe is an RFA after this season and he will want to be paid.
With the Vegas Golden Knights losing to the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night. the Kings officially secured a playoff spot for the first time in four years. The Kings will face the Edmonton Oilers, with whom they were 1-2-1 against this season. They have a chance to make some noise this postseason, providing the special teams start clicking.
The Kings have had a special season, oner that nobody saw coming in October. They survived a season full on injuries and slumps to get here. If one team can make a deep playoff run after surviving this season it is Los Angeles.
(photo: latimes.com; Al Seib) (photo: jewelsfromthecrown.com; Sie Morely)