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The Los Angeles Kings look a bit different this season. Aside from the defense and goaltending struggling, the offense has been clicking at a high rate. The Kings have been known as a defense-first, grinding team but that seems to have changed this season.

The Kings are second in the league with 60 goals scored. The offense has been creating problems for the opposition once inside the offensive zone. They keep coming, chance after chance, and they come in waves. The Kings have also been creating chances off of the cycle, with rebounds being more plentiful. Los Angeles also seems to be crashing the net more, creating more chaos in front of the opposing net.

The main contributors to the change in the offense are forwards Kevin Fiala and Gabriel Vilardi. Fiala came over from the Minnesota Wild in the off-season and leads the Kings with 18 points (six goals and 12 assists) in 18 games. This is what the Kings were hoping for after Fiala had a slow start.

LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 24: Gabriel Vilardi #13 of the Los Angeles Kings skates with the puck during the third period against the Arizona Coyotes at STAPLES Center on April 24, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images)

Forward Gabriel Vilardi has been the breakout star the Kings wanted since he was drafted. After some nagging injuries, Vilardi has everything under control and is playing inspired hockey. Vilardi has 10 goals and five assists for 15 points in 18 games. Defenseman Drew Doughty is also playing well after having wrist surgery last season that costs him most of the season. Doughty leads all Kings defensemen in scoring, posting one goal and nine assists for 10 points.

The movement with the puck in the offensive zone and the power play has been beneficial to the success offensively. Los Angeles has been more aggressive on the puck, creating turnovers that lead to some of the offensive chances. Players who are not contributing are still creating opportunities in the offensive zone. The defense is pushing the play by getting the puck to the forwards in a quick fashion, resulting in odd-man rushes.

With the offense clicking, The Kings could be dangerous if the defense can figure things out. The offense has been the thing that is keeping Los Angeles near the top of the Pacific Division.


(photo: startribune.com; Chris Miller)
(photo: lakingsinsider.com; Zach Dooley)

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