The Los Angeles Kings have punched their ticket to the 2023 Stanley Cup playoffs. They will now have a chance to once again lift Lord Stanley above their heads in a short time. While the hard work has paid off, the regular season is nothing compared to playoff hockey.
Los Angeles Kings look to make a statement
Los Angeles have not made the playoffs in recent memory as much as they would have liked. In fact, over the past ten years, the Kings have secured a playoff spot only four times. The Kings have won two Stanley Cups, in 2011/12 and again in 2013/14. Aside from winning the two Stanley Cups, the other three recent visits to the playoffs have resulted in three first round exits.
These Kings are different. They have a well-rounded team that has made necessary changes to get better and they have. The acquisitions of goaltender Joonas Korpisalo and defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov, along with the recall of goaltender Pheonix Copley, have made Los Angeles one of the more dangerous teams in the Western Conference. The Los Angeles Kings are primed and ready to go as the hardest part is yet to come.
While Los Angeles have secured a playoff spot, the division is still up for grabs and the opponent is yet to be determined. The Pacific Division has the Kings currently in third with 100 points, one point behind the Edmonton Oilers and four points behind division leader, the Vegas Golden Knights. The question is, now that the Kings have locked in a playoff spot, does coach Todd McLellan rest some of his starters to acquire rest before the playoffs? Or does he continue to play them with seeding unknown and the division title still up for grabs?
The Los Angeles Kings have four games left on the 2022-23 NHL schedule and the next two are absolutely huge. They play at Vegas, and are at home against the Colorado Avalanche. They then close out the season against the Vancouver Canucks and the Anaheim Ducks.
(photo: lakingsinsider.com; Zach Dooley) (photo: thehockeynews.com; Adam Proteau)