With the first-round loss to the Edmonton Oilers, The Los Angeles Kings fan base felt great sorrow in a disappointing finish. However, if we look back at the season that just ended, the Kings were better as a team in most categories than last season. Listed below are some of those accomplishments.
The Kings supplied much entertainment, primarily from December on. The Kings’ win total grew from 44 last year to 47 this year. The win percentage went from .604 last season to .634 this season. The Kings scored 235 goals last season compared to 274 this season. The goals per game went from 2.87 to 3.34, the power play was up close to ten points, from 16.1% last season to 25.3% this season, and the face-off percentage also increased, from 52.2% to 53.3%.
Yes, the ending stinks. The Los Angeles Kings ran into a team that had been the hottest team in the entire NHL over the past two months of the season and had been just as good in the playoffs. This will happen. It has before and probably will again at some point.
The Kings’ faithful should not hang their heads on what was a great season. Some players performed above expectations, the team as a whole played well once the goaltending situation was fixed, and we got another year of Quinton Byfield.
This was another year of growth and one to build on in the off-season. The Kings will lose some players to free agency and maybe a trade or two. However, the team will also grow because of some additions that may be made through free agency or with younger talent coming up from their AHL affiliate, the Ontario Reign. The near future is still full of promise, and the Kings will be again in contention next season. This was not the Kings’ year, but the future of the Kings’ organization is.
Los Angeles Kings management has a number of decisions to make for next season’s roster. Some fans will like it; others will hate it. This is the role of general manager Rob Blake. Also, who will the Kings take in the 2023 NHL draft? A forward? Defenseman? Goaltender? A new player that will help this Kings organization in the near future who has loads of potential. This off-season will be busy, full of news and transactions.
Photo: Jack Jablonski/NHL.com