The Los Angeles Kings certainly had their run in the NHL, an unexpected run. They won two-of-three Cups between 2012 and 2014. The Kings did it as a team that flew under the radar all season long. Especially the first Cup, I don’t think anybody had them winning it at the start of the season. Forget about the start of the season, even the start of the playoffs that year, there wasn’t a lot of commotion with regards to the Kings winning the Stanley Cup, sure enough, they went and won it all. They followed that up with another championship two years later. But after failing to make the playoffs last season, something people were just expecting then, are the Kings going to fall back and regress now? That is far more likely than them winning another Stanley Cup anytime soon, I’ll say that much. The team had some off the ice issues, with Jarret Stoll getting arrested for possession of cocaine in Las Vegas. Stoll went to the Rangers so that was the end of him in LA.
The Kings have also had injuries to deal with and departures have hurt them. Along with Stoll on the out, Mike Richards is gone as well as Slava Voynov. I think last season is a sign of things to come for the Kings. They still had a good year last season, but I think missing out on the playoffs could be in the cards again in 2015-16. The Kings have started the year out 2-3 and while that is nothing to get worked up about this early in the season, I don’t know if the Kings are going to improve on it too much as we get deep in the season. I foresee them finishing a little above .500 this season. They get a west coast matchup against the Sharks tonight, a team who has started off pretty well with a 4-2 record. Are the Sharks a playoff winning team, though? Not so much, awards aren’t handed out in the regular season. The Kings and Sharks clash tonight for this one. Find my pick below for the NHL, which has been a nice start for me this season.
L.A. Kings vs. San Jose Sharks Pick
The Kings are still anchored by Jonathan Quick in net, the defense is still relatively strong. But offensively, there is definitely a lot to be desired. Everyone wants to talk about their defense, but it was actually their offense that came to life during the playoff runs and propelled them to the Stanley Cup. The defense got them there during the regular season, for the most part, and then the offense kicked it up in the playoffs. I just don’t see the Kings having the offense to ever pick it up, though. Whether it’s in the regular season or playoffs. They haven’t showcased it thus far, as we have seen. They are averaging only 1.2 goals per game. The most they’ve ever scored in a game this season has been 2 goals, that’s it.
The Sharks have been playing great defensively, so it may be tough sledding for the Kings in this one considering how anemic the offense has been. New head coach Peter DeBoer is trying to turn them into a stout defensive team. DeBoer was all about playing the trap and winning games with defense in New Jersey. The Sharks are allowing 2 goals per game, which is a pretty nice start for them. Both teams have favored the UNDER this season, with the Sharks at 4-2 and the Kings at 3-1 on the UNDER. It seems like this should be a low-scoring matchup, so I don’t see any reason not to ride the UNDER in this spot.
PICK: UNDER 5 GOALS (-110)