3 Adjustments the Los Angeles Kings Should Make Ahead of Stanley Cup Final

As noted by Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider, the Los Angeles Kings are the first team in NHL history to survive three Game 7s on the road to the Stanley Cup Final. However, the fourth round of the playoffs wipes the slate clean and presents a whole new challenge.

Head coach Darryl Sutter and his staff must act accordingly, tailoring the squad’s look to best stack up against a speedy and balanced New York Rangers club.

The Western Conference Final was certainly an exhilarating affair, but it was far from ideal from L.A.'s perspective, with spotty defense and questionable bottom-six performances plaguing the team from the middle of the series onward.

Here are three adjustments the Kings should consider as they prepare to take on the Rangers for the right to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup.


Shore Up the 2nd Defensive Pair

Let’s not beat around the bush: L.A.’s defense has been horrid in the postseason, currently ranking ninth with a goals-against average of 2.86.

In the regular season, the Kings led the league with a 2.05 GAA. In the 2013 playoffs, they conceded 1.89 goals per game. When they won their only Stanley Cup in franchise history, they registered a phenomenal 1.50 GAA.

2014 has obviously represented a significant drop-off.

Drew Doughty has been outstanding—he should be the Conn Smythe Trophy front-runner by a mile—and Jake Muzzin has fared much better this spring than in 2013. Alec Martinez, while shaky at times, has brought good energy and mobility on the third group.

Unfortunately, L.A.’s second pairing on the blue line has bordered on pathetic.

Willie Mitchell and Slava Voynov have struggled throughout the entire playoffs, coughing up pucks to the opposition at every turn. Voynov has also seemingly made it his mission to creep into the attack at completely inopportune m...

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