Breaking Down Los Angeles Kings’ Place in the 2013-14 Pacific Division Race

The Los Angeles Kings have not gotten off to a great start this season. At times, they've looked nothing like the team that made back-to-back trips to the Western Conference Final. What makes things more troublesome is the strong performances early on from other teams in the Pacific Division.

Fortunately, the season is just a month old.

With 18 points, the Kings sit seventh in the Western Conference and fifth in the Pacific ahead of only the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames. 

Overall, their record is 9-5 and 3-2 versus divisional opponents, with just one of those three wins coming in regulation. That includes splitting their first two games with the Phoenix Coyotes.

For a team that was considered a favorite to win its first division crown since 1990-91, L.A. simply hasn't been consistent.  

The Kings' average goals for (ranked 18th) and against (ranked 11th) are an identical 2.57 per game. 

It took longer than 10 games into the season before any of the Kings' top three centers found the back of the net. Now, Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards and Jarret Stoll each have two goals.

Drew Doughty and Slava Voynov also got off to slow starts. Not good for two defensemen who are expected to represent their countries in Sochi. Doughty has played better of late, with four points in his last five games. 

Jonathan Quick has been average, with an 8-4-0 record, 2.56 goals-against average and .903 save percentage. If Quick can get back to dominating like he did in the playoffs, it could make a huge difference for the Kings as the season goes on. 

The teams that could prevent them from winning a division title remain the same. The San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks and Vancouver Canucks have all shown that they're still among the top teams in the Western Conference.


San Jose Sharks

10-1-2, 22 points, 1st in Pacific...

About the Author