Los Angeles Kings Hammer St. Louis Blues in Lopsided Victory

The Los Angeles Kings greeted their fans with open arms and gave a collective shout, "We're Home!"

It didn't take long to see that this team is different than last year's. 

This team can dominate a game from start to finish, without having to worry about a soft-goal or shaky defensive play.  This team is so different in fact that there is a certain optimism not felt around the team since the days of Wayne Gretzky.  This team is different.

Last night's game saw one line completely take over the game.  In particular, Simon Gagne played an incredibly strong game.  Few players in the league have the skill and vision to match Gagne's.  It just so happens that his career has been plagued by injury.  Now, in a comfortable situation, playing with top players, on a top team, Gagne appears to be in a zone.  He is playing with confidence and vision not seen on Kopitar's wing since his draft year in 2005. 

Justin Williams also chipped in with two assists continuing his strong play.  It's really great to watch Williams play when healthy, as he is one of the hardest working players in the league. 

Dustin Penner could learn a lesson or two from him. 

Mike Richards picked up as assist last night giving him four points on the season in the five games.  While his stats aren't through the roof, they are completely respectable and near what should have been expected by one of the true great leaders of the game.

What's more impressive is his face-off percentage.  After struggling to start the season, Richards has played back-to-back games with a face-off winning percentage above 58.  He has done so much to solidify the Kings down the center of the ice.

Chalk up another solid performance from Jack Johnson as well.  The enigmatic defenseman assisted on Dustin Brown's first of the season, giving hi...

About the Author