Los Angeles Kings: How Experience Has Changed This Team

As the Los Angeles Kings near the 20-game mark of this season, experience is starting to shine through.

With injuries to Alexei Ponikarovsky and Willie Mitchell, the Los Angeles Kings of 2010-2011 are virtually the same as the team that ended last season. 

How do these injuries affect the Kings?

These injuries allow fans to see how the young core of this team has grown.  With the key offseason acquisitions out of the lineup, fans can see just what kind of team Dean Lombardi has built through years of careful drafting and acquisitions.

A lot of hockey minds agree that Los Angeles is the next Chicago, without the salary cap woes.  It's hard to disagree when you look at the continued offensive and defensive development shown from the hockey club. 

The key to all of this success can be attributed to the fact that these guys have grown together.  They know each other well, both on and off the ice. 

How much credit should be given to Terry Murray?  A lot. 

Murray has turned a struggling, bottom-dwelling team into a top contender for Lord Stanley's cup.  It's no mistake that a team with the same core has gotten better in each of his three years behind the Los Angeles bench.  It is important to credit Murray as one of the best coaches in the National Hockey League today.

Looking at the entirety of Murray's tenure in Los Angeles, one can't help but noticed the continued development and growth of Anze Kopitar.

When Kopitar was drafted 11th overall in 2005, there was no doubting his offensive talent and prowess.  The concerns were present in his defensive game.

After Murray's first season in Los Angeles, which is always a difficult season for coaches as they are adapting to their new players, Kopitar's stats took a jump in the right direction on both sides of the puck. 

Not only did Kopit...

About the Author