Los Angeles Kings’ Performance vs. Blues Will Reveal True Early-Season Form

Though the 2-1-1 Los Angeles Kings have rebounded nicely from a poor start to the season, their current two-game winning streak is negligible.

The Winnipeg Jets and undermanned Edmonton Oilers—a weak opponent even at full strength—don’t exactly represent top competition.

L.A. has only squared off against one playoff team from last season, and on the night when they watched their second Stanley Cup banner rise to the rafters, the Kings were never going to wrestle a victory away from a highly motivated San Jose Sharks squad.

With that in mind, the reigning champions will face their first measuring-stick game of the season on Thursday night against the St. Louis Blues—a deep and structured side that resents L.A. for booting it from the postseason in both 2011-12 and 2013.

The contest should provide a glimpse of how the Kings will handle the Western Conference’s powerhouses early on.



Due largely to the exploits of That '70s Line, the 2014-15 Kings seem more lethal and dynamic than any L.A. club in recent memory. However, they’ve played fairly mediocre opponents to this point in the campaign.

The Blues, who are coached by Ken Hitchcock and thus very disciplined in their own end, will test just how improved this Kings offense really is.

At present—granted, it’s only been four games—L.A. sits 14th in the league in goals per game (3.00). It ranked 26th (2.42) last season.

The “second line” of Jeff Carter, Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson has posted a remarkable 16 points and plus-22 rating combined. Can it continue to produce against firmer opposition?

The Blues appear to boast the right personnel—center depth (David Backes, Paul Stastny), two-way forwards (Alex Steen, T.J. Oshie, Jaden Schwartz) and stout all-around blueliners ...

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