2022-23 Season Primer For New Fans?

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USCKingsFan31

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I'm not exactly a new fan... was a diehard fan for most of my life.

But after the cup runs in '12 and '14, life started to get in the way, my parents moved out of state so we stopped going to games, I lost my passion for a lot of things, blah blah blah.

So I've been out of the loop on the Kings the last few years, and this year I want to get back in. I'm sure I'll pick things up as I go along. But figured since this would be useful to me, it might be useful to some new fans as well... Would love to hear some of ya'll's thoughts about the upcoming season. Storylines to follow, players you are/aren't excited about, what you are expecting, etc. Basically anything you think fans new (or returning) to the team need to know!

Thanks!
 
Here's some takes from the man in charge Rob Blake: On the eve of the 2022-23 season, Kings leadership expecting progress from increased expectations

“Progress. Continued progress.”

That was Rob Blake’s generalized answer to what he would see as growth from last season to this season.

Throughout last season, Blake maintained that word, progress. It was never, publicly at least, about setting a bar or a line for what the team needed to achieve, there wasn’t a mandate as to what progress was, but rather just a focus on the word. Progress.

Progress last season put the Kings into the postseason and now the group is hungry for more. With a couple of new faces and others expected to give more, Blake stressed the importance of maintaining the level from last season, while progressing beyond it here in 2022-23.

“We’ve made a big step getting back in the playoffs and now you’ve got to hold that level and keep getting in,” he added. “I think the roster starts to take a little more shape, you add a few pieces through free agency, give the young guys a couple more years to get up and running at the NHL level and now you put the emphasis on them producing and helping us.”

The expectation is clear. The organization wants to solidify itself as a playoff presence this year, not be thought of as a bubble contender. To that aspect there's going to be less coddling of younger players and more expectation of performance.

The new face this year is Kevin Fiala as the major move in the offseason. A 1ppg player for the first time last season with the Wild the big question is can he keep that pace up with the Kings. They will lean heavily on his speed and creativity to keep the offense progressing forward and draw assignments away from the second and third lines.

The new rookie this year is Brandt Clarke, who from all appearances will get at least a 9 game audition before the team decides if they will return him to the OHL for his 19yo season.

Dom at the athletic has pegged this teams projection at 92.6 points this year (a regression from last season) with a projected 4th place finish in the division but it would be close for the playoffs: Los Angeles Kings 2022-23 season preview: Playoff chances, point projections, roster rankings

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The biggest issues of last season that seem to be addressed are special teams. The kings have brought in Jim Hiller (no word on van boxmeer) and during the preseason the powerplay has looked tremendously more innovative. There is genuine excitement that we no longer are carrying a power kill unit. Gabe Vilardi in particular has looked very exciting in the bumper position.

All players with offseason injuries appear to have been healed up with only Arviddson and Durzi having time limited in camp. Both are expected to contribute early this season.

The preseason injury bugaboo seems to have hit Cal Petersen and that is a concern. He has not looked like he's ready for the season and it will be a story to follow. Quentin Byfield was slowed with an illness but they have kept him up with the big club and he's again expected to center a line, this time with Alex Iafallo and Arthur Kaliyev.

As for following the team itself, I am sure there are a myriad of ways these days. I'll leave it to others for the best tips on social media. Personally I still use older technologies.
 
Welcome back you bandwagoner!!! j/k

I've been less in the loop myself because I gave up my season tickets at the end of the season last year and I haven't attended a game at Staples since late Feb 2020. But I'll throw in my two cents on what I feel about the state of the team if that helps. Everyone else should definitely chime in.

Brown - Well, Derp is gone. Will his presence be missed? How much of a locker room "leadership" presence did he really have?

Goaltending - The Quick we all know and love is still here and can be just as good on some nights. But I think it's no secret that father time will catch up with him soon enough. Petersen is supposed to be our next goalie, it's why he was rewarded with that 3 yr, 5 Million (AAV) extension. He was suppose to split time evenly with Quick last year but I think towards the end of the season, Quick "stole" that job because he was playing so much better and kept the Kings in so many games. This pre-season, both goalies have been average to terrible, especially Cal Petersen. Will that translate over to the regular season? I hope not. But don't be surprised if the Kings game plan is to try to win by a score of 5-4 every night.

Power Play - Ah, the game that every single King love to play, hot potato. Will this finally be the year they're good? So far in the Pre-Season they've shown that they're actually quite effective on the PP. With the addition of Fiala and the creativity of Arvidsson and Danault, things are looking up. However, we need to remind ourselves that the PP looked good in the Pre-Season sure, but that was because they played the Ducks and Knights over and over. Other teams will be smarter and wiser on the PK. I fear that the Kings will fall back into their bad habits, especially Kopitar and Doughty.

Iafallo - Let's talk about Iafallo. He has been put on the 1st line for the last few seasons. I think last year, he finally got shifted down to the 2nd or 3rd line at times and the dude was just okay. Maybe it's just me that expects a 50 point season out of him but he might be more of a 30 point guy only. The only thing I remember about him was how terrible he was against the Oilers in the playoffs. He was snakebitten and invisible.

The positives - Trevor Moore. You'll likely hear Fox and Faust say that he's from Thousand Oaks about 50 times a game. Get used to it and hope it doesn't annoy you. I don't expect him to have the season he did last year. If he does, that is a win. Moore and Lizotte were feisty and worked hard every shift. They click so well with Danault and Arvidsson. I'm sure you remember well that the Kings never seem to have the "talent" that other teams have as far as play making goes. But I think you'll like this team a lot. Danault, Kempe, Arvidsson, Moore, Durzi, Vilardi... these guys are playmakers.

Rookies - Vilardi is still looking to get a fair shake and he impressed during the pre-season. Byfield is still developing. People are really high on Brandt Clarke but I don't know much about him so we'll see. Anderson-Dolan might be a bust at this point but it's hard to say that about him until he consistently gets playing time.

That's all I can think of for now. I might add more later if I remember. Go Kongs Go?
 
So much to unpack here.

Kopitar has never played on a line like his this year. Kempe maturing into a legit speedy goalscoring winger combined with having Kevin Fiala on the other side offers Kopi the ability to distribute to two very high level goal scorers...true top line wingers both of them.

The second line of Moore/Danault/Arvidsson looked fantastic last year, with Trevor Moore being a huge surprise to fans with his speed and scoring knack. Arvidsson having a healthy season on Danault's right will go a long way to improving on the chemistry we saw last year. For the first time in a long time, the Kings have a true top 6.

In the bottom 6 we have some emerging talent as well. Arthur Kaliyev's shot is as good as anybody's in the league. Maybe it's his resemblance to Peter Boyle, but his upright skating style looks very "Frankensteinish" to me. Regardless, he's defensively responsible and has an innate ability to get into scoring positions to release that lethal shot of his.

Another interesting bottom-6 winger is Gabe Vilardi, who after years of chronic back issues is finally getting the time with the team to grow into the player he was billed as in his draft year. He has fantastic hands and isn't afraid to get into the dirty areas...this may be his year to blossom.


For me, there are two players to watch this year over others...Clarke and Byfield.

Clarke was seen by some as a potential #1 overall in the 2021 draft based on his elite understanding of the game, puckhandling skills and point production. While he's not the fastest, his skating is insanely fluid and his vision allows him to be more of a rover than simply an offensive defenseman. He has the potential to rack up a LOT of points from the back end this year. He's the most exciting defensive prospect we've seen since Doughty, and just as dynamic if not more.

Byfield spent his first stint with the Kings skating like a baby giraffe. Despite being 6'5" and 225 pounds he was timid last year, and looked goofy much of the time. Expectations are high around here for him, and fracturing his ankle last year didn't help his case. As time goes on this season he should continue learning and when his package of skill, size and speed comes together for him, he'll be a handful for NHL defenders for years to come.

With the Kings making the playoffs last year and getting knocked out in game 7 of the first round against the eventual Conference Champion, and doing so without Doughty, Walker and Arvidsson, it's an exciting year to be a Kings fan, especially after an (albeit abbreviated) rebuild process.

Go Kings Go!
 
Don't expect Fiala and Kopitar to mesh all that well, at least to start.

Fiala had a career year playing on a second line that had very preferential matchups with two like-minded kids who thrived in open ice. He has the skills to do very well in possession and cycle based attacks, but limiting his rush opportunities as the conservative Kopitar line will be seeing prime matchups in defensive based situations. Fiala will need to make adjustments to his game and will most likely see reduced stat totals.

The ideal situation would be to pair Fiala with Byfield. Let the kid attack with a strong puck carrier and finisher who won't see the same matchup issues, while providing an alternative style of attack that would augment the possession-based style of Kopitar and Danault's lines. We know how well those lines will perform - a third legitimate offensive option instead of a mish mash of ill-fitting parts on the "third" line could make the difference between home ice advantage or chasing a wild card.

Expect Sean Durzi to evolve into a major offensive threat. 50 points isn't out of the question, and hopefully he takes some strides towards being a competent defender.
 
I'm not exactly a new fan... was a diehard fan for most of my life.

But after the cup runs in '12 and '14, life started to get in the way, my parents moved out of state so we stopped going to games, I lost my passion for a lot of things, blah blah blah.

So I've been out of the loop on the Kings the last few years, and this year I want to get back in. I'm sure I'll pick things up as I go along. But figured since this would be useful to me, it might be useful to some new fans as well... Would love to hear some of ya'll's thoughts about the upcoming season. Storylines to follow, players you are/aren't excited about, what you are expecting, etc. Basically anything you think fans new (or returning) to the team need to know!

Thanks!

Hey Welcome Back... Been a while!
 
I haven't been this excited for a season since the 88-89 season. (which was my first full season watching!) There is no one on the roster I don't like, many I'm excited about (Clarke, Vilardi, heck, even JAD was looking great in preseason, and, of course, Fiala. Also great to have Arvidsson back healthy) Only question is in goal, but Quickie will save us no matter what.

ALL of the "dead weight" is gone....(including Brown - sad, but true)

Oh, and it seems they have dropped the stupid "Kempe hangs back to skate the puck in down the middle" on the power play. So we might actually NOT waste 2 minutes every time we get one this season!
 
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I'm not exactly a new fan... was a diehard fan for most of my life.

But after the cup runs in '12 and '14, life started to get in the way, my parents moved out of state so we stopped going to games, I lost my passion for a lot of things, blah blah blah.

So I've been out of the loop on the Kings the last few years, and this year I want to get back in. I'm sure I'll pick things up as I go along. But figured since this would be useful to me, it might be useful to some new fans as well... Would love to hear some of ya'll's thoughts about the upcoming season. Storylines to follow, players you are/aren't excited about, what you are expecting, etc. Basically anything you think fans new (or returning) to the team need to know!

Thanks!

Welcome back
 
So much to unpack here.

Kopitar has never played on a line like his this year. Kempe maturing into a legit speedy goalscoring winger combined with having Kevin Fiala on the other side offers Kopi the ability to distribute to two very high level goal scorers...true top line wingers both of them.

The second line of Moore/Danault/Arvidsson looked fantastic last year, with Trevor Moore being a huge surprise to fans with his speed and scoring knack. Arvidsson having a healthy season on Danault's right will go a long way to improving on the chemistry we saw last year. For the first time in a long time, the Kings have a true top 6.

In the bottom 6 we have some emerging talent as well. Arthur Kaliyev's shot is as good as anybody's in the league. Maybe it's his resemblance to Peter Boyle, but his upright skating style looks very "Frankensteinish" to me. Regardless, he's defensively responsible and has an innate ability to get into scoring positions to release that lethal shot of his.

Another interesting bottom-6 winger is Gabe Vilardi, who after years of chronic back issues is finally getting the time with the team to grow into the player he was billed as in his draft year. He has fantastic hands and isn't afraid to get into the dirty areas...this may be his year to blossom.


For me, there are two players to watch this year over others...Clarke and Byfield.

Clarke was seen by some as a potential #1 overall in the 2021 draft based on his elite understanding of the game, puckhandling skills and point production. While he's not the fastest, his skating is insanely fluid and his vision allows him to be more of a rover than simply an offensive defenseman. He has the potential to rack up a LOT of points from the back end this year. He's the most exciting defensive prospect we've seen since Doughty, and just as dynamic if not more.

Byfield spent his first stint with the Kings skating like a baby giraffe. Despite being 6'5" and 225 pounds he was timid last year, and looked goofy much of the time. Expectations are high around here for him, and fracturing his ankle last year didn't help his case. As time goes on this season he should continue learning and when his package of skill, size and speed comes together for him, he'll be a handful for NHL defenders for years to come.

With the Kings making the playoffs last year and getting knocked out in game 7 of the first round against the eventual Conference Champion, and doing so without Doughty, Walker and Arvidsson, it's an exciting year to be a Kings fan, especially after an (albeit abbreviated) rebuild process.

Go Kings Go!

Great assessment agree with most everything. I’m just not sure Kopi can keep up with his new line mates I certainly hope so but it can’t just be for the first two months of the season.
 
so....a couple of posts up I said there wasn't anyone on the team that I didn't like....I forgot about Matt Roy. Although, he was actually pretty good in preseason. But, man was he brutal tonight.
 
Damn wandbaggoners!

Welcome back I remember your.. avatar.

I quit watching from Sutter firing to TMac hiring, and the rush from '12-'14 filled my pot for a few years. Last year, to me, was very fun, impressive, and exciting - which leads me to being even more excited for this year, especially because I had a depressing ass feeling summer so I'm very glad Kings hockey is back.
 
Trevor Moore is from Thousand Oaks, just in case they don't mention it in the telecast.
 

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