Speculation Predictions for the 23-24 season


The rocker of the catbox
Jun 14, 2023
Since it's the dog days of the offseason with not much else to talk about, I was curious what everyone thought about our chances for the upcoming season

IMO the team is much better on paper, IMO, than it was heading in to last season. We will have a full season of Gavrikov and I think our D will be much better. PLD gives us some of the best center depth in the league and should be a nightmare match up for other teams

The two question marks are G and wings.
Our goaltending is an obvious question mark. But, how much of one?
Last season, the goaltending was awful until Copely stole the net on Dec 6. The team was one game under .500 ( I am counting OTLs as losses)

Copely was 24-6-3 last season with a 2.64 GAA and .903
Compared to Quick's 31-27-11 3.50 and .876 (with the Kings)
and Petersen's 5-3-2 3.75 and .868
So can it be argued that our goaltending going to this season is better? Assuming that Copely can repeat what he did last season and that if Talbot can provide average goaltending that our goaltending can actually improve over last season.

There are a few ifs also:
Can Clarke step in and be better than Durzi on both sides on the puck
Can Kaliyev finally break through and be a top 6 forward?
Can the 4th line not be a liability that Hockeysistah thinks should be traded?

My guess: We finish about 10 points ahead of last season

What are your thoughts LGK?
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I think it will still be a struggle to beat Vegas and Edmonton for the Division, will see if Seattle is for real this year as well which could be another threat. I do expect them to be better than YAG so optimistically, they could still contend for the division lead. If they get into the playoffs, anything can happen.

I'm not worried about the offense, I do think we will be better with PLD and possibly Kaliyev on top 6. Byfield has to step up his game and play much more like a first liner. I'd like to see him get 20 goals but if he has 50 assists and 10 goals, that's probably ok. The top 9 should be really good. Bottom 3 is a bit concerning due to lack of size but I think Lewie is a great add.
Top 4 on defense should be very solid, bottom 2 is TBD and I'm hoping Clarke will make a quick and significant impact to help shore up the entire d corps.
Goaltending is the biggest question and success will probably be dependent upon how well the team plays in front of them. Look at Vegas. Rookie goalie, solid play in front of Hill made a big difference.

So overall, cautiously optimistic that we will be better than last year IF everything falls into place as designed by Rob.
No reason a team with Kopitar, Danault, Anderson, and Doughty should be so bad on PK. Lewis and Gavrikov should help as AI and Kupari shipped out. I can only hope this year’s PK is more aggressive. The opposing PP faces no pressure from these guys.

Goaltending should be status quo on Copley’s numbers. He was pretty sound positionally and never really had huge steals for saves, so I don’t see his game dropping off. Nor do I see it improving.

All else should be improved. This includes physicality from a marginal output overall with PLD and Lewis. Byfield threw some good hits in the playoffs along the boards so he needs to continue to use his frame. Should have another 10 lbs on him this year.
I haven't gotten into the numbers yet to see where the probable regressions will be, but 114 points is a heck of a prediction.

Most of the betting futures sites have the kings about 10-12th overall. Based on 2023 results that would put them near 100pts.

I'll bet Dom's model puts them between 98-102 points, don't forget for as many points as they threw away early, they were like the second best record in the league in the second half.

I'm less concerned about Kaliyev than I am about Moore. He both needs to look good and produce.

I don't know how to say this nicely, but all I want from the goalies is league average goaltending. Come playoff time the team better be comfortable with the idea that the net isn't going to steal them a game. They are going to have to do it themselves. I appreciate what Copley did last year, but lets not kid ourselves. Arguing about him vs Korpi was like choosing between Walmart brand and Ralphs brand goaltending. It wasn't a luxury item. Still store brands can be solid and you can run a household off them.

Can't wait for camp to come
The team remains a work in progress. I'll first look to see if Blake successfully solved the center slots. Just going to have to wait for a goalie. The D is exciting. Clark could be the answer for Doughty's twilight.
It seems scary without a #1 goalie, but then I look at the Vegas Knights and think that there's still a way to win without a dominating netminder.
A friend played in goal for the Winterhawks along with Hill. He felt Hill easily had what was needed.
los angeles kings thumbs up GIF by LA Kings
My prediction is 82 games and possibly some playoff games after that. :mhihi:

In all seriousness, I'm stilled worried about the PK. It was bad during the season and downright atrocious in the playoffs. Not to mention they signed a PIM machine to go along with Fiala and Danault so this could be a huge issue still.

Other than that? Rainbows and unicorns.
Defense should be far more balanced, better center depth, and the goaltending simply could not be worse than the first half of last season. So… 104 points! ;)
I'd say 105-110 points. I expect much better goaltending behind a less chaotic and undersized defense for the entire season. At least as good PP and a better PK with the addition of Lewis and with better goaltending. Offense should be gravy still. All in all with some progression of youth and limited regression of vets, a visible improvement. Unless injuries to key players ruin things, but that's always the risk...

But most importantly a more consistent, more physical play...a team more suited for playoffs.
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I'll go with 108 - 110 points. If Copley repeats and Talbot can revert to prior excellence maybe 112 - 114 isn't out of reach. As to where they finish? Too much depends on where the points come rom; if they roll over division rivals, they could take it. If they are mediocre in the Pacific but beat up on Eastern teams another finish like last season seems likely.
My #1 concern is goaltending and Byfield. 3 goals on the season, while playing on the first line, isn't gonna cut it.
Byfield is amongst your top 2 concerns this season? Obviously we need more production from him this season, but he has shown he can hang in on the top line.

I'll also remind you that Igor Larionov (.18 goals per game) had a good NHL career while having several seasons with single digit goals. Jozef Stumpel (.2 goals per game) as well. Sad the Byfield has a ways to go to even reach those goals per game mark, but rest assured he will surpass both in GPG averages by the end of his career.
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