Should we start thinking of the Kings as... "contenders"?

santiclaws

I was in the pool!!
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Apr 5, 2002
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Let's disregard the fact that whichever team emerges from the Western Conference is almost certainly going to be steamrolled by whichever Beast from the East will await. But a team with a realistic shot at a Cup Final must be called a contender, right? Anything can happen in a series. A hot goalie. A cold goalie. Key injuries. Whichever Western Conference team reaches the Final will have a much better shot at the Cup than all but one team from the East.

I raised my eyebrows the other night when I heard Dallas Eakins being quoted as saying that the Kings are the best team in the West. But if you look at the standings, he's not way off. The Kings are one point out of the Western Conference lead 57 games into the season, despite the defensive and goaltending issues they were (and to an extent still are) facing. They're the hottest team in the WC over the last 10, at 7-2-1. They're certainly a flawed team, but that's par for the course in the West. As they are constituted, they have a realistic chance of reaching the Cup Final; if they pick up a solid left defenseman, their chance to win the conference can improve significantly.

If they won the Cup this season, I would be shocked. But if they won the West? It would be surprising. But certainly not shocking.
 
The weird part about it all is the level of expectations that we have for this team have taken some of the fun out of what we should have been having 1 point out of first in the conference this late in the season.... Just wild.

Also lots of division games upcoming to end the season, 8 of 9. The finish is going to be crazy with 3-4 point games.
 
Kings are as much a possibility to come out of the West as any other playoff team. Provided they make it I don’t really care who in the Pacific they’d meet in the playoffs. All have real issues from the net out.

DAL is a good team but they have 12 points from OTL/SO. Sure some of those could have gone the other way but still, 12 loser points for a conference leader - not dominant. WPG probably has the best goaltending and is a solid team but like, who’s scared of WPG? Avs could still come around but been saying that all season. Just a real strange year on this side.
 
As impressive as his win-loss record is, Copley is an average goaltender skills-wise with no playoff experience. Our 4 through 6 defensemen are Durzi, Walker & Edler.

We are winning by outscoring the opposition in spite of our defensive shortcomings. In the playoffs, it gets harder to score and our defensive weaknesses will likely be exposed. This is why I'm more inclined to add a defensive defenseman than someone like Chychrun, although perhaps it's possible to add both.

Don't see us as real contenders, although if we make a key addition or two and get on a run, there is a chance we can get to the Western Conference final because all the teams in the Pacific division have flaws.
 
I said, and we talked about it, at the beginning of the season that i thought this team had a very real chance to finish 2nd in division. I think they are absolutely a playoff team, but im not ready to give them the contender title.

I think their goaltending is adequate, but not necessarily a strength. I think their defensive unit has a couple holes. And i think they've shown that they still struggle to lock down leads some times. And while i think they match up well with respect to depth, they still can get out muscled at times. Theyve shown they can absolutely shut down some of teh league's most high powered lines, but I think this is a team that will probably struggle on the road against the real contenders when they cant get the matchups they want. But i very much like what they've done this season and i think they can definitely get to the 2nd round.
 
This team is kinda sorta starting to remind me of the 1993 Kings, who could score, score, and score some more, but had atrocious defense and average goaltending. Sound familiar? One things for sure, if the Kings somehow do reach the Final (a BIG stretch I think this year; Dallas is the team to beat in the West IMO), they better make sure all their sticks are legal!
 
Anyone know the lowest point total to win a 1 seed in a conference? Right now the Stars are on track for 104, the kings for 102
 
It depends which Kings team shows up. Do they have a chance to win the West? Sure they do. The team that played Vegas on January 7, Pittsburgh on Feb 11, and in Edmonton on November 16 certainly does. But there have been games where the team looks totally different, especially when playing with the lead in Nashville, Carolina, and of course this past Saturday. I think the Kings biggest need right now is a Robyn Regher, Rob Scuderi, Willie Mitchell type player. It takes an entire 20 guys playing at a high level to win the Cup which we saw in 2012 and 2014 and for the most part 2013. However, those Cups don't get won without those role players such as the ones I mentioned.

Go Kings!!
 
If a rising tide lifts all boats does a falling tide sink all ships?
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Do you really think this team is at the tipping point?
 
Yes. The Kings are contenders in the West. Their offense is great. The PP is elite. And they have experience where it counts the most. They certainly aren't favorites but if they continue to get adequate if not above average goaltending for the rest of the year they should have a good shot at winning the Pacific.
 
If the Kings had a proven top notch goaltender it would give them a real shot. Remember the Kings first run at the Cup, how Quick played like lights out in net, He was the difference maker that won the Kings the Cup that year.
 
Are they contenders really means can they beat Boston, TB, Carolina, or even the Rangers in a 7-game series. Ah, no. That's okay, as no one was pegging them as contenders when the season began. They are continuing the process of developing into a contender, much like the Kings of 2010 and 2011.
 
In looking at all the teams in the west, everyone is a contender for the finals but no one is a contender for the Cup.
 
Division Contenders, sure. Cup Contenders...not so much. Still missing a couple of pieces. Next season, very possible.
 
Improving? Yes. Contenders? No.

My hope for this year has always been that they learn how to win a playoff series. Let’s start there.
 
The Kings are good enough to break my heart.
 
My hope for this year has always been that they learn how to win a playoff series. Let’s start there.

This was my exact expectation going into this season with the addition of Fiala, and the hoped for improvement of Turcotte, Vilardi and Byfield.

We were so close to getting past Edmonton last year, I thought that would lead to consistency this year. But we're still a few major key pieces away from challenging those beasts in the east.
 

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