Los Angeles Kings: 3 Items on Their to-Do List to Reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs

Steven Cook@@stevencookinFeatured Columnist IVMarch 2, 2012

Los Angeles Kings: 3 Items on Their to-Do List to Reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs

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    The Los Angeles Kings are 29-23-12 on the season and sit just one point out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. 

    The Kings hope that the trade deadline acquisition of Jeff Carter will help their woeful offensive output and lead them to their third consecutive Stanley Cup Playoff appearance.

    Los Angeles, dead last in the league in scoring, has been relying heavily on the stellar play of goaltender Jonathan Quick, who is having a career-best season in nearly every statistic.

    Let's take a look at what the Kings need to get going in order to make the playoffs in 2012. 

Carter and Richards Return to Philly Greatness

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    Jeff Carter looks thrilled to be in L.A. with former teammate Mike Richards.

    The Kings broke the bank to get Richards, and made arguably the biggest splash of trade season by acquiring Carter from the Blue Jackets. Carter's time in Los Angeles has been short, but he's yet to reach the scoring column in his three games as a King.

    Management probably didn't expect Richards to just be fourth on the team with 31 points. 

    Their chemistry is apparent and we've all seen what they are capable of from their time with the Philadelphia Flyers.

    Now's the time that they take their production to the West Coast. 

Fix Their Putrid Offense

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    Without one of the best goaltenders in the league, the Kings' playoff chances would be an afterthought. 

    They boast a league-worst 138 goals on the season, good for just 2.14 goals per game.

    Center Anze Kopitar is having a productive season with 54 points, but the rest of the forwards are lacking as just four players have double-digit goals. Only Justin Williams (plus-10) and Dustin Brown (plus-11) have plus-minus ratings of more than plus-4.  

    They don't need to rip through the netting like wildmen, but an increase in scoring is vital to the Kings' playoff chances. 

Continue to Stay 'Quick' in Goal

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    As bad as the Kings' offense has been this season, only two teams have let up less goals than the boys from L.A.

    Quick's goals allowed per game is a ridiculous 1.92, best in the league among goalies who have played 50 or more games. His .932 save percentage is also in that category.

    The Kings' front office have made the moves to revamp the offense with Carter and Richards. They may not be producing just yet, but the consensus is that the best is yet to come.

    Although, for right now, the Kings' playoff chances are hanging on a thread. 

    Quick is holding on to those chances for dear life.