After finishing seventh in the Western Conference in 2010-11, the Kings added Simon Gagne and Mike Richards to an impressive core already boasting the likes of Dustin Brown, Drew Doughty, Anze Kopitar, and Jonathan Quick.
As a result, prior to the 2011-12 NHL season, the LA Kings were considered to be a surefire Stanley Cup contender.
However, the offense slumped, and after 29 games and a disappointing 13-12-4 record, head coach Terry Murray was fired on December 12, eventually being replaced by Darryl Sutter on December 17.
Sutter led the Kings to a 24-13-11 run, picking them up from 12th place in the Western Conference to eighth, helping the team secure a playoff berth.
With a high-tempo, heavy-forecheck style, Sutter continued his solid coaching, leading the Kings to a 16-4 record in the playoffs.
Who knows where the Kings would be had a coaching change not been made in December? Ultimately, Darryl Sutter played a major role in ensuring the Kings improved and made it all the way to the Cup.