Los Angeles Kings: Will the Lockout Hurt or Help the Defending Cup Champions

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Los Angeles Kings: Will the Lockout Hurt or Help the Defending Cup Champions
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

The NHL lockout will have an interesting effect on the Los Angeles Kings. It will negatively impact them in some aspects, but the extra time off could actually benefit the team in a few ways.

Just like the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004, the Kings will lose a ton of the positive momentum built as a result of their first Stanley Cup title in team history because of the lockout. Support for the Kings was arguably at an all-time high during the 2012 NHL playoffs, but now the lockout could keep hockey fans away from the Staples Center for a while.

The lockout, combined with the Los Angeles Lakers' exciting acquisitions of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, could lessen the interest in hockey around the city in a significant way. Just as the Kings were beginning to get some well-deserved recognition in a crowded sports city, a work stoppage is going to halt this enthusiasm.

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However, from an on-ice perspective, the extra time off from the lockout will be a huge benefit for the Kings. After playing deep into June during their Stanley Cup run, the Kings players will welcome some more time to get ready for another grueling season.

Earlier this month I wrote an article on how the Kings will go through the inevitable Stanley Cup hangover and one of the reasons why was because of their physical style of play. However, the added rest gained from a lockout could allow them to play with the level of toughness and physicality that is crucial to their success and they might not be as affected as they would be during a regular 82-game season.

Extra rest isn't just going to benefit the team as a whole. Certain Kings players will also be helped by a lockout.

Victor Decolongon/Getty Images
Starting goaltender Jonathan Quick, who was likely physically and mentally drained following the team's championship run from last spring, could benefit from the lockout because it would give him more time to recover from offseason back surgery.

Veteran forward Simon Gagne missed a good portion of the 2011-12 season recovering from a concussion, but was able to return in time for the Stanley Cup Final. He's another player who has something to gain from extra rest.

Kings fans will want to see their team back on the ice as soon as possible, but there are ways that the lockout can positively affect their team for next year. Luckily for the Kings, they won't be one of the teams that will be negatively impacted by the lockout in a major way.

 

Nicholas Goss is an NHL lead writer at Bleacher Report. He was also the organization's on-site reporter for the 2011 Stanley Cup Final in Boston. Follow him on Twitter.

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