The Los Angeles Kings have their sights set on the Stanley Cup this season.
After a disappointing early exit in a playoff series loss to the San Jose Sharks last season, the Kings have made massive offensive changes to fill the holes in their roster.
Not only have they added players this offseason, they added good players. And though they have made some costly trades to get these players, the Kings feel they finally have a team to be feared in the West this season.
With a strong returning cast in Anze Kopitar and goalie Jonathan Quick, the Kings look determined to hoist Lord Stanley's Cup at the end of the season.
The Los Angeles Kings have been very busy this offseason, doing everything they can to build a winning team. They have completely adjusted their offense for what, on paper, looks to be in favor of the Kings.
Kings general manager Dean Lombardi brought in Mike Richards as a strong center to back up Kings star Anze Kopitar.
Richards is a tough player that has leadership experience from captaining the Philadelphia Flyers for three years and was on the Canadian hockey team that won the gold medal in the Vancouver Olympics. Another positive attribute to Richards is his ability to kill penalties. Richards had 23 goals and 43 assists in 81 games last season and should be a capable backup to Kopitar.
Veteran left wing Simon Gagne—who is a former teammate of Richards and scored 17 goals for the Tampa Bay Lighting—should add even more offensive power to the Kings as they look toward the playoffs and a possible Stanley Cup run.
The Kings have also just completed a one-year deal with Ethan Moreau, formerly of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Moreau is a strong defensive player but does not have a lot to offer offensively—only adding six points last season.
Kings Goalie Jonathan Quick may be the key to the team's success this season. The Kings have one of the best goals against averages—tying for sixth in the NHL with 2.39—and Quick is arguably one of the best netminders in the league.
He was ranked fifth with a goal against average of 2.24 and was among the top 20 (tied for 13) with a .918 save percentage.
If Quick can improve his numbers even by a little bit, and find a little bit more consistency in his game, the Kings are going to be very strong contenders in the West.
Quick should also have some of the pressure relieved with all the new offensive firepower, allowing him to focus better on stopping shots.
Anze Kopitar led the team in points (73) and assists (48) last season and returns for his fifth year with the Los Angeles Kings.
And with the addition of Richards, Kopitar should get the matchups and space that he needs to further increase his numbers. Kopitar is already predicted to be a strong candidate for the Art Ross Trophy awarded to the top points getter. Look for Kopitar to lead the Kings deep into the playoffs.
Leading scorer (28) and right-wing veteran Dustin Brown is another returning player player who should give the Kings a leg up this season. Brown has had been averaging around 27 goals since the 2007-08 season and looks to keep scoring.
Kyle Clifford and Dustin Penner should be a scoring threat every time they come down the ice
and make the Kings a team with great depth.