Why the Los Angeles Kings Aren't a Stanley Cup Contender Yet

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Why the Los Angeles Kings Aren't a Stanley Cup Contender Yet
Harry How/Getty Images

There are seven standout reasons for the Kings' 5-2-1 start:

1) Jonathan Quick set the franchise record for most consecutive shutout minutes with a mark of 188:10, besting Rogie Vachon's 184:55.

2) Thanks in part to Mike Richards, the power play is humming at 24 percent after wallowing at 16 percent last year.  This is mostly without Drew Doughty.

3) Quick set a franchise record with three consecutive shutouts.

4) Anze Kopitar—the Kings' best offensive and defensive forward last year—has 10 points.

5) Quick has a 0.81 GAA and a 97.2 save percentage.

6) Jack Johnson has two overtime-winning goals. 

7) Quick has covered up his team's middling play—an inconsistent offense and somewhat sloppy two-way effort—as the Kings have had few dominating stretches so far.

While the results of the first eight games suggest a team ready to be anointed, Dean Lombardi sacrificed a critical element of the team's success the last two years to improve other areas—and that element must be replenished for Los Angeles to join the elite teams.

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