Kukla's Korner Hockey

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Scoring Depth Needed From The LA Kings

10/04/2022 at 8:41am EDT

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

It says a lot about Anze Kopitar — and the Kings — that he has led them in scoring 14 of the last 15 seasons.

“Did he lead it last year too?” longtime teammate Drew Doughty asked. “I thought Phil won it.”

Nope. No. 2 center Phillip Danault made a strong impression in his Kings debut but ranked third with 51 points, behind Kopitar (67) and Adrian Kempe (54).

It was imperative for Kopitar to lead the Kings in scoring as they built up to their 2012 and 2014 Stanley Cup championships, as they reached their peak, and then to keep them credible through their painful decline. A No. 1 center must carry his team, and Kopitar has done that at an elite level at both ends of the ice. Only Jeff Carter, in 2016-17, has interrupted the Slovenian center’s dominance since a 20-year-old Kopitar succeeded Michael Cammalleri as the team’s scoring leader in 2007-08.

But as the Kings rise again, they’d be better off if Kopitar doesn’t lead them in scoring this season. At minimum they need him to be seriously challenged for supremacy because that will mean they’ve gathered enough skill and scoring depth to contend for the Cup again.

continued

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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