The Kings are a team that looks poised to finally stray out of the West's basement and start being competitive again. I think they have one of the most impressive collections of top 6 forwards in the WC this year, especially given the way Kopitar is playing.
Things to watch for:
- Even with Smyth gone, Kopitar is going to be handful for whoever gets that assignment. He's probably already one of the best young centers in the game and he'll be playing with Justin Williams (no slouch when he's healthy) and Alexander Frolov. Sometimes Dustin Brown slides to the first line too and he's a legitimate power forward in his own right.
- Drew Doughty is quite the player. Not physically imposing in any sense, but he impressed me with his poise, vision and high IQ when I watched him previously. I think he'll become one of the premier defenders in the league at some point.
- Ironically, Olli Jokinen had his best individual performance of the season against the Hawks. He scored his first legit goal of the season - a snipe to the top corner - and was actually fairly dangerous otherwise. He also led the team with 7 shots on net. While one game does not a turn-around make, it's nice to finally have some indication that Jokinen can actually do damage in the offensive zone. He'd be far less a worrisome if he was at least not a liability in one end of the ice.
Let the expletives fly.