Why the West should start being very afraid of the Los Angeles Kings
They were just 15-14-4 when Sutter took over, sitting tied for 10th in the West with Calgary (imagine the indignity). But after a little less than a month they just have one regulation loss, are putting together strong defensive efforts and making a very legitimate case that come playoff time, this will be a team to be reckoned with, particularly if they can make up enough ground to get up to the four or five spot.
Understandably, there are probably a lot of people who will say that this run of success is just regression. That a team as good as the Kings are on paper couldn't have continued blundering along, playing sub-.500 hockey, for an entire season or even a stretch of more than 25 games or so. It would be pretty easy to say that shots are going in for them now, and staying out for their opponents. They sure don't give up three or more goals a night like they used to.
Not that the Kings don't have their problems though. Sunday night was the 15th time this season the Kings have gone to overtime, and they've also played in eight shootouts, which leaves far too much to chance through the gimmick skills competition, and therefore given away points of some kind or another more often than they've needed to. More problematically, many of these instances have also been against teams with whom the Kings will likely be competing for a playoff spot (Dallas, San Jose, Colorado, and the like.