The Kings are probably one of the NHL’s bigger surprises this season. The team has a young, almost anonymous roster, yet somehow the Kings are still in the thick of things.
Now, with billions (OK,millions) of dollars in cap space, the team has to start considering if it wants to grab some high-priced talent to make a push into the playoffs.
Goaltending would obviously be a priority, and the best goalie available is Chicago’s Nikolai Khabibulin. I haven’t heard much about the Kings being interested, though.
Coach Terry Murray also concedes his top line could use more of a finisher. The top line (Anze Kopitar between Dustin Brown and Kyle Calder) has a combined 15 goals on the season.
So yeah. I think the top line could use something. Alexander Frolov, who leads the Kings with 10 goals, would be a logical insider candidate, but he’s a huge defensive liability. In fact, he was benched for the second half of Tuesday’s third period loss to Phoenix.
I don’t think anyone in the Kings organization thought the team would be as successful as it’s been and now they really don’t know what to do. They can try and upgrade the team and possibly ruin the chemistry or they can stand pat and then find themselves just out of the playoffs. In a lot of ways, things would have been much easier if they had just been an awful team.
Also, TV ratings always confuse me, but here are the local ratings for NHL teams. In general, the local ratings are up for more than a third of the league. Phoenix and Tampa ratings are both up since last year, which surprised me. Maybe the Sun Belt experiment wasn’t a total failure?