A Playoff Return
The Kings returned to the post season last year after one of the longest playoff draughts in the NHL. Los Angeles finished 46-27-1-8 to impress everyone at the Sbg sportsbook as they showed tremendous balance ranking 10th overall for goal scoring and 9th overall for goals against. While Los Angeles was eliminated in the opening round by Vancouver last year their fans and many handicappers were impressed with the improvement. Now it is time for the next step.
The Kings have spent most of this decade wallowing in or near the basement of the Pacific Division. General Manager Dean Lombardi was brought in to fix the losing and did so with the same approach that he used at San Jose when he built the Sharks into a perennial playoff contender as he stockpiled high end draft picks. Handicappers now consider Los Angeles an attractive commodity to make a NHL bet with because of their roster having been loaded with some of the top young talent in the league.
Team captain Dustin Brown, who had 24 goals and 32 assists last year, has acknowledged that what were once low expectations by both the franchise and the fan base have now changed and that a mere NHL betting playoff appearance will not be enough for this year.
Lombardi has always talked about a three step program for winning by a franchise. It begins with a team hoping it can win, then thinking it can win, and then finally what Lombardi calls the hardest part, knowing it can win.
Jonathan Quick emerged as the number one goaltender last year with a 2.54 goals against average and 4 shutouts with 39 wins. Anze Kopitar has developed into one of the top centers in the league and became a key asset to make a NHL bet with last year as he had a career best 34 goals and 47 assists last year. Defenseman Drew Doughty made a big jump in production last year as he had 16 goals and 43 assists with a +20 plus/minus ranking. Willie Mitchell was a key veteran pickup in the offseason to pair with Doughty on the blue line for 2010-11.