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2021-22 Season Recap: Los Angeles Kings

May 19, 2022, 7:56 PM ET [1 Comments]
Ben Shelley
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The Los Angeles Kings’ season came to an end on Saturday, following a Game 7 loss to the Edmonton Oilers.

While it was disappointing to see the Kings eliminated after holding a 3-2 series lead and their performance in Game 7 did leave something to be desired, it was a really promising season for the Kings overall. They posted a 44-27-11 record in the regular season, finishing third in the Pacific Division and sixth in the Western Conference overall.

After a multiple-year rebuild, the Kings took a huge step this season and seeing them back in the playoffs already was exciting. The reality was it certainly could’ve taken another year before Los Angeles was legitimately pushing for a playoff spot so for them not only reach the postseason but then also put up a really strong fight against the Oilers was great.

The defense group and just sheer organizational depth in the position as well deserves a lot of credit for the year. Player after player checked out of the lineup with injuries, to the point where every single Kings defenseman who played on opening night was unavailable at one point. Sean Walker went down early in the season and missed the entire rest of the year, while Alex Edler also missed extended time. Even in the playoffs alone, Los Angeles was without Drew Doughty, who would’ve taken on a larger role than anyone on the team.

While the defense group certainly deserves credit in pushing through a ton of injuries, the team also benefited from a forward group that was committed defensively. The Kings’ forwards played a very high-intensity game, forechecking to cause issues for opposing defenders and then getting back to break up entries and plays in their own end. The work ethic of a lot of the forward group was a key reason to the Kings’ consistent strong starts, overwhelming the other team on the forecheck and managing to sustain pressure after.

Adrian Kempe’s play was a huge story for the Kings as well, scoring 35 goals on the year, more than doubling his previous career high. He seemed way more confident carrying the puck and making plays, but was also just shooting much more as well. Also, offseason additions in Viktor Arvidsson and Phillip Danault turned out even better than many would’ve expected, while Trevor Moore took a huge step after finding chemistry with them. Depth forwards in Brendan Lemieux and Blake Lizotte also produced well, while Dustin Brown was able to wrap up his career with a final trip to the playoffs.

Goaltending was a bit of a strange factor for the Kings though. Jonathan Quick bounced back to have his best season in four years and was a key reason in Los Angeles having their success. That said, Cal Petersen took a pretty big step back, posting just an .895 save percentage after it was more or less his net to lose coming into the year. While Quick’s bounce back season was great, I personally still come away more concerned with Petersen’s performance than excited about Quick’s, given the Kings have bet on Petersen taking over the starting position for the years to come.

It was also important to see the Kings’ youth movement continue this season. Sean Durzi took advantage of his opportunity and ended up having a huge impact on the Kings’ blue line, while Arthur Kaliyev produced well in a limited role as a 20-year-old rookie. It was also exciting to see Quinton Byfield and Jordan Spence in the lineup, while Rasmus Kupari got into much more action with the team this year too.

Special teams is certainly an area to be improved upon, given that the Kings had the 27th ranked power play and 22nd ranked penalty kill. The Kings do lack some legitimate top scorers at the top of the lineup which would obviously help the power play, but we can count on them to figure it out as the team continues to improve.

It was a great season for the Kings overall, with the team ending up as one of the biggest surprises in the league. Now it’s a matter of what Los Angeles will do over the offseason and whether they’re able to take another step next season.


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Kings shut out Oilers in Game 4 to even series
Kings blow lead but win Game 5 in OT, take 3-2 series lead over Oilers
Kings unable to finish off Oilers at home, lose 4-2 in Game 6
Kings shut out by Oilers in Game 7, eliminated from playoffs
Kings reportedly sign GM Rob Blake to contract extension
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