Olympic break just what the Kings ordered

3/14/14 in NHL   |   patrickhoffman3530   |   122 respect

Mar 13, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings  right wing Marian Gaborik (12) celebrates scoring a goal with teammates during the first period against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY SportsPrior to the Olympic break, the Los Angeles Kings were struggling in a big way.

In their ten games before the break, the Kings went 1-8-1 and were obviously in a bad spell. During this spell, the team was struggling to score goals, hold leads, and lacked the killer instinct that made them not only Stanley Cup winners in 2012, but also a very dangerous team last season en route to their second straight Western Conference Finals appearance.

The Olympic break happened and at that point, no one needed it more than Kings. The team obviously needed to get away from the rink, refocus their efforts and remember the things that made them so successful and enjoy great postseason runs both last season and the year before.

It appears that is exactly what the Kings did as they are currently the hottest team in the league. Heading into tonight's tilt with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Kings have won eight straight games and have shown no signs of slowing down.

One reason why the Kings are on a run right now is because they have suddenly been able to find the back of the net. During the streak, the Kings have outscored their opponents by a 25-12 margin and have used their depth to beat opponents.

According to
Stats LLC at ESPN.com, in the team's eight straight wins, 11 players have scored at least one goal and another 15 have had at least one point. This is the kind of scoring that is needed to not only win games in the regular season, but also when it matters most in the postseason.

The team has also gotten great goaltending from Jonathan Quick. This has especially been the case since returning from his
injury as he is clearly on top of his game.

Since making his return to the lineup, Quick is 11-8-2 with a 1.76 goals against average. a .926 save percentage and three shutouts. Quick's numbers for the season also look a lot better because of his recent play as he is now 21-13-2 with a 2.02 goals against average, a .917 save percentage and four shutouts.

This team has also found its killer instinct. The team's eight wins have come mostly against teams in they should beat such as the Carolina Hurricanes, Calgary Flames (twice), Edmonton Oilers, and Winnipeg Jets.

As of this writing, all four of the above mentioned teams are not in a playoff spot. The Kings went ahead and took care of business and managed to pick-up 10 much needed points in the standings.

In all, the Kings' streak has them sixth in the elite Western Conference with 82 points. While that is a good 11 points out of first in the Pacific Division, it is still enough to be in a postseason spot and still not enough to have the Kings satisfied with where they are right now.

Don't look now, folks, but just like they did in the season they won the Cup, the Kings look primed and ready to make another run at winning their second Cup in three seasons.
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