October 31, 2009 4:26 am

After one month…

Well, after 30 days, I’m taking one off. Happy Halloween! I beg of you, please don’t petition to have me replaced!

First, some housekeeping. You might see, on the left and right, some additions to the page. Some of you have already noticed the picture, for which I’m receiving some well-deserved ribbing. But you’ll also now find a bunch of links that, hopefully, will make this something of a one-stop shop for news. You can find links to the Kings’ stats, roster, schedule, etc., as well as an extensive list of blogs from newspapers that cover every team in the NHL.

Also, on the left, I have posted rules for commenting. They’re the same rules that have existed on this blog and the Daily News blog, and they’re now posted. I have been as tolerant as possible, in terms of giving freedom to debate and argue in a civil way. It’s clear to me that some people try to take advantage of that, which won’t be tolerated. This is a community, and the community must be respected. I only have so many hours in the day. I can use those hours to report on the Kings, or to clean up comments. I’d prefer to spend time on the former. Thank you to the vast majority of you, who are great about making this a fun, smart, respect-filled community.

Practice news and notes will still be posted on LAKings.com today, in the usual notebook format, and if anything but should happen, I’ll be able to post something. Otherwise…back tomorrow! OK, moving on to the fun stuff.

We’re now one month into the season, so what do you think?

The Kings have 18 points in 14 games, good (at the start of today) for second place in the Pacific Division and third in the Western Conference. The Kings have games in hand over quite a few teams, but given that they have already played eight road games, that’s impressive, by any measure.

At this point, I’m grading the team a B, with offense being the (very surprising) strong point, the defense being solid, the goaltending being adequate and the special teams being subpar. Keep in mind, I’m judging the Kings on a high scale, against the best of the best.

The goaltending part of this is the most subjective, as always. I just don’t see the same “swagger” in Jonathan Quick’s game that I saw last season. That’s an intangible, but it’s an important one. How many times, last season, did players/coaches mention — often without being prompted — their confidence in Quick, that he would make the stops? And how many times — if at all? — have you heard similar talk this year? Quick hasn’t been helped by a surprisingly weak penalty-kill unit, but it seems he could stand to get a little of last year’s killer instinct back. Other than that, it’s hard to argue with what the Kings have accomplished, so far.

What are your thoughts, one month into the season?


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