Multiple threats

Before the season, I looked at two areas as being the most important in terms of whether the Kings would have success this season. One was goaltending, and after a somewhat wobbly start, Jonathan Quick has been very strong. The other was secondary scoring. How is that working out? Well, the Kings already have eight players with 10 or more goals this season. In all of last season, they only had six 10-plus goal scorers.

It seemed to me that the Kings, right now, are at their apex in terms of balanced scoring. At the start of the season, the Kopitar-Smyth-Williams line carried the team. Then, when Smyth got hurt and Kopitar slumped, the second and third lines picked it up. Now, it seems as though the Kings, most nights, are a three-line threat. I asked Kopitar if that was basically correct…

KOPITAR: “I think it’s a fair assessment. Obviously with the start that me, Smytty and Willy had, we were hot. Other guys were contributing too, but we were maybe getting all the goals and the fame, but the guys were playing hard. We can’t forget that for success, especially with this team, we need all the guys on board. Then, when I hit that slump there, we were still winning games. Simmer stepped up big time, throughout that stretch. I think Stolly had some really big goals too, so I think it just shows how deep we are. And that’s what you need, for being consistent and consistently winning games.”

Question: That ability to roll three lines that can score, that must be a huge positive for you guys…

KOPITAR: “Absolutely. Now, with the lines that are put together, it’s Stolly with Richie and Simmer. They can score. Obviously Zeus and Fro can score, and we can score too. I makes them think, for sure. It’s really something special that we have here, that maybe most teams don’t have. We have a checking line with Zeus, if you want to call it that, that is always a threat to score too, which is what most teams don’t have. We’re really fortunate to have that.”

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