There was a preview that had been started on. It began with the goaltending position and worked out from there. After the first 20 minutes of the LA Kings’ NHL season, however, it had to be revised.
So, now we wait for the MRI that will determine how long Jonathan Quick will be out. In the mean time, the Kings are in need of a back-up goalie. Peter Budaj is the first choice everyone jumps to, but Jack Campbell is a former first round pick that could be hungry to prove he just needed a change of scenery. Whoever gets called up, the Reign will now need a back-up as well. Someone is getting back on a flight west today.
That doesn’t change the make-up of the rest of the team, so season preview version 2.0:
How they did last year: Rolled through the Pacific Division looking unstoppable until they ran into a red-hot Lake Erie Monsters team (eventual Calder Cup winners).
What’s Improved: Their defense. Last year’s players have experience under their belt, there are at least two players on the cusp of making the parent team, and they’ve picked up some additional talent.
What hasn’t: The offense is still looking anemic. With Michael Mersch and Adrian Kempe back, it might improve, but there were no high scoring young prospects added. The Reign have to hope that Jonny Brodzinski doesn’t hit another slump, Kempe can figure out consistency and Mike Amadio discovers a scoring touch.
What to expect: Another year of defense first with the hope that the netminder can keep the opposing team to 2-3 goals. With Budaj looking quite porous in his pre-season debut and Campbell already having a reputation for not living up to expectations, the season could deteriorate fast.
Predictions: Coach Mike Stothers will find a way to get more out of his goaltenders than anyone expected. The team will stifle the opposing offense & march into the playoffs on the strength of one-goal victories.
How do you think the Reign will do this season? Vote in our poll question!