Los Angeles Kings left winger Milan Lucic will be under immense pressure to start up a dismal Kings offense. The trade of Justin Williams in the early offseason hurt the Kings, but also put the team in a position to change its strategy. After the loss of â€œMr. Game 7â€, the Los Angeles made the risky move of trading its first round draft pick for Bostonâ€™s veteran winger Milan Lucic.
Lucic will in essence replace Justin Williams at left wing, and so far the shoe seems to fit for Lucic. He is the textbook size of a hockey player, 6â€™3â€ 235 pounds. His size enabled him to be a strong force on the ice for the Bruins and he is not afraid to fight. In his regular season career he has sat in the â€œSin Binâ€ for 772 minutes. His big body is just one factor in Lucicâ€™s successful career as a left winger. The veteran has been started his NHL career in 2006 and has been a part of the Bruins organization since 2007. With the Bruins, Lucic totaled 165 goals scored and 403 points.
Lucicâ€™s big body, rough style fits in nicely with the Los Angeles Kingsâ€™ M.O. of hard hitting, hard-nosed hockey. Seeming to have had an early drink of the Kingsâ€™ Kool-Aid, Lucic took a five-minute break in the penalty box for fighting with Anaheim defenseman John Mason, during one of the two preseason freeway face-off games. Lucic being on board with the Los Angeles system is exactly what the Kings need after their failure to make the post-season last year. Lucic bring a scoring touch to the line-up and his toughness will pair well with the rest of the Kingsâ€™ forwards.
The Kings played well in the preseason and despite Lucicâ€™s inability to find the back of the net in preseason he still looked promising. Unfortunately for the Kings, Lucic is not performing as expected so far in the regular season.
The Kings are 0-3-0 in the regular season so far, and things are not looking good for LAâ€™s boys of winter. Opening the season against the San Jose Sharks is no easy feat, and the Sharks devoured the Kings 5-1. With the win, the Sharks recorded their sixth straight win in a season opener, leading the NHL. In the past, the Kingsâ€™ goalie Jonathan Quick seemed virtually unbeatable, but the Sharks had no problem putting the puck around him. Los Angelesâ€™s pain and suffering continued into another blow out loss to the Arizona Coyotes.
The Coyotes were able to overthrow the Kings 4-1, with LAâ€™s only goal coming shorthanded late in the second period. Lucic had chances to show his value to the organization after being set on the second line with Anze Kopitar and Marian Gaborick, but the line ended with minus six points. Lucic was only able to get off one shot during the game, and head coach Darryl Sutter used the adjective â€œflatâ€ to describe the offenseâ€™s performance.
The Kings lost their third game in a row Tuesday night at home in Staples Center against the Vancouver Canucks. Ryan Miller recorded his 36th career shutout, and look strong coming off of a shootout win in Anaheim the night before. The Kings need to step up and produce, or else this season is going to turn into a high draft pick situation.
The season is only three games in for the King, and the team has so much potential to succeed. If they can figure out a way to ignite a sputtering offense, then the Kings might have a chance. At the end of the day, Milan Lucic is a huge upgrade for the Kings, and he just needs to find his rhythm and the chemistry will grow. 81 games is more than enough time for the Kings to build a platform for their offense. The addition of Lucic on paper gives Los Angeles the potential to become a Stanley Cup contender; after all, itâ€™s LAâ€™s year. Isnâ€™t it?