LA Kings Anze Kopitar

Kings center Anze Kopitar (11) hugs right wing Dustin Brown (23) after Brown scored an empty-net goal against the Chicago Blackhawks during the third period on Dec. 3, 2017.(Matt Marton / Associated Press)

The LA Kings have dealt with injuries as many teams have. However, have those injuries hit any other team like it has hit Los Angeles? The Kings lost half of their roster to injuries within a two-week span. The organization turned to their AHL affiliate, the Ontario Reign, to help fill those voids.

Those injuries in such a short amount of time could have very well cost the team important points as the Kings played with an adjusted roster. Although the Kings prospect pool is stacked and the Reign are doing well, it was still quite the adjustment for the Kings and coach Todd Mclellan, trying to find line combinations that would work well together.

For the most part, things went well, but the team still lacked energy with the new roster as it was. Slowly but surely, the Kings had a roster capable of picking up points. Although, during this roster shuffle, the Kings alternated wins and losses that eventually cost them second place in the Pacific Division.

With the playoffs right around the corner and the race tighter than ever before, the Kings’ playoff odds are still favorable even after Wednesday’s lopsided loss to Colorado. The rest of the schedule is against teams that will miss the playoffs and have nothing to play for except to play spoiler. Also, the Kings are getting healthier as players are coming back in hopes of pushing the Kings into a long playoff push.

Recently, forwards Brendan Lemieux and veteran Dustin Brown came off the injured list. The latter contributed right away in his first game back in a 5-2 win against the Chicago Blackhawks. In addition, defenseman Alex Edler returned last month after a three-month absence.

Brown gives the Kings a veteran presence and playoff experience. Lemieux brings an “in your face, won’t back down” player who has played well all season. Since his return, Edler has brought the King’s defensive stability, a much-needed veteran, and a left-handed defenseman that can be counted on to lead the defense with Drew Doughty out.

The Kings could be nearly 100 percent healthy when the 2022 playoffs start. Defenseman Mikey Anderson and forward Andreas Athanasiou could both return on April 19th.

This would give the Kings a full roster, minus Doughty, and give coach McLellan a lot more options. He will have added depth at his disposal, having capable players to fill a void should he need to sit players there are not performing.

These last few weeks of the regular season will be filled with stress but knowing the team is getting back reinforcements at the right time gives the organization some hope that the team can make some noise in the postseason.

(Main photo credit: Matt Marton / Associated Press)

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