The LA Kings completed the pre-season with a 6-3 win over their So Cal rivals and will host Vegas on October 11th to open the regular season.
Three takeaways from the game:
1. Viva Vilardi
The 23-year-old forward continued his scorching pre-season run with his fourth goal in the past three games. Could this be the year that the former 11th-overall pick finally puts it all together and has a breakout season? A strong season from Gabe Vilardi could help the Kings spread the offense throughout the lines and probably greatly improve the power play from last year.
GABE VILARDI, SO HOT RIGHT NOW 🔥 pic.twitter.com/AqdFjgZhk5
— LA Kings (@LAKings) October 8, 2022
2. Clicking on the power play
After going 0-for-8 with the man advantage in the preseason opener against San Jose, the Kings scored on the power play in every remaining pre-season game. LA ended up going 8-for-29 with the man advantage, for a tasty 27.5 %. To be clear, it’s far too early to get excited by such a small sample size, but if the Kings could get anywhere close to this during the regular season, it would be a huge boost. For the record, Toronto had the top power play last season and converted at 27%. Just saying.
3. Is no lead safe?
Not trying to be that guy but we need to talk about these blown leads. Back in the Stanley Cup-winning days, the Kings locked leads away in a secret vault that could only be opened by an elaborate series of codes. So far, that can’t be said for the 2022-23 edition of the LA Kings. After going up 3-0 on the Ducks, they gave up three straight goals. They also squandered leads in their previous two contests. Even though these games don’t count, Todd McLellan and his staff are probably not thrilled with this trend.
(Main photo credit: The Hockey News)