So, we've made it to November. The Los Angeles Kings as a whole have been up and down, and this is because most of the team has been inconsistent as well. But overall, can we judge which players have been the most and least valuable for the Kings so far? We can certainly try.
(Note: factors include Nick's game grades, traditional and possession statistics, and a VERY healthy dose of opinion.)
Goals? Not really. Everything else? Yeah. The first line has been the team's best, and Kopitar has generally looked like the best player on it on both ends of the ice.
(Yawn.) Wake me up when Justin Williams isn't the best possession forward on the team. Or the ENTIRE LEAGUE, for that matter. Now, he's tied for the team lead in goals too.
Not the highest scorer or best possession player on the team, but he's played in all roles, anchored a really solid second line despite changing wingers every game or two, and has been making his contributions at the most important times. (see: go-ahead SH goal vs. Phoenix, game-tying goal vs. Edmonton, assist on Carter's OT winner vs. Ottawa, etc.)
The big deal is that Carter is finally shooting like he knows he's the team's best shooter; he has 53 shots, 14 more than anyone else, through 12 games. 40 goals is a very real possibility... if he returns quickly from his injury. A lackluster couple games drops him down a couple places.
Against expectations, definitely the team's best defenseman so far. A rough start has given way to the solid, mistake-free play he brought to the table in 2011 and 2012.
Biggest surprise of the season so far; had some great games on the second line, but has come down to earth a bit.
He hasn't played much, but we'll give him credit for playing well when called upon.
Flashing the old goal-scoring abilities, playing 25 minutes/game, etc. Too many penalties and a few too many mistakes, though.
In a below-average season, he's still got one of the highest average grades in Nick's recaps. He still needs to be better. But unlike last season, he has been better than most of his teammates on a lot of nights.
The rankings get tough starting here. Muzzin's strong play of late has gotten him in a pairing with Doughty; like Doughty, too many penalties and a few too many mistakes.
Bounced back from some of his worst games as a professional, and is averaging over 20 minutes/game. Doghouse no more.
You should read this.
He's been extremely inconsistent, but he has helped the Kings more than he's hurt them so far.
Has been average to above-average in every game so far; responded well to his first healthy scratch in quite some time.
Unlike Frattin, you know exactly what you're getting from Greene.
Struggled mightily before his promotion to the first line. Great after his promotion to the first line.
Much improved over the past few weeks. Will playing with Voynov affect him at all? And vice versa?
He's struggled so far, and it's gotten him (again) on the outside looking in.
At the bottom, until scoring in consecutive games and improving his possession stats.
As of now, Carcillo has stolen his lineup spot. With Vey and Toffoli up, is he shifting to the press box?
In and out of the lineup, and aside from hitting people, hasn't done much to convince us that he should stay in the lineup.
He's got no points. Fancy stats aren't on his side either, but that's where the alarm bells ring. Opposing offenses still aren't getting too much against his lines, but the complete lack of offense puts him at the bottom of our initial rankings.
Didn't get into a game before being waived. Good luck with your new team!
Agree? Disagree? Tell us how you'd change the rankings.
More from Jewels From The Crown:
- Is Anze Kopitar finally shooting more?
- Kings Shakeup: Carter to IR, Ellerby Waived, Toffoli and Vey Called Up
- Sharks @ Kings: Grades and Analysis
- Should we be concerned about Dustin Brown's production?
- Los Angeles Kings October Prospect Update
- Weekly Discussion: How Would You Fix the Bottom Six?