As yesterday's noon number discussed, the acquisition of Marian Gaborik has created a stable and effective first line that can both drive play and score. But it's not like the Kings desperately needed someone to play with Kopitar and Williams heading into the deadline. Tyler Toffoli had been posting impressive results there before the trade deadline, and for those skeptical of Toffoli's inexperience, Dustin Brown has a long history of success with Kopitar and Williams. So the Kings had other options. But slotting Gaborik in with Kopitar has allowed the Kings to keep Toffoli and Brown on the second and third lines respectively, and the result has been a much deeper and more effective team.
The most striking example, and today's noon number, is the success of the King-Stoll-Brown third line. When on the ice together, Brown and Stoll have posted a 58.5% Corsi percentage (in a not-tiny sample of 411.31 minutes)--which is insanely good for any line, let alone a third line. Now, that number is somewhat inflated because for a chunk of those minutes Stoll centered Brown and Williams on the second line. Looking purely at post-deadline data, Stoll (a proxy for the third line) is at 60.1% Corsi, which is terrific. I don't expect the line to keep up that level of play indefinitely, but it's a very good sign.
The Kings are likely going to kick off the playoffs against a Sharks team loaded with forward depth. I'm guessing the Sharks will have Joe Pavelski as their third line center come playoff time. The Kings risk getting run over if they can't figure out their bottom six. Fortunately, they appear to have done just that. Much will be asked of Brown and Stoll in the playoffs, but they are poised to deliver.