I mean no disrespect to the NHL's preseason but let's face it, wins and loses really don't matter as the leaders and basement-dwellers of the standings all wind up in the same place.
The Kings and their fans got to see a lot of out of their team over the last couple of weeks. After being perfect on the penalty-kill in their first five games, the Kings surrendered power-play goals in each of their final three outings. If there's some solace, it's that Los Angeles did win two of those three.
The power play, which was a major question in the off-season looked decent. The man-advantage certsinly didn't look great but not terrible either. So, like it or not, that is one aspect that the Kings need to improve upon.
Trent Hunter, who was invited to training camp on a pro-tryout agreement, worked hard and played well enough to earn himself a one-year contract. Conversely, Dustin Penner, who didn't play in Hamburg today, looked sluggish at best during the preseason, especially in Las Vegas as the Kings lost to the Colorado Avalanche 4-1.
Injuries to Jake Muzzin and Kevin Westgarth certainly didn't deter this team. Slava Voynov filled the void left by both Muzzin and Drew Doughty, who was unsigned for the first-half of the preseason, and made his mark. Unfortunately, because Doughty did re-sign, Voynov will be sent down to Manchester (most likely, at least) before the start of the regular season.
Between the pipes, Jonathan Quick certainly didn't look like the #32 we're so used to seeing. He was shaky at times but Jonathan Bernier played a little better so it just reemphasizes that if Quick should find himself struggling during the coming season, then Bernier is a proven backup who can step in and play admirably.
Back to the re-signing of Drew Doughty, this is probably the second-biggest shot in the arm the Kings had this preseason. When I landed in Los Angeles on Friday morning, I was lucky enough to have Drew Doughty as the first I met as I walked outside from the airport. Thankfully, from his attitude, he seems very happy to be back in Los Angeles. The oddsmakers in Vegas even took Doughty's signing seriously as before #8 re-signed, the Kings were 16-1 favorites to win the Stanley Cup. Once he signed, the Kings were 5-1 favorites. Coincidence? I doubt it.
As big as Doughty's signing was, the biggest pick-me-up had to be the long-awaited return of Anze Kopitar, who picked up right where he left off scoring goals, setting up plays and just leading in the lockerroom and on the ice.
So, that is the preseason that was for the Los Angeles Kings, who finished with a respectable 4-2-2 record. Now, it's on to the regular season... where it really matters.