The Los Angeles Kings close out another month and despite finishing with a loss to their crosstown rival, February was nonetheless a decent one. Over the last four weeks, the Kings amassed a record of 7-5-1 but saw their once-wide lead in the Pacific dwindled to just two points. Still, there are quite a few positives to take from February.
The Kings had a three-game losing streak this month, but they quickly countered that with a four-game winning streak as Tanner Pearson found himself in a groove as of late, netting five goals and two assists during the month. Dustin Brown (4G, 3A), Luke Schenn (3G, 2A) and Milan Lucic (3G, 5A) all helped out offensively but the silver-and-black were led by Drew Doughty who, despite scoring just once, collected a team-leading 11 assists while Anze Kopitar, still fresh off his new contract, celebrated February with six goals and six assists.
In goal, Jonathan Quick, despite missing a few games, started to turn that corner that saw him go from his decent regular-season self to his tremendous playoff ways. Overall, while his 5-3-1 record may not look spectacular on paper, Quick’s 2.16 goals-against average and .926 save percentage indicate that the Kings are getting increasingly prepared for the playoff as time goes on.
Backup Jhonas Enroth only went 1-3-0 during the month but did pick up his lone win — a 21-save shutout — in his most recent outing. Overall, the netminder was solid despite his record as he posted a miniscule 1.69 GAA and a .929 save percentage, Even Peter Budaj got a game in to fill in for an injured Quick. He won his lone game with a 3.86 GAA and an .857 save percentage.
On the physical side of things, Milan Lucic, who had led the Kings in hits in each of the first four months, finished third in February with 38 hits. His totals were just two behind Luke Schenn’s total while captain Dustin Brown led February with 47 hits.
Speaking of Schenn, he finished second in another category, racking up 17 blocked shots this past month, but it was the defending monthly champion who successfully defended his title as Alec Martinez had 29.
Los Angeles’s special teams was very decent as well. While their penalty killing unit did not have a good night on Sunday, the Kings did successfully kill off 38 of 50 chances. As for the power play, the silver-and-black amassed a 35.8 per cent efficiency rating, scoring 12 times on 43 chances.
February was that crucial corner for teams to determine whether or not they will be participating in the fast-approaching postseason. With that said, the Kings are still looking good even though their division lead is down to a mere two points. But winning a division, in all fairness, is not, and should not, be a priority as simply just getting into the playoffs is necessary.
We enter the final full month of the regular season, finding out which teams will be separated between the men and the boys. We will find out, and hope, if the Kings can fit into the former.