Chasing the Kings: Pacific Division
September, 2, 2014
By Craig Custance | ESPN Insider
AP Photo/Jae C. HongThe Los Angeles Kings have set a precedent in the Pacific Division, and in the cap system.In the parity-filled NHL, it’s hard enough building a team that stands out from the rest. It’s even harder in the Pacific Division, where the Los Angeles Kings overshadow their rivals. GM Dean Lombardi has constructed a team that is near perfect in the cap system, as evidenced by two Stanley Cups in three years.
The biggest challenge this season for Los Angeles is finding the resolve to do it again following grueling postseason runs the past few springs.
“It’s a pretty special group,” said Kings forward Trevor Lewis when we chatted recently. “We’ve been through a lot together. We’re focused, we’ve got some rest here in the summer and we’re ready to get at it again.”
The rest of the league?
It spent this summer trying to figure out how it measures up and how it can close the gap with the Kings. Especially teams in the Pacific that know they ultimately have to go through Los Angeles. To help figure out that gap, it helps to determine what makes the Kings great. It’s a long list -- some of it easily identified, like premier players at key positions. Some of it is not so easy to quantify, like team chemistry, experience and closeness that makes the Kings unique.
To see how the rest of the league stacks up and how close every other team is to a championship-caliber roster, we’ve broken down the Kings' roster into five key strengths, to compare against the other 29 clubs