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MHH Previews the Lesser 29: Los Angeles

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Welcome to a new installment where we will preview each of the other NHL teams who simply make up the bulk of the league the Avalanche play in. Today, we preview the Los Angeles Kings.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Their head coach: Darryl Sutter! My favorite coach in the NHL! I would find Joe Sakic and kiss him straight on the lips if he managed to steal him from Hollywood and bring him in to coach the Avs. LOOK AT THIS MAN! 

Don't lie to me and tell me you wouldn't want him coaching your favorite team. Especially when he gives interviews like such.

Their captain: It is now Anze Kopitar, who I believe is the most underrated player in the NHL. He can do it all, from score goals, set up goals, and is maybe the best defensive forward in the league. He is absolutely in my Top 5 of players in the NHL, probably alongside (in no particular order) Jonathan Toews, Sidney Crosby, Carey Price, and Nate Guenin. Kopitar is taking the Kings' captaincy from Dustin Brown, who, while good, hasn't been as good the last couple years versus when the Kings had their 2 Stanley Cups in 3 years.

Their 15-16 season: The Kings were my preseason pick last year to win the Stanley Cup. I kept that prediction entering the playoffs, and as fate would have it, I correctly picked 7 of 8 of the 1st round winners last postseason EXCEPT for the Sharks beating the Kings. Fitting. They earned 102 points, good enough for 2nd in the Pacific and 5th in the West. It marked their second consecutive disappointing season, as they missed the playoffs altogether in 2015. So maybe winning a Stanley Cup isn't as easy as they made it look in the early 2010's. Who'd have thought?

How did they do against the Avs? Not great! The Kings won meeting #1, which was early on in the season at Staples Center. That was the most widespread 2-1 game I've ever seen, and by that I mean the Kings should have won that game 22-1. It was not even close. But the Avs rebounded and won the last two meetings, one each in Denver and Beverly Hills. The game in Denver is when Jarome Iginla scored his 500th goal and the Avs' power play could go from being "absolutely dreadful" to just "bad", since they weren't trying to force that gosh dang goal anymore.

When do they play the Avs this season? In Denver on November 15th, at Los Angeles on February 1st, and back in Denver on February 21st.

Will they be good? For sure. This team is still one of the best in the Western Conference and has to be on the short list of teams to compete for the Cup. In large part, because they're one of the very few who have proven they actually can this decade, with Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Boston being the only others. I hate the fact the Kings play in LA and have a throbbing bandwagon because this to me is one of the most likable groups in the NHL Now that they've ditched Milan Lucic and given him to the abyss that is Edmonton, I do not dislike any player on this team. I like Kopitar, I like Jonathan Quick, I like Drew Doughty, I like Jeff Carter, and as you now know I LOVE Darryl Sutter. I will not be mad if they win the Stanley Cup this season, I just won't want their fans of four years shoving it down my throat.

3 Questions with their SB Nation blog, Jewels from the Crown: They don't follow us on Twitter. :-( No questions segment, once again.