Here’s what we know about the Kings (2-2-1) so far this season:
1. Scoring goals remains a struggle, with the power play starting the season 0 for 25 before Jeff Carter broke the skid with a timely strike in Monday’s 3-2 shootout victory over the Vancouver Canucks. The Kings need more goals from more players. They need to turn their grit and energy into tangible results. Can they do it? Sure. Will they?
2. So far, so good for goaltender Jonathan Quick, who underwent offseason back surgery but has displayed no signs of the proceedure. He’s been sharp enough to keep the Kings in each of their first five games. OK, the Chicago Blackhawks scored five goals against him, but three came on power plays, including one on a 5-on-3.
3. Injuries remain a concern during the lockout-shortened 48-game season. The Kings lost defenseman Matt Greene for about the next two to three months after he needed surgery to repair a disc in his back. Defenseman Willie Mitchell hasn’t played yet after undergoing surgery to mend torn cartilage in his right knee. It’s tested their depth.
4. The competition in the Western Conference is pretty darn good so far. The Blackhawks and he San Jose Sharks are off to scalding starts to the season. Each team is scoring at will, or so it seems, and it might be tough to make up ground in a short season. The Kings must keep pace to get a good seed for the playoffs.
5. There’s no time this season for anyone to find their groove. Ask left wing Dustin Penner, a healthy scratch for three consecutive games after going without a goal or an assist in the first two games. Penner makes for an easy target, but the fact is there’s no time to wait for a player to produce this season. Do it, or they’ll find someone else.