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Oilers vs Kings: Three Questions with Jewels from the Crown

As the Oilers and Kings prepare for their second matchup of the year, I caught up with Chris Jenkins from the LA King's blog Jewels from the Crown and had a few questions about the Kings and their team.

Good, you?
Good, you?
Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports

The Kings had been real hot as of late, so I was naturally curious about how the Kings are clicking so well. The Oilers could always learn a few things from their divisional opponent. 

Copper and Blue: In the last 10 games, the Kings have gone 7-3. What’s clicking right now for the team?

Jewels from the Crown: The King's second line featuring Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli is pulling most of the offensive weight, as they did early last year as well. The power play is also clicking. They're generating shots and shot attempts at a higher rate than anyone in the NHL right now.

Third line center Nick Shore has also quietly become the team's best Corsi Rel player and has the best scoring chance differential. It wouldn't be a surprise to start seeing production from his line.

C&B: Where do the weaknesses currently lie with the Kings roster, and do you think GM Dean Lombardi needs to address it/them?

JFTC: The biggest weakness is probably the fourth line. Andy Andreoff and Jordan Nolan have been getting out attempted most nights and heavily outchanced. The top pairing has also some issues as Brayden McNabb has been Doughty's partner rather than Jake Muzzin as we've seen the past couple of years. McNabb did fine in second and third pairing minutes last year but has periods of significant struggle this year.

Fortunately, Lombardi probably has the tools to address them within the organization, but it could also be a question of Sutter's usage preferences, especially with defensive pairings. The return of Dwight King could force one of Nolan or Andreoff out of the regular lineup. Michael Mersch was seriously impressive in last year's Calder Cup playoffs and this year's pre season. It's assumed he'll be called up at some point and could do some serious good in the bottom 6.

C&B: For five games straight, the Kings have at least one Power Play Goal in each match. What’s allowed the Power play to have the recent success they have had?

JFTC: We actually looked at this recently! Shots and shot attempts are up across the board compared to Kings powerplays of years past. Almost all of the personnel is the same, so I suspect some coaching changes have taken place.