What else can go right for the Kings?
It’s becoming more difficult to quantify after their 2-1 win against the Boston Bruins. Tyler Toffoli’s shot with 0.4 seconds remaining in overtime lifted the Kings to an incredulous 2-1 win Saturday at TD Garden.
It was as perfectly executed a play in improbable fashion as it gets. And it’s only October for the Kings, sitting at 9-1-1. That’s 19 points earned, out of a possible 22, to start the season.
Here’s what we learned:
The second line is becoming a force. Toffoli, Tanner Pearson and Adrian Kempe were the Kings’ best line for most of Saturday and are more formidable with each game since Kempe was promoted there.
Kempe is crucial because he fills the spot vacated by Jeff Carter. Kings coach John Stevens would prefer a more veteran player there, particularly for faceoffs.
“But he’s picked up some of the offensive opportunity with Jeff out,” Stevens said. “In Adrian’s case, certainly his ability to produce consistently has been big for us. But more than that, it’s his game … he’s seeing matchups on the road that other teams are controlling for the most part.
“We feel comfortable with him in those situations because he’s been a responsible 200-foot player. I think the big challenge for Adrian now is having that consistency with the type of schedule we’re faced with right now. We think he’s capable of doing it, you just have to recognize it.”
Alex Iafallo is due for his first NHL goal. Iafallo was noticeable late and had three good looks at the potential game-winning goal in the final 10 minutes. Stevens used him liberally in the three-on-three overtime for good reason.
Statistically quiet with three assists in nine games, Iafallo continues to show his hockey sense, and that should get him on the board soon.
Charlie McAvoy is one to watch. McAvoy’s NHL career is only nine games old and he’s shown why he was the 14th pick, and fourth defensemen, in the 2016 draft.
The Boston University alum skates well and has a powerful lower body that might remind Bruins fans of Ray Bourque. The Bruins are the only team in the NHL with four players in the top 20 in rookie scoring with McAvoy, Anders Bjork, Danton Heinen and Jake DeBrusk.
Follow Curtis Zupke on Twitter