If the Kings manage 245 goals for and 230 goals against, they will make the playoffs. Last year: 207/234. So basically, play the system and add 38 more goals. How hard is that?
Wait…how hard is that?
In the entire history of the Kings, they have managed to hit both those marks in the same season (at least 245 goals for and no more than 230 goals against) twice. In 1974-75, which was their 105 point season. And in 2000-2001, the year in which they lost in the 2nd round to Colorado in 7 games after beating Detroit.
In terms of that big a jump in goal production from one year to the next… They did it the first year after the lockout, but it’s hard to know what that means. They did it in ’99-00, which was the year they added Palffy and Smoke. They added about 50 goals in ’88 somehow. ’99-00 seems like the interesting point of comparison. That year, add Palffy and Smoke, subtract Jokinen. This year, add Smyth and Williams, subtract POS and Calder. Neither Smyth nor Williams is a pure goal scorer like Ziggy, but it does seem to me, at least potentially, to be the same magnitude of upgrade, call it the Lombardi version, the crash the net version of the Palffy upgrade.
Also, it’s reasonable to expect more production from Doughty, Moller, Simmonds and Purcell — rookies who are getting better — and from Kopitar, Brown and Stoll — “veterans” who underperformed and should/will bounce back.
So I’m going to say it’s somewhere between possible and likely that the Kings will hit 245 this year. 2.99 GPG. Let’s just call it 246, for an even 3.00 GPG.