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King's Goodbye to the VHLM (Regular Season)


IamMOOSE
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            It’s a bittersweet playoff in the camp for Kevin King. It’s a year and a half journey from being a walk on free agent for the Las Vegas Aces and now, with the Miami Marauders going on to the second round of the season 73 playoffs. But for King season 73 brought with it some baggage. He started off just off pace with 3 points in his first 5 games before going on to set himself on fire with linemates Luke Thornton and Patrik Laine, recording 6 goals over a five-game stretch, including 4 game winners in that first 10 stretch. We covered in other articles how deep King fell into a hole after that though. As he once again struggled, going long stretches without points, and moving from Wing to Center and back again until his permanent move to the middle towards the end of the regular season. It was in those last 10 games, much like the first that King found his stride again, recording 9 of his 38 points on the season in the last 8 games of the season. It’s a stride that so far has taken him through the first round of the playoffs as he drew up 3 goals of his 4 points in his series with Philadelphia. Including the Game 1 winner.

 

            What to make of this season is the question? If you ask King, he’s likely disappointed with the effort, but that’s not a complete story of his progress. Cracking 100 hits (101 to be exact), King was more physical towards the latter half of the season, and in play-by-plays was a force in neutral zone entry. His over/under ratio on zone entry was only bettered by fellow teammate Luke Thornton, which says a lot about the team’s dynamic. King hasn’t emerged as a playmaker, he’s more goal-scoring minded, which could be why he didn’t have the same success Thornton had, especially on the attack and on the PK. If anything, however, King’s stock should be elevated this season by the consistency on the draw, off the ice, and in the lockeroom. His 63.53% Faceoff ratio was 1st among Centermen, with teammate and captain Andre LeBastard following him up with a 62.60%. It’s an accomplishment and something King was very focused on when joining the league. Couple that with his compete level and ability to find himself in game-winning situations is something any team would love to have and Vancouver will be excited to utilize next season, especially after falling to D.C. in 5 games with all but one game being 1 goal games. It’s an intangible that Beaviss will look to exploit for season 74 and we wouldn’t be surprised if King is put in situations to win big games for Vancouver early.

 

            King’s season, as we pointed out in another .com article

where we asked if the World Juniors Championship could save King’s season and clearly it came to be. His performance in WJC improved as the tournament well on and after winning the Gold with Team USA he took that momentum back to Miami. It’s a strange overview. For the fourth wall breaking that is a discussion about the STHS, it’s interesting to note how momentum seemed to define not only King’s season, but Miami as a whole. It’s not exactly the swan song regular season King was hoping for before the first puck drop in season 73. We feel his strides are something to be proud of, however. He’s climbed the scouting central and is projected to likely be one of the best picks in the s73 draft. For King, he will need to learn to manage expectations going forward. We expect good things for King as he likely competes for that ROTY honor in Vancouver. For now, King will be focused on the end of the s73 playoffs.

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