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This article was published 28/10/2015 (2402 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
It was a shocking accomplishment, but perhaps one not as surprising as first thought.
The Los Angeles Kings endured a season in 2014-15 that was everything a defending Stanley Cup champion shouldn't have its name attached to.
They missed the playoffs, with no chance to defend the trophy they'd hoisted in two of the previous three years. And off the ice, both during and after the season, faults in the foundation started to become a burden too tough to handle, even for a savvy playoff staple such as the Kings.
Los Angeles watched three of their players -- defenceman Slava Voynov and forwards Jarret Stoll and Mike Richards -- get arrested for separate incidents, with the latter setting off an off-season full of speculation and turmoil for the club and the National Hockey League.
"We addressed it in pre-season and left it there," said Kings' captain Dustin Brown. "It shouldn't have an effect on this team going forward."
The Kings started the season 0-3 but have rattled off six straight wins, including a 4-1 victory against the Winnipeg Jets Tuesday night.
"I think we are just taking it game by game," said Tyler Toffoli, who scored his seventh of the season in Tuesday's win and added an assist on Milan Lucic's game winner.
"I think we are really happy with what we just did, coming in here with a big two points. We're finishing our little trip here on a good note."
The narrative the Kings put forth wants nothing to do with the summer past.
Toffoli said their 0-3 start had more to do with them playing hockey the right way than anything else.
"We've moved onto the season and what's important here, and that's winning games," he said.
Lucic, who joined the Kings over the summer from the Boston Bruins, said he felt the Kings were spending too much time cheating and not enough time playing the right way.
"The first three games... I think we were all excited to play, but it was almost like we were a deer in the headlights," Lucic said. "The season kind of caught us by surprise. We thought it was going to be easier than it was. We had to ask ourselves, 'Are we committed to playing the right way?'
"It's a lot more fun playing this way, working hard and getting results than it is cheating and things like that, like we were in the first three games."
For Kings coach Darryl Sutter, it's come down to finding a new identity.
"We have a lot of different players, so it's quite a different team," he said. "We lost such top identity players like Mike (Richards) and Jarret (Stoll), Robyn (Regehr) and Willie (Mitchell). You just don't give that to somebody else. Those guys were special people and special players in the locker-room. We are kind of waiting for guys to take stock."
Did any of the off-ice issues trickle into the regular season?
"Nope. Not that I'm aware of," Sutter said.
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