A couple seasons ago, the Kings had to fight to even earn the eighth seed in the playoffs, but then they rode a tremendous playoff run to the Stanley Cup. Last year, even though Jonathan Quick struggled a bit during the regular season, they managed to earn a five seed, but then Quick found his footing and they made it all the way back to the Western Conference Finals. They ended up losing to the eventual champs in Chicago, but, nevertheless, that is a great two year run for LA.
Unsurprisingly, the Kings have brought back pretty much the same roster. They traded away Jonathan Bernier, but that's fine, because they have Quick, who should be better this year, and Ben Scrivens is a solid backup, and they got Matt Frattin for their troubles. Rob Scuderi is gone, which hurts, but a full season of Matt Greene and any season of Willie Mitchell will help, and they also have Robyn Regehr now and Slava Voynov and Jake Muzzin should improve. Oh, also Drew Doughty is still around.
The forward group is roughly the same. Dustin Penner is gone, which isn't an issue, and Tyler Toffoli can probably contribute just as much as Penner did, while hopefully avoiding breakfast based injury. The offense is mostly Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, and Dustin Brown, but that's fine. Few teams have a top four forwards like that, and Justin Williams is good too.
The Kings should definitely return to the playoffs, and right now I have them as the favorites to win their division. I have some questions about Vancouver, who I see as their top rival for the Pacific, but I don't really have any questions about this team. It may be hard for Los Angeles to head so deep into the postseason again. Not because they don't have the talent, but because it is just really hard to be one of the last four teams standing in the NHL, no matter how good you are.