Kyle Clifford led the Kings in penalty minutes each of the last two seasons, so it's no surprise to see his name atop the stat sheet again. The twist is that Clifford leads them in scoring after four games, with a goal and five points.
The rugged left wing, who also has a team-best plus-6 defensive rating, has recorded a point in all four games. Anze Kopitar's five-season streak as the Kings' scoring leader probably isn't in jeopardy, but Clifford has been valuable to a team that ranked 29th in scoring last season and is near the bottom again.
"I don't look at him as he's supposed to score every game, but I think he can contribute to the top guys right now," Coach Darryl Sutter said Sunday after an optional practice in El Segundo.
"You're playing so many games that he can contribute in terms of his energy and his intensity and quite honest, pull some other guys into it or knock some other guys out of it."
Kyle Clifford leading L.A. Kings in scoring
Los Angeles Times | Jan 28