The Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup in both 2012 and 2014. They did it with a very specific style of play that led to a countless number of teams attempting to copy their way to success. That style relied heavily on possession, shot suppression, and tactically sound defensive hockey in all three zones.
A suddenly familiar name was a huge reason why.
As an assistant coach, John Stevens has an unbelievable track record. The defensive numbers, the penalty kill numbers, all of the possession metrics point to him being a brilliant defensive hockey tactician. -Jesse Cohen, Producer/Host of All The Kings Men Podcast
Stevens stood behind the bench as an assistant coach for the Kings from 2010 to 2017. During that time, he ran LA’s defense which allowed the fewest goals and shots while winning 44 playoff games and two Cups.
There are people who accuse Jonathan Quick of being a “system goalie.” If that’s true, though I don’t subscribe to this theory, it’s John Stevens’ system that made him. -Cohen, Producer/Host of All The Kings Men Podcast
Stevens also was the mastermind behind a penalty kill that boasted an 87% penalty kill in the playoffs and finished above the league average in seven consecutive seasons.
Earlier this week, Stevens was announced as the new assistant coach for the Golden Knights.
We’re definitely looking for someone to run the D and PK. Hopefully look for someone with some experience and knows the West more than I do. –Cassidy to TSN 1200 on 6/20
The only real knock on Stevens is his pair of stints as a head coach in the NHL. In Philadelphia, he got off to a rough start seeing his team finish dead last in his first season. The Flyers turned it around under Stevens earning a playoff berth in his second season and winning multiple rounds before being bounced in the conference final. He was fired shortly into his third season after a 13-11-1 start. In LA, Stevens was promoted to “Associate Head Coach” in 2014 before assuming the job as real head coach in 2017. His Kings made the playoffs but were ultimately swept in the first round by the Golden Knights. 13 games into his second year, he and his 4-8-1 record were kicked to the curb.
I think he is an astute hockey mind and a tremendous human being, but I don’t think that anybody could have done the job he was asked to do with the Kings. -Cohen, Producer/Host of All The Kings Men Podcast
Hoping to have his name engraved in the Cup for the third time, Stevens appears to be the perfect fit to run the Golden Knights’ defense and penalty kill in 2022-23.