With the NHL trade deadline exactly three weeks away, it’s time for the Kings to figure out what’s working, what needs improvement, and what they’re willing to give to see the team’s numbers change.
I think it’s safe to say that Los Angeles needs a change, and a pretty drastic one at that. Right now they stand as the last place team in the league in goals per game with a 2.1 average. Although their defense has improved under Darryl Sutter, their offense needs a lot of work. Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, and Justin Williams have been working pretty well together lately and Mike Richards is continuing to impress since arriving from the Flyers.
But the team chemistry just isn’t right.
I know Dustin Penner has been making headlines with his pancake fiasco and injuries, but remember when LA fans were truly excited to add him to the Kings roster? With 25 goals the previous season, he was the largest goal-scorer picked up before the trade deadline last season. Those statistics don’t reflect the player we’ve seen since he joined the Kings — which makes me wonder if a slump is all to blame, or if the team’s lineup is a larger issue.
So now we face the real question, make a move before the trade deadline or hold off until the summer? I know a lot of people will disagree with me, but I say wait. At this point I think it’d be wiser to look to Manchester to change things up a bit. Large trades happen during the summer and I don’t think getting one new player will make enough of an impact. Plus we don’t have what we need right now to complete a trade for a top-notch forward.