Anyone watching the Los Angeles Kings right now would have a hard time recognizing them as the same team that won Lord Stanley’s Cup a few months back. The Kings have looked horrible and their record shows it. They are currently 13th in the NHL Western Conference, with only the Colorado Avalanche and the Columbus Blue Jackets between them and the bottom of the dung pile.
This is a far cry from what we saw from the Kings during their playoff run last season, and it is the last thing anyone expected out of them heading into this one. In fact, before the first puck of the season dropped, the talk was of LA’s chances to repeat, chances that were thought of as pretty good due to the low amount of games that will be played this year.
Unfortunately, the Kings must not have gotten that memo.
The offensive output is there on a nightly basis, they just have not been able to put the puck in the net. Thursday night’s game against the Nashville Predators is a perfect example. The Kings pounded the Predators goaltender with 32 shots, but they were stonewalled by Pekka Rinne, and despite only allowing 14 shots on their own goal, they left the ice 3-0 losers.
This has been the story all season. The offense is there, the defense is stellar, but they cannot score, while their opponents seemingly get rewarded for every other shot on goal. IT is a bot of an exaggeration, but honestly, no by very much.
Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick ranks 31st in the league in save percentage(.889) and is 21st in goals against average(2.67). That is a big difference from Quick’s .929% and 1.95 GAA from last season.
It is hard to figure out what the problem is with Quick this year, but he had better get it together in a hurry. With the lock-out shortened season making the window for error so small, the Kings do not have the luxury of waiting for things to work themselves out. Whether it is a change in goal, or a shake up in the lines, Los Angeles needs to make the adjustments, or they can kiss this season goodbye before the month is through.