It has been a rough go so far for the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings. The Kings are just 4-5-2 early in this 2013 National Hockey League season and can’t seem to get it going. It could be a hangover from winning last season but the team had extra time to recover from their title and get their heads on straight again. This is a team that is in the bottom half of every major statistical category and if Los Angeles can’t get things back on track very soon, they risk missing the playoffs entirely.
There are a lot of factors that show up to me about this decline in Los Angeles. There has been a lot of underachieving by the team’s star players early in the year. It was players like Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown that propelled the Kings to their epic postseason run last year. While those players have played better in recent games, the hole was already dug deep.
Jeff Carter has basically kept the Kings afloat with his six goals to start the year but the goalkeeping from Jonathan Bernier and Jonathan Quick must improve. The two are giving up just under three goals a game and for a team that is struggling on offense still at the quarter pole of the season, those numbers need to be closer to two goals a game. This season can only be saved by Kopitar and Brown who now must carry the team on their back the rest of the regular season if Los Angeles wants to defend their title in the spring.