What in the name of everything holy has happened? The Kings have chosen the absolute worst time of the season to slack off. Did they think they could coast into the playoffs? Since the Olympic break the Kings are 3-4-1, not exactly a strong showing from a team that won 10 out of 12 prior to the break.
The worst part is that the Kings are beating themselves. In their game against Chicago this past Thursday they appeared to give up halfway through the contest. I can accept the 11 to 6 shots on goal differential in the first period because the play was back and forth and the Kings were bringing the effort. However, 3 shots in the second period isn’t going to beat the Chicago Blackhawks. It won’t beat anyone. And 17 shots in game? Total? Awful.
There were 4 minor penalties in their tilt with Chicago, all against Kings. Lazy penalties like Ivanans interference call are coach killers. Granted, the Kings managed to kill all 4 penalties, but that’s simply 10 minutes of the game (double minor to Williams) they handed to the Hawks on a silver platter, and believe you me, you keep giving teams so many chances and they’re bound to score.
The Kings don’t have a second to breathe here either. It seems like the Anaheim Ducks keep setting teams up to be hungry against L.A. First the heated contest with Chicago, then they steal one from the Isles. New York will not be forgiving to the Kings. Don’t forget the homestretch here; the Kings have 3 games against Colorado, 1 each against Phoenix, Vancouver, and Nashville. Not to mention 2 games with the Ducks which are always emotional contests.
I expect a strong effort tonight against an Islanders team that is by no means the Cup contender Chicago is, but certainly has the youth and ability to compete. This rough patch should have served as a wake up call to the Kings. They’ve raised the expectations on themselves and now they have to live up to them. It will not be acceptable to Kings fans to miss the playoffs this season.
About the Author
Written by Eric Cooney
Eric Cooney was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina, and lives in Los Angeles, CA. He shares his thoughts on the NHL as one man who is a northerner, southerner, east coaster, and west coaster. Follow him on Twitter @EricCooney