The Kings are streaky. Right now their streak is of the losing variety. Yes, it is incredibly frustrating to see a team this talented losing at such a clip. It makes me wonder if the Kings dressing room feels more like the Capitals’ side of HBO’s 24/7 rather than the Penguins’. So, what exactly is burdening the Kings?
Things that are NOT burdens:
1. Backorder on purple jewels for their Stanley Cup rings.
2. Jonathan Bernier has writer’s block for his Vezina acceptance speech.
3. Teammates harboring jealousy of Westgarth’s beauty.
4. Too many good options at 1st line left wing.
5. Tired of hearing Randy Newman’s “I Love L.A.” every time they score.
Things that ARE burdens:
1. A complete lack of confidence in Jonathan Bernier as a backup. When he loses, he does it in spectacular fashion.
2. Inability to generate any sort of chemistry due to constant line juggling.
3. The dreaded “lack of effort.” The Kings can’t seem to string 60 minutes of consistent effort together.
4. Allowing bounce-back goals. If the opposition wants to score, all they have to do is let the Kings score. Within 3 minutes they’re pretty much guaranteed a goal.
5. Injuries. Willie Mitchell is a great addition… when he’s on the ice. The Kings two off-season additions, Mitchell and Ponikarovsky, are also the two most oft-injured.
1. We’re approaching trade deadline talk time. Do the Kings look for a better left wing option than Sturm? Do they keep Brown on the left due to his success there and look for a right winger? Do they sell high on someone like Alec Martinez?
2. Do the Kings really have confidence in Bernier, or do they sit him for a while and try Jeff Zatkoff as a backup? Or maybe trade for a veteran backup?
3. Let me be clear about this next idea; THIS IS NOT A PREDICTION NOR IS IT A SUGGESTION. This is merely an observation. It suddenly feels very much like a situation in which a coach gets fired. I think Terry Murray has done wonders with this team since he’s been brought in. I have to wonder if the sentiments within the organization are at all like what I hear from the outside; that Murray is a teaching coach and is good at developing youth, but he isn’t the type of coach that carries that team to a championship. Personally, I don’t think this is true, but it’s something to chew on. If this were to happen, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Assistant Coach John Stevens step up. Maybe the Kings fire Jamie Kompon.
4. Call up a youngster to spark the vets. The team needs an injection of life and maybe a hungry young player could provide it.
5. More line changes. Yeah, it’ll probably be this one.
Whatever happens, the Kings can’t expect to play like this and make the playoffs. I mean, it’s obvious that you can’t go on 5 or 8 game losing streaks every month and make the playoffs, yes, but I mean the Kings need a kick start. This isn’t a string of bad luck, it’s a problem that needs to be addressed.
How exactly is what we’ll have to wait and see…
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