After missing the playoffs in 2016-17, the Los Angeles Kings righted the ship last season and got back into the postseason.
Sure, they got swept by the Vegas Golden Knights, but overall, it was a solid year for the Kings. They eclipsed the 100-point mark, had a healthy Jonathan Quick between the pipes, and looked like they were headed on the right track to being one of the league’s most consistent teams again.
Well, it appears that the team has fallen off the tracks in the early going this year. As of this writing (October 22), the team is 2-5-1 and has been terrible in just about every area of the game.
Quick has looked terrible so far. In three games, he has yet to win a hockey game and has posted a very bloated 4.67 goals against average and an extremely underwhelming .851 save percentage.
While he cannot be blamed for all of the Kings’ problems so far, it can be said that he is one of the reasons why the team has struggled out of the gate. He has not looked confident, has been caught out of position on several goals so far, and has not been able to make a big save when his team needs one the most.
If Quick continues to play this way, this team will not make the playoffs. Quick is someone who can carry a team on his back, but when he is playing this poorly, it’s tough for his team to win hockey games.
With that said, the team in front of Quick certainly is not helping him much. The team is 24th in the league in goals allowed as they have given up 28 goals in 8 games.
If you’re counting at home, that’s over three goals allowed per game. While there has definitely been a ton of scoring going on around the league this year, a team cannot win consistently by posting numbers like that.
This number shows that not only is the team not helping out their star netminder, but they’re also not doing any favors for the team’s offense. Giving up this amount of goals puts a ton of pressure on the offense to put the puck in the net and when that happens, it sometimes backfires.
This is exactly the case for this team right now. They have scored just 15 goals, which is the third worst in the league.
So, not only is this team giving up a lot of goals, but they are also not putting the puck in the net. When you put these two things together, you have a losing hockey team and one where changes need to be considered.
If this team continues to falter, do you fire head coach John Stevens? While Stevens did a great job with the club last season, he is still someone that was part of Darryl Sutter’s staff, which means it is a familiar voice in the locker room and behind the bench and is also one that the team is very comfortable with.
Something needs to be done to shake this team up and get them out of their funk. If that doesn’t happen, it could get late awfully early for this club.
Photo: Orange County Register