The Los Angeles Kings had a good run, folks.
Since 2010 or so, they made the playoffs a lot, won two Stanley Cups, got some outstanding individual performances, and were one of the most consistent teams in the NHL. They were actually quite impressive.
Unfortunately for the Kings and their fans, that time is done. The good days that this franchise had appeared to be long gone.
As of this writing, the Kings are the worst team in the entire league with just 21 points. After being extremely competitive in a first-round loss to the Vegas Golden Knights in the playoffs last year, this is not the direction both their team and fans expected them to go in.
So, where do we begin? The problem starts with the fact that they are having trouble putting in the puck in the net.
The team is currently last in the league in goals scored. They have scored just 57 goals in 27 games, which means that they are barely scoring two goals a game.
In looking at this team’s stats, it is easy to see why there are struggling to score goals. The team currently has no players with double digits in goals, which is a big problem.
Guys like Dustin Brown (eight goals), Anze Kopitar (seven goals), Jeff Carter (five goals), Ilya Kovalchuk (five goals), Tyler Toffoli (five goals), and Alex Iaffallo (five goals) are not scoring enough. More importantly, besides these players, no one else has scored five goals.
The problem is this offense isn’t young anymore. Players like Brown (34), Carter (33), and Kovalchuk (35) are not getting any younger.
Speaking of Kovalchuk, it appears that the Kings may have made a mistake in signing him over the summer. He is going to be out for four weeks due to ankle surgery and when he was on the ice, he certainly was not productive as productive as the team hoped he would be when they signed him.
These guys do not bring a lot of speed and as one can clearly see or observe, the NHL is now a young man’s game. It looks like this team can’t even keep up with their opponents anymore.
Speaking of the team not being able to put the puck in the net, the team’s power play is dreadful. The team is 30th in the league on the power play, which means not only can they score when they are 5-on-5, but they also cannot score when they have the man advantage.
This club also does not shoot the puck enough. You can’t score goals if you don’t put the puck on the net and right now the team is 30th in the league in averaging about 28 shots per game.
Coaching has also clearly been an issue this season. After the team got off to a slow start under John Stevens, the club fired him and replaced him with Willie Desjardins and thus far, the team has not done well under him either.
With the way this team is playing right now, it is easy to see that they probably will not make the playoffs this year. They simply do not have the right roster to do so as it is a roster that is not fast, aging, and one that may not be able to get the job done for this franchise anymore.
It is time for Kings’ Vice President and General Manager Rob Blake to think about a rebuild. It may be hard for a franchise that has won two Cups in the last six seasons to do this, but it is something that needs to be done.
The question is, will they?
Photo: Los Angeles Times