Los Angeles Kings: Let’s Put It All Together
February 28, 2009 10 Comments
Vastly improved defensive zone coverage, along with solid goaltending from Erik Ersberg and rookie Jonathan Quick, have been the most significant factors in the Kings improvement this season. But the team has been inconsistent offensively throughout the season and that problem has been magnified more than ever during their current 1-2-0 road swing.
In the three games at Minnesota (2-1 shootout win), Philadelphia (2-0 loss) and Detroit (2-1 loss), the Kings have scored just two goals…total (one of the goals scored against Minnesota was a shootout goal and does not count in the team statistics).
Prior to the current road trip, the Kings were scoring plenty of goals but they were back to their old ways…giving up goals and high-quality scoring chances in bunches because of their poor defensive zone coverage.
Indeed, in the five games prior to the current road swing, the Kings scored 19 goals, averaging 3.80 goals per game. But on the other side of the ledger, they allowed 23 goals, an average of 4.60 goals per game. Not surprisingly, the Kings wound up with a poor 1-2-2 record in those games.
On the up side, the Kings appear to have gotten back to playing solid defense, having allowed just four goals so far on the road trip. But consistency on both sides of the red line has eluded the Kings for much of the season. To be sure, they have struggled mightily to put together a solid defensive game with sufficient offensive output and that has never been more apparent than during the current road swing because the Kings’ playoff hopes are now on the line and they are dimming fast—even though the Kings are taking good care of their own end, they have been unable to get their offense out of first gear.
Unless the Kings can get their act together starting on Sunday at Chicago, their already dim playoff hopes will burn out for good and very soon.
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