LOS ANGELES — The ballad, Let’s Put It All Together by The Stylistics (the title, not the song itself), could not express better what the Los Angeles Kings must do starting with their next game.
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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The really frustrating part is the Kings get their chances in the offensive end but for whatever reason, they are just not finishing. It took an incredible amount of effort on the PP for them just to score against the Wings yesterday. Mostly, the effort is there but they just are not being rewarded for their hard work. However, I think the loss last night is just a symptom of being young and playing against the best team in the NHL, standings aside.
The Kings have a problem and that’s scoring goals and if the Kings want to shake up the team and get to the playoffs , a big trade is in order. If Dean Lombardi just wants to get through the season the Kings will just be bystanders on the trade deadline! The Kings have improved but is not consistent on offense which could be a problem for years to come unless we trade for a sharp shooter and that won’t be cheap! Right now Kings are just a .500 pct. team which is fantastic! The playoffs would be icing on the cake!
But at what cost? Should the Kings give up one or more of their top players AND a top prospect to acquire an older veteran who can fill that role? And that’s the minimum price…the price would likely be higher. Seems to me that would create two holes to fill one and certainly wouldn’t help the team long-term.
We just watched Pitt. acquire a tough and solid young player in Kunitz, and a Grade A prospect in Tangradi for Ryan Whitney.
Whitney is hardly a standout.
Why is it we are sitting on our hands while other teams are making moves? Last year we didn’t get any of the young players moving at the deadline – Steve Bernier or Tuomo Ruttu, etc.
What moves should the Kings make and who should they be willing to give up? And please don’t tell me they should be able to land a top prospect for Preissing.
I don’t think we could even get a 7th for Pricey, because he’s too pricey.
But, the one guy I might like to see acquired is Mike Fisher. I think he fits the DL/TM model adequately. But if prospects like Colin Wilson or Cody Hodgson are at all available, we need to act.
I don’t know, but I think Kunitz and Tangradi may have fit well here.
Do you have any sense of the Kings interests?
We have bait. Richardson, Calder, Harrold, Quincey, and even even Handzus, Stoll, and the Manchester boys and goalies.
Why would you trade Quincey for any of the players you named? Handzus’ value has jumped way, way up…everyone is asking Lombardi for him, but what do the Kings do for another third-line center out there who provides what Handzus does if they trade him? He has been one of the Kings’ best players this season, even though he’s never going to pile up the numbers. The Kings have no one to fill that role (Boyle isn’t ready).
Richardson, Calder and Harrold have very, very little trade value and won’t get the Kings much of anything at all.
Stoll? Possibly, but he’s probably worth more to the Kings than anyone else at this point. I don’t see the Kings trading him and I don’t think other teams are going to be all that much interested in him based on what he would bring to them and on his contract.
Anaheim was not going to trade Kunitz and/or Tangradi to the Kings. That would be a significant trade and because of their close proximity, the price the Kings would’ve had to pay would have been exorbitantly higher.
It’s about trying to acquire “elite” prospects, in my opinion. Quincey isn’t elite. And, you’ve got to trade some talent to get some back.
It’s not a knock on Handzus to consider trading him, IMO. I also think you underrate Richardson, Calder, and Harrold. Harrold, especially. He’s a good puck moving defenseman. There’s a premium on those types (and super competitive, also) players around the league. Just not in LA where the onus is on size and chippiness.
I think, also, that Mike Fisher is a pretty good target, not to mention most of those prospects. Of all, only Hoeffel is kinda a question mark.
Oh yeah, I also think our prospect depth built by Lombardi allows us to consider parting with a Quincey. Although, if you don’t have to, you don’t trade him.
Quincey has been the Kings’ best defenseman overall throughout the season. Who do you package him with and for whom? Just saying that you’d trade him is ridiculous without having an idea of who you expect to get in return.
Quincey is young and has the talent this team needs on the blue line. He should be part of their future on the blue line at this point. He fits right into what the Kings are trying to build.
Underating Richardson? Maybe. Calder and Harrold. Nope. Harrold really doesn’t belong in the NHL. Calder has been on the downside of his career for awhile now. He’s got veteran experience, but he should be a third-line winger, not in the top six. At his age, he’s little more than a cheap placeholder.
Handzus won’t be going anywhere; at least not just anywhere. Don’t forget he has to waive a No Movement Clause. I think he’d only be interested in going to a team with a REAL shot at the Cup (i.e. Detroit, San Jose, etc.) These teams are NOT going to give up anything other than prospects and picks, and what the Kings need right now aren’t more seeds and saplings; they need a relatively experienced, immediately productive addition to the top six forwards. Handzus won’t bring that.