Gann Matsuda On The Hockey Writers: Los Angeles Kings Need To Solve Power Play Woes Soon

LOS ANGELES — After a blazing hot 12-3-0 start to the season, followed by a stretch where they lost seven out of eight games, the Los Angeles Kings are now in a 4-0-1 stretch heading into St. Louis, where they will skate on December 16 against the Blues, who trail the Kings by two points in the Western Conference standings going into action on December 15.

This season, the Kings have won games primarily on the strength of their defense and the goaltending of Jonathan Quick, who is in the top five of all major goaltending statistics as of this writing.

Penalty-killing has been a big part of that defensive effort, as the Kings are ranked fourth in the National Hockey League, with an 86.0 percent rating.

But as Kings head coach Terry Murray often says, while penalty-killing can lose you a game, the power play can win it for your team, and, so far this season, the Kings’ power play has been anything but powerful…

To read the full story, click on: Los Angeles Kings Need To Solve Power Play Woes Soon.

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3 thoughts on “Gann Matsuda On The Hockey Writers: Los Angeles Kings Need To Solve Power Play Woes Soon

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  1. Denial is not a river in Egypt, but it is definetly the excuse or stance which seems to be the status quo of the Los Angeles Kings coaching and management.

    Example: While we were hearing from Bob MacKenzie and Darren Dreger that the Kings were discussing a trade with the Boston Bruins, which stated, Marco Sturm had waived his no movement clause, making Sturm available, so Boston could move him to the Kings for a reported conditional pick, or future consideration, our GM stated there were no such talks going on between Boston and Los Angeles.

    2 or 3 days later, again, it was reported that now there was an agreement, that meant if Sturm was examined by the Los Angeles Kings medical staff, and pending their examination, if Sturm was given clearance by the Kings, the trade would in fact be consummated.

    I read what Gann is reporting, and it sounds like the Kings are placing the blame on themselves, which is very nice, but if they are in fact doing a lot of video review, and then working on improving their “predictable” powerplay, this then sounds like the coaching is not advanced, or creative enough to actually improve this critical component. The Kings need to be a complete hockey team, if they want to be considered a legitimate threat in the Western Conference.

    Right now, the Kings are struggling to score even strength goals, so not having a good powerplay hurts their chances every night of getting a win. If a team knows the Kings are not doing well when they have an advantage like a powerplay, they are more likely to take advantage physically, since they know that more than likely the Kings are not going to make them pay, by scoring on the powerplay.

    I am not sure Marco Sturm is the answer, if and when he does start to play for the Kings, however, the Kings coaching staff, need to change direction, and look at a more effective way of getting the powerplay back to where it was during the end of last season, going into the playoffs.

    It almost seems like the guys out on the powerplay are over thinking, and allowing the defenders that extra second to shutdown or identify what the Kings are attempting to setup.

    Even when the Kings are getting someone to the front of the net, the point shots are missing way to high, or too wide of the net for any sort of tip play, the Kings might be trying. In addition, the rebounds, or lack of rebounds that the Kings are trying to get the goalies to give up are just not happening with the shots coming from everywhere when the Kings do have the man advantage.

    I’d like to see Smyth, Handzus, Poni, even Clifford standing right in front of the goalie, to create a screen, or be able to pounce on loose pucks, which are the result of shots coming from the Kings on the powerplay. The problem right now is these shots are not consistent, or the Kings just not getting them through.

    Hopefully, things will start to get better for the Kings both at even strength and when up a man or 2 on a power play, but if things continue to be a struggle, then the coaching staff do not have anyother option but to find someone else to help get this key piece of the Kings arsenal back to being productive.

    Call them garbage goals, or ugly goals, or anything else you want, but Luc made a pretty good living, picking up the garbage infront of the net, and there is no reason why the Kings can’t find someone or someway to generate these types of goals.

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