Los Angeles Kings: The Wait Is Going To Be Painful

ANALYSIS: With netminder Jason LaBarbera looking more like a sieve in recent games and with goalie Jonathan Quick not yet ready for the National Hockey League, the Los Angeles Kings have hit hard times and it’s going to be an insanely difficult climb in every game until goaltender Erik Ersberg recovers from injury.

After getting blown out and shutout at Buffalo on Friday night and after a loss at Detroit on Saturday night, one thing is certain for the Los Angeles Kings…until goaltender Erik Ersberg recovers from a groin strain he suffered on December 15, wins are going to be a rarity.

Indeed, with goaltender Jason LaBarbera unable to stop a beach ball these days and with goalie prospect Jonathan Quick clearly not yet ready for the rigors of the National Hockey League, the Kings are already on a downward slide, having lost four straight games, including an overtime loss and a shootout loss (0-2-2), and it seems likely that without reliable goaltending, the Kings will struggle to get back into the win column. Read more of this post


Los Angeles Kings: Rash Moves In Goal Not The Answer

COMMENTARY: It is time for fans of the Los Angeles Kings to take a deep breath, a step back and think before speaking.

LOS ANGELES — After a game in which he was embarrassed in the shootout and another in which he was anything but solid, fans of the Los Angeles Kings are calling for goaltender Jason LaBarbera’s head.

And that’s putting it mildly.

Indeed, after looking like a fish out of water in the shootout against the San Jose Sharks on December 15 (3-2 shootout loss) and looking rather shaky in a 3-2 overtime loss to the New York Rangers on December 17, a quick tour of the Kings-related web sites and message boards across the Internet reveals that LaBarbera just might be Public Enemy #1 among Kings fans. Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings: December Swoon Is More Myth Than Fact

LOS ANGELES — For many, December is time when their thoughts turn to family and friends and celebrating the holiday season with them. But for long-time fans of the Los Angeles Kings, December often means dread, doom and gloom as their team goes into their traditional, inevitable December Swoon, a month filled with many more losses than wins.

Indeed, in forty seasons on the ice, the Kings have had a winning record in December just eleven times, their best December coming in 2005-06 when they earned a 9-4-1 record, good for 19 out of possible 28 points, a .679 percentage.

But that leaves 29 seasons when they were at or below the .500 mark in December and even then, they reached the .500 mark only five times in those seasons.

To be sure, December has generally been quite unkind to the Kings, who have a 182-227-70 record in December, earning just 454 out of a possible 958 points, a .453 percentage.

Yet when you look at how the Kings have done overall, the December Swoon turns out to be mostly a myth. Read more of this post

Kings Earn Split In Canada

After putting in what head coach Terry Murray called their worst effort of the season on Wednesday night in a 6-2 blowout loss at Calgary, the Los Angeles Kings responded with a strong effort on Thursday night as they handed the Edmonton Oilers a 2-1 loss in front of 16,839 fans at Rexall Place in Edmonton.

Anze Kopitar broke out with his best performance of the season with a goal and an assist. Left wing Patrick O’Sullivan also tallied a goal and an assist. Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings Defensive Improvement A Surprise So Far

LOS ANGELES — Eighteen games into the 2008-09 National Hockey League season, the Los Angeles Kings are a surprising 8-8-2, good for eighteen points in the standings.

As of this writing, the Kings are third in the Pacific Division, eleventh in the Western Conference and twentieth in the overall NHL standings, all significant improvements.

Although they have not improved significantly over their 8-9-1 record after eighteen games in the 2007-08 season, it is rather easy to see where this season’s Kings have made the most improvement…on defense. Read more of this post