Frozen Royalty: Coaches And Front Office Had Their Ups and Downs, Too
Gann Matsuda continues his off-season review of the Los Angeles Kings. Here he talks about the coaches and front office. Great read. Check it out!
LOS ANGELES — Despite earning a 46-30-6 (98 points, seventh place in the Western Conference) record this season, just three points less than their 46-27-9 (101 points, sixth place in the Western Conference) record in 2009-10, the Los Angeles Kings, along with just about everyone who follows them and the rest of the National Hockey League, expected the team to not only make the playoffs this season, but to at least advance to the second round.
Extenuating circumstances, namely, the loss of star center, leading scorer and top defensive forward Anze Kopitar to a serious ankle injury and not having right wing Justin Williams at full strength—both were injured in late March—severely diminished the Kings’ chances of winning their first round playoff series against the much more talented San Jose Sharks.
But even without Kopitar, and with Williams playing with a separated right shoulder, the Kings exposed the Sharks’ weaknesses and could have won the series if they adhered to their system and structure. But they failed miserably in that regard, dropping the series in six games.
The turning point came in Game 3, when the Kings blew a 4-0 lead through the early stages of the second period, only to lose the game in overtime, 6-5. Like their entire playoff series against the Sharks, that game pretty much mirrored how their entire season went…more on that in a bit.
As detailed in an earlier story here on Frozen Royalty (see 2010-11 Los Angeles Kings Were Reminiscent Of A Roller Coaster Ride), the 2010-11 Kings were highly inconsistent, and that might be a drastic understatement.
After a hot start to the season, the Kings followed that by losing seven out of eight games during the last two weeks of November.
Read the rest on Frozen Royalty.