Frozen Royalty: Los Angeles Kings: Do Their Problems Run Deeper Than First Thought?
There’s not a single fan in Kings Nation who’s not upset right now. Putting the emotion aside, Gann Matsuda digs in a little deeper into what’s going on with quotes from the team and coaches. Check it out!
LOS ANGELES — Losers of six of their last seven games heading into their January 13 contest at Staples Center in Los Angeles against the St. Louis Blues, the Los Angeles Kings have blown a huge opportunity.
Indeed, the Kings could have built a nice cushion for themselves in the hyper competitive Western Conference standings before playing ten straight games on the road in February while Staples Center hosts the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards and the events surrounding the 60th NBA All-Star Game, among other events.
“It’s so important to win all these at home because we go out on the road for pretty much the whole month of February, so these are really important for us,” defenseman Drew Doughty said following a 5-2 loss to the Nashville Predators on January 6.
“Home games are important, and we have a good record at home,” said right wing and team captain Dustin Brown. “These last games, we’ve kind of let go. There’s no rhyme or reason. We’ve got to be better. That’s the bottom line. It comes back to that work.”
Getting off to fast starts, only to see the effort and intensity drop way off after that has been the issue throughout the home stand.
Head coach Terry Murray noted that an attitude adjustment and an emotional commitment are needed.
“You guys saw the game where we came out in the second period, after a pretty good start in the first, and got away, totally, from everything that was going the right way,” he noted. “Turning pucks over the in the neutral zone, not getting [pucks deep], not skating the right way, and our pursuit of the puck, whenever it did get in, was not there with enough support to recover pucks, and they kept coming at us.”
“Emotionally, we just let up on the gas pedal again in the second period.”
“Something needs to be changed with our attitude, because that’s all it is, an attitude—playing the game right,” said Brown. “We’re halfway through the year. This is a big home stand for us. The playoffs are at stake [right now].”
As Brown noted, the playoffs are at stake after a dreadful 1-6-0 record to this point in January. But having blown the opportunity to give themselves a cushion in the standings ahead of their brutal February schedule, the playoffs are no longer simply at stake. Rather, even though there still forty games left to be played, the Kings’ season is more likely in serious jeopardy.
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