Kings hockey though the first quarter of the season has been filled with peaks and valleys. The first game of the season looked extremely promising with a dominate win over Vegas, only to be followed with a 6 game losing streak. From that point the Kings completely shifted gears and logged a 7 game winning streak. Once the winning streak came to an end they immediately found themselves on a 5 game slide leaving the team two points outside of a playoff spot on American Thanksgiving.
For a team just finishing up the rebuild sitting two points out of a playoff spot a quarter of the way through the season doesn’t seem so bad right? However looking back at the last 5 full NHL seasons, 77% of teams that held a playoff spot at the time of American Thanksgiving ultimately qualified for a playoff spot. While this statistic isn’t necessarily a death sentence, the inconsistencies and streaky play from the Kings has left more questions than answers thus far.
Historically the Kings have struggled with offense and it appears to be the case once again this season. The Kings have scored 58 goals to date and average just 2.64 goals per game while only scoring three goals from defensemen this season. This could have a lot to do with Doughty missing 16 games and the rest of the defense needing to fill that enormous gap in the D-zone. Either way going forward the team needs to find a way to get more offense out of their defensemen.
While there have been low points throughout the season, there have been a few bright spots as well. Sean Durzi has come on strong since his call up with 4 points in 4 games, Kopitar is over a point per game, and Jonathan Quick looks like 2012 Quick in net. The team has also been involved in 13 one goal games, which is great to see because it shows they are competing for a full 60 minutes most nights.
Overall it’s been a frustrating start to the season based off some of the expectations that were put on this team. They have struggled to play consistent hockey, have made some blatant “rookie” mistakes, and continue to struggle with offense. It’s great to see the team competing on a night to night basis, with a few coaching adjustments and more defensive productivity look for the Kings to have a much more consistent next quarter of the season.