Not too many hockey games end well when your powerplay puts up a goose egg and your penalty kill can’t stop goals against. Special teams were the story of tonight’s 4-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres.

The Kings wasted five powerplay chances, having trouble setting up the play and getting shots on net. Meanwhile, they all but handed the game to the Sabres in the third. Smyth’s holding penalty in the offensive zone led to a Sabres’ 3-2 lead. Johnson and Dwight King kept L.A. shorthanded later in the period until Buffalo put the game away with a Jochen Hecht slap shot less than 5 minutes left to play.

As for Bernier, he didn’t see too many pucks that went past him. For some unexplainable reason, just as they did against San Jose and Columbus, the Kings’ defense and forwards seemed intent on giving the Sabres’ forwards all the time and space they wanted in our defensive zone, with plenty of time to set up a screen in front of Bernier and shooting lanes to their heart’s content. I know we miss Willie Mitchell, but this is getting absurd. It is as if the entire Kings’ defense has forgotten how to play…well, defense especially positioning and coverage down low.

Is it panic time? No. But anytime you lose three in a row, there are a few things not working and when you outshoot, out hit, win the greater of faceoffs and still lose by two goals, it isn’t difficult to point to the defensive side of the puck and, to some extent, the net minder’s inability to make some big saves and find the cause. If I am to be candidly critical, I am not thrilled with some of our coaching decisions but on that issue I choose to bite my tongue as I wait to see if this slide is a short and temporary speed bump on the way to a much better road to come.

Never forget – GO KINGS!

Categories: L.A. Kings News

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4 replies

  1. Our PP is very, very, very hard to watch. We have to correct this part of our special teams or we’re going to be in big trouble. It would be nice, but we can’t expect our PK to operate at 91% all year. Coaching staff, please coach and get these gentlemen in motion. Everyone on the planet knows what we’re going to do. Make adjustments!

    I’m dumbfounded on the collapse of our D the last few games. DD, Greene and to a certain degree Scuderi have been off, if not bad…..WTH? Did I just write that?

    I’ll take some responsibility for this little hiccup. I praised our boys regarding how well they were using space and rotating as a complete unit…..I think I put the jinx on them.

  2. They obviously need to get back into that defensive first posture, and be more responsible in our own end. Johnson got called twice for penalties behind the play, and even if one of those was a bunk call, that can’t happen. Then, of course, we need to get our power play going. We have to find ways to score with the man advantage, there is no excuse for a team with this kind of talent on it to be suffering with the extra man the way we are.

  3. You summed it up..and I think you are being generous in regards to our faceoffs. I don’t think we played well there either.
    Hope for different outcome tonite. Boston’s playing very tough and Tim Thomas is in Top form.

  4. And yes our PP is sooo last year…every team must be aware of our setup..exactly the same..over and over..really need to change it up..get the players to skate around with the puck.
    They are just standing still in Same spots and passing. Looks like practice drills, not a live game.
    Come on get on this!


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