What’s that? Playoffs? Don’t talk about — Playoffs? You kidding me? Playoffs?

Player-X, who is quickly becoming a regular contributor, wrote this article about a subject very near and dear to our hearts. The opinions expressed by our readers in article are not necessarily our own and we reserve the right to give them shit about theirs.

First off, I want to take a moment to really thank Surly and Scribe for letting me post articles on their site. Although I may question their judgment in doing so, I admire their courage in letting my voice join theirs in this way. Actually, in all seriousness, I am very flattered that I have been allowed to publish my thoughts here, as this site is well-respected and deservedly so. I hope it will be a good fit, and I will try to equal their standards. Thank you, guys, thank you very much. And now, to the article…

It may seem early to talk about the King’s playoff chances, but remember, this is January, and it is nearing the time for the annual streak-fest. No, I am not talking about running naked down the halls of a dorm; that was expunged anyway. I am talking about the Kings’ winning and losing streaks.

If anything, this is a very streaky team, and not just in winning and losing games. Even in penalty kills, and shutouts, and winning with a lead after two periods, mad-skill streaks happen there, too. If this team is ever able to sustain a streak and then only maintain an average pace when the streak is broken, they could probably contend for President’s trophy winners… But for now let’s just focus on the wins and losses.

Last year, the Kings’ fateful home stand started December 30, with the Kings losing 6 of 8. Then they had the February stretch of 10 consecutive road games, and went 6-4, beating the Caps, Flyers and Blue Jackets in a row but also losing to awful teams such as Minnesota and the Islanders. Then they had two 4-game winning streaks in March – one, a sweep of a 4-game home stand and the other starting with a 3-game road sweep.

In 2009-1010, the Kings started a streak on January 21 of winning 9 games in a row, sweeping a 5-game roadie (remember that Simmonds backhand thru Brodeur, hitting a hole no more than 1 ½ pucks wide?) and then also sweeping a 3-game home stand.

But also, this is the same team that needed those improbable winning streaks to squeak into the playoffs. The 2009-2010 team that won 9 in a row thru February also lost 5 of 7 in early March, then 4 in a row in late March. Those same 09-10 Kings also didn’t win a single game for the entire second half of February, either. (But that was cuz of the Olympics, just messin’ wit yuzz) The 2010-2011 Kings had those 4-game winning streaks in March, but also had a 2 and 10 record from December 29 thru January 20, and had to finish 22-8-5 for their playoff spot.

My reason for pointing out these streaks, both good and bad, is to highlight the time of year. Forget Halloween; for the Kings, this is witching season. Somebody needs to kill a chicken and dance around a bonfire soon, because this year a losing streak might very well kill any playoff hopes, and a winning streak is more unlikely than in past years.

As of this writing, (before the Calgary game) the Kings have played 26 home games and only 17 roadies; that leaves only 15 homers but 24 roadies. If there is gonna be a streak, it is most likely to be the kind we really don’t like.

Looking at the standings, and more closely at the other contenders, the picture does not brighten. Forget the Conference title; Vancouver leads it now by 9 points over the Kings, and they have 22 home games left and only 15 roadies.

San Jose has 3 more points and 4 games in hand; at least they only have 18 home games and 24 road games to go, so there may be slight hope of a Division win. Very slight, but why not be a dreamer?

As for the playoff contenders, it breaks down like this:
Chicago – 7 point lead, 16 home, 22 road games left
Detroit – 5 point lead, 22 home, 17 road games left
Nashville – 2 point lead, 18 home, 22 road games left
Minnesota – tied in points, 21 home, 18 road games left
PunkAss Dallas – 1 point behind, 20 home, 20 road games left
Colorado – 2 points behind, 17 home, 21 road games left
Calgary – 3 points behind, 21 home, 16 road games left
Phoenix – 3 points behind, 22 home, 15 road games left.
Kings – again, 15 home, 23 road games left.

Without Vancouver and San Jose, there are 9 teams fighting for 6 spots. Only three of those 9 have more road games than home, besides us, and one of them is Chicago. We are not likely to beat Chicago’s point total anyway, so of the remaining 8 teams fighting for 5 spots, only L.A., Colorado and Nashville have more road than home games.

So far, Colorado is 10-9-2 on the road. Nashville is 11-8-1. The Kings are 13-10-3. I see no significant offset to the advantage these teams have on us, with Colorado having 2 more home games and Nashville having 3 more home games remaining than the Kings. A losing streak this year would probably be devastating against these teams, and they are the ones we have the best chance of beating out for a playoff spot.

Calgary and Phoenix are behind us in points now, but Calgary has 6 more home games left than the Kings, and Phoenix has 7 more than the Kings. A losing streak would probably be devastating against these teams, also.

Dallas has a balanced schedule with 20 at home and 20 on the road, but they still have 5 more home games left than the Kings. A losing streak would probably be devastating against Dallas, too.

Even Minnesota, who seems to be returning to the expected place in the standings having dropped from Conference best (I think league best at one point, not sure) still has 6 more home games than we do. A losing streak would probably be devastating regarding this team, too.

There is just no tolerance this year for a 4-game or more losing streak. Of course, it could happen and the Kings could rebound with a prolonged winning streak to offset the losses, but this year is different. There are just too many road games to count on winning streaks to get into the playoffs. If the required total is 96 points, the Kings need, already, 46 points from 38 games; that is gonna be tough enough with all the road games, a losing streak would make it just too much to ask for. If a team needs a record of something like 21-13-4, or 22-12-3, there just isn’t a whole lot of room for 4 or 5-game losing streaks.

Let’s hope the Kings can indeed put together similar late-season winning streaks, and maybe even clinch a position early enough to shift focus a little before the playoffs begin. But if not, steady as she goes will still be fine, as long as the team doesn’t allow consecutive losses numbering above 3.

Categories: L.A. Kings News

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49 replies

  1. Great article well written. The only issue I have and its not a real issue is that long roady the kings did last February we killed it. I’m not sure but something like taking 18 points of a possible 20. As of right now I have no delusions of us making a serious cup run in the playoffs this year but if we can pull out the small miracle we did last February this year we have a good chance to make playoff this year. Also what u missed in this article is San jose has like 4 games in hand on us but both of our last two games are against SJ

    • Josh, thats great that our last two games are against SJ. Not sure what that means.
      If the Kings manage to Catch SJ, with all the road games, AND the fact that SJ is looking damned good (scored two goals in 22 seconds last week at the end of the game vs can’t remember who, to get a point out of the game before losing in SO).

      ….. And they have four games in hand. Even if they only go .500 in those games, that puts them Seven points ahead of the Kings. You really think the Kings will end up seven points better than SJ the last half of the season? I don’t.

      • Oh no I didn’t mean it that way what I meant was those r going to be two very important games. That being said I believe we can win those 2 games. I hate SJ and nothing would better than kicking other ass ina back to back the final 2 games of the season

        • Fair enough. That makes sense. Yeah, it’ll be a big time test if they need those games to either make the playoffs or go for home ice adv (though I already find that highly unlikely as I don’t see them catching the top five that I already mentioned).

          Remember last years last two vs. Anaheim which didn’t go all that well.

          • Yeah those last two sucked. Kings clinched playoffs against the yotes a few days before then didn’t seem to care about home ice

    • Good point, the last two games against San Jose, but if we are fighting them for the division title it seems likely that the non-winner would probably be fourth and have home ice in the first round. Really a thought provoking response…

      So following from that it means that the most important games will be the road games against conference rivals; the 4 point games on the road will likely tell the story.

      I am looking at 13 road games: Vancouver=2, Minnesota=2, Nashville=2, San Jose, St. Louis, PunkAss Dallas, Phoenix, Anaheim, Colorado and Calgary all = 1 each. Critical games where we control our own fate in the standing but have to go into their building.

      The Stars game is the second night in back-toback, coming in from the freakin’ Islanders building. Yikes. The Avalanche game is a second night, too, right after a Phoenix game. Big two nights there. The first Wild game is the night after playing
      Nashville, and the second Wild game is the night after playing those pesky Oilers. Lots of these games are the second night of back-to-back game days, dammit.

      • The majority of the remaining games (22 of 36) are not against what are considered top teams…which makes the points lost to Edmonton and the Dallas critical…perhaps the difference between 94 and 96 points.

        Now we are looking at second nights against Dallas, Detroit, Minnesota (2), Carolina, Nashville and Colorado. If LA breaks even that will leave a 10 or 11 game cushion.

        21-14-1 is doable but tall order for a team yet to find themselves…especially after the last two OT losses and this year’s inability to score in shootouts.

  2. You’re definitely not barking out your tail. I too have thought about it. Granted they have these periods where they do real well on the road….. but some of these games like last night can be seen as ‘at least we got one point’ and at the end of the season a few more could end up to sitting at home for the playoffs.

    It’s very astute of you to point out that this is now the third year in a row where they are approaching the last two + months of the season with exceptionally little room for error.
    I think that at the beginning of the season fans weren’t expecting that to be the case….. again. Even with the good record under Sutter, they’ve left some big points on the table.

    As time has passed this season, I’ve become less of a ‘supporter’ of DL. From the power rankings on nhl.com from today: Anze Kopitar’s 42 points in 46 games are nice, but they’re sensational when you consider he plays on a team that struggles to score three goals most nights.

    DL needs absolutely to find better balance up front. If Brian Burke can find someone within three years to play w Kessel, then why would DL not be able to do the same for Kopi after five years. So, my best guess…. this will change if and when DL wakes up and realizes that you build a champion with balance throughout the lineup… just like Chicago, Vancouver, Detroit, SJ, Pitts (when healthy), NYR, etc. Not just with a strong goaltender and d. It just doesn’t (again… imo) to avoid these yearly ‘efforts’ just to make the playoffs. And it could as you say Playes-X, go either way this year.

    Detroit, SJ, Vanc, Chicago, and St. L are as good as in. I don’t see Nashville, Dallas or Phoenix or Calgary going away anytime soon. So add the Kings into the mix and that leaves three spots for five teams.

    Great to be good defensively, but watch carefully and see if the Baltimore Ravens win the Super Bowl this year with their great defense. They could do it, but I’d be very surprised. Helps when you can get it done on the offensive end as well.

  3. Last thing Player-X. I realize your article is about This years playoffs. Point well taken. But to summarize, I see it as an issue that again they find themselves in the same ‘must win’ situation all over again, and begs the question, what will it take to be in situations like the elite teams who certainly aren’t struggling to just get in to the playoffs?

    It’s the pattern that I find disconcerting.

    • Until the Kings become an elite team such as Detroit, I think we’re doomed to fight tooth and nail to get into the playoffs every year.

      With the parity.in the league right now, it’s going to be tough to separate from the other mid-range teams (like Nashville, Phoenix, Dallas, etc.) with the loser point seeing that most games nowadays seem to be 3 point games. And, it’s even tougher to pass the teams ahead of the Kings.

    • I think the biggest difference between the elite teams and the bubble teams can be looked at in terms of skill, maturity, and work ethic.

      I think this team has average skill, certainly not tops in the league (yet). They seem to have a pretty good work ethic. I think where they really lack is in maturity. And to me, that translates into a team that has a hard time bringing their best game on a regular basis. You see it in the games that we lose. We don’t usually get beat, instead, we lose the game. It’s usually a combination of low energy, mistakes, and lack of composure/focus.

      I think, the team needs a top winger and possibly a 3rd line guy that can play a more physical game than the guys currently on that line. We don’t generally play a physically punishing game, although we saw it in Dallas recently i think. As far as maturity goes, i think the team will grow by leaps and bounds over the next 2 seasons as they learn to deal with, and understand what it takes, to play at the top level for the entire season.

      That would be my take.

  4. Great post. 1 good thing to look at is that the losing streak we experienced last season came after having the same point total we had this season at the 1/2 way point of the season, and we still made the playoffs backing in with Kopi, and Williams being injured.

    The games in hand by San Jose probably means we won’t catch them for the Pacific, and the Kings road to the playoffs will have to come by way of road wins, but if they have a few nasty streaks, the Kings will mathmatically still be able to recover, and make the playoffs.

    Avoiding a huge losing streak would be ideal though. Hate that we started the season with the hardest possible road trip you can have, and at the midway point of the season, we still have more roadgames to play then any of our competitors.

    • Very true Dom. It’s absolutely correct what you say about the beginning of the year. That said….. (and I hope this won’t be taken as me being negative…. maybe I don’t have the positive spin that some posters do…. and I wish I did, but), the Rangers were also on that trip and they’re leading the league in points.

      So, moral of the story: there is one very good reason that the Kings are in this position…. again; they put themselves there by having no offense. That said, as many have pointed out, it could be and would be far worse if Jonathan Quick were not an all-star.

      • I fully agree that this year DL has to show some actual results, and right now it looks we would be rated as an upset to win the first round IF we get in at all. That is already not good enough.

        If the Kings light it up and stomp the Division games to take home ice, maybe we become favorites, but I just don’t see the Kings being viewed as strong favorites this year. And I think that sucks.

        • IF

          Something will really have to pop to waltz in a favorite…a trade that clicks and produces instant results for example.

          Of course there is always the chance that Dallas, St. Louis and Colorado will suddenly play down to preseason expectations.

          • USHA…. there are just a few posters who I always am interested in reading…. and you happen to be one of them. That said, did you happen to watch the St. L/Dallas game tonight? Because St. Louis is the real deal. They have almost as many points just at home this season as the Kings have total points!! So, no, I don’t expect them to pull an Edmonton and come spiraling apart.

            They have some sublime skill up front. No question about it…. but it just pisses me off actually, because again, it shows…. you can build a team w goaltending, defense, and still have room to draft talented forwards.
            But, never mind on that one. I’m getting tired of harping on about that. And as I totally enjoy this site I don’t wanna push my luck :-) – but Scribe and Surly seem pretty cool in letting us say whatever it is that’s on our minds.

          • As I wrote in the “about Surly & Scribe” page, “we don’t moderate comments anymore than we moderate ourselves.”

          • I’ve been watching St Louis as they quietly and consistently (a bigger concern) climbed the ladder, leaving just three spots for five
            teams where last year there was four spots.

            Right now the Kings are in the best of a bad position. If the Kings do it it will be on the back of their power play.

          • Oh, back on St. Louis…they are doing it by picking up all the easy points; consistently beating weak teams. They also managed to more or less split against the stronger teams (beat NYR and Vancouver–through Detroit has their number).

            And, they are balanced. After their goalie (#2 in the league) no Blues player in found in the top 10 of any category (goals, points, plus/minus, etc.)

  5. Well to get technical we need to burn a purple candle (which represents power and honor) and a gold candle (which represents energy, health & power) to get some good mojo going for the rest of the season.

  6. I knew, Player-X, from the first instant I saw your Asshole-from-the-Black-Lagoon avatar, that you’d bring me to Depression City.

    I can’t argue with your facts or your analysis of the history of the past few seasons.

    But if hockey teaches us anything, it’s that relying upon history is bullshit. I can paint an even uglier scenario than yours, simply by reminding you that four players who were significant elements of our “win streaks” — I’m speaking here of Smyth, Handzus, Simmonds, and Ponikarovsky — are no longer with us. The best of them, Handzus, is now playing for The Enemy.

    As I say, history is bullshit. If the past were all that mattered, we’d be crucifying the Avalanche and the Oilers and have the Blues’ skate-marks all over our asses. Has that happened this year?

    We were told at the outset that of all the teams in the league the Kings were the most improved — on paper. And the expression “on paper” is nothing more than another way of “relying on history”.

    Calculating everything in terms of home-ice versus The Road is common. But it’s by no means determinative. (In truth, I think it DID matter on Monday night at Edmonton — but not, strictly speaking, to the Kings, who fought on tired legs to scratch a point out of a game where the opposing team, losers of five straight, virtually had to play at top pitch before its hometown fans.)

    I realize there are tactical advantages to hosting a game. But if that were dispositive of the issue, we wouldn’t have a road record of three-over-.500 (as of the time of your article).

    So while I agree that the number of home games is one element to look at, I believe — and hope — that it’s relatively minor in reckoning our chances of making the playoffs. For all the so-called “parity” in the NHL, we’re better-equipped to eke out three-to-two victories than most other teams.

    • Hey, that’s MISTER asshole from the black lagoon. Okay?
      (Actually it’s a sleestack from “Land of the Lost, but I get your point)

      I am not using the past to predict the future. I only do that with Drew Doughty. But, I am saying that it looks a lot like it did the previous years, that all teams have a propensity for steaks but that this year especially it would make things really, really tough if the Kings did repeat.

      As for your alternate doomsday scenario, missing those 4 players, it seems as if you think I was looking for an ugly situation to write about; in reality, I was only describing the actual scenario, and it isn’t super ugly but again, it could be very easily, as I said. Also, more players remain on the team that had those streaks than are gone, (but barely) so the numbers are against that argument.

      Neither did I say home ice is determinative nor dispositive, these are your words, and very pretty words at that, but I am still not feeling it necessary to find numbers or quotes from authoritative sources to actually support the fact that teams do better at home and not as well on the road. The imbalance of road games is a factor, historically, and though you dismiss history entirely that is not the conventional wisdom.

      I did get a good laugh from your opening sentence, thanks as I expect it is all in fun, good chat.

  7. Playoffs? Shit man call me an optimist but not only are we making the playoffs this season but actually going past the 1st round.

  8. If the kings keep the turnovers to a minimum they’ll be just fine.

  9. The only thing this team lacks is scoring. Defensively the team can win. Our goaltending is world class.

    Consistency on offense is the only real telling sign that we’ve recovered, or can compete for the cup. If we make it into a playoff spot on defense, and goalteanding alone, then the “anything can happen scenario kicks in”, but if they don’t improve offensively, I doubt any of us can be confident (even if we make it into the playoffs).

    Sure we’ll all say it in support of the boys, but this team is not a cup team, and at the momment is questionable to get out of the 1rst round (if we make the playoffs). Improved scoring will help us avoid slumps, and gaurentee us a top seeding as long as the rest holds true.

    Greatness never comes easy, but the harder it is, the greater the reward.

    • Got to love it that they play playoff style hockey now, in that the defense is obviously capable, but you’re right, they will have to be able to score some more goals, all types of goals, in the playoffs.

      If they keep looking for the pretty plays, like they did when Murray was here (without success, trying to pass it into the net) it won’t be there with a tighter checking and more physical game. But, if they keep looking for the greasy, loose puck and bang it in, off the skate in the crease, etc., goals, they have a chance to stay with the other club.

      Then, it comes down to special teams, and we won’t need a whole lot of goals to win that battle the way the Kings kill penalties right now, but we will need to be able to at least present a real threat on the PP.

      • I didn’t see the team trying to pass it into the net. I thought that was Murray’s b.s. excuse – it was up there with “shot mentality” and “too cute”. What I saw were players throwing the puck at the net regardless of lanes. It was like a hail mary (I can’t recall what Sutter called it, but he was right) on many zone entries. You can’t enter the offensive zone and fire away without lanes or exposing seams. Stretching the defense is one thing but both north-south and lateral movement from your forwards away from the puck as well as the defenseman with the puck is how a good team causes high defensive pressure to run around and low boxes (home plate defenses) to stretch or fall out of that box so that forwards can set up in front of the net and pick up rebounds. I see that with Sutter as coach although I am increasingly persuaded that the players are currently unlearning some of the shit they had to ritually follow (regardless of mandate or perception) upon zone entries. That is why the team looks so sharp during certain stretches and then seems to fall back to their old ways. As the games go on, I see it less and less and that is encouraging. The two players struggling the most with it are Stoll and, to my surprise, Doughty.

        I hold no negative perceptions or predictions about the next 4 months. I think we will only get better as the players gain the confidence that shall come with time. That is not to say I would not like a left wing, especially with the indefinite loss of Simon Gagne (I am saving that “I told you so” for Surly) but that is a different topic.

        • The two players struggling the most with it are Stoll and, to my surprise, Doughty.

          … Doughty this season for Murray had 2 goals and 10 points in 28 games, and a -6 rating.

          For Sutter, Doughty has 1 goal and 9 points in 13 games, and a +6 rating, and that’s including last night’s game, which I felt was Doughty’s worst game this season.

          Now, for Stoll – he had 3 goals and 9 points in 33 games for Murray this season, and a +3.

          For Sutter, Stoll has 2 goals and 5 points in 13 games, and he’s even.

          I think it’s curious for you to mention these two players as “struggling the most” when they seem to me to be the ones that have so much to do with the increased scoring this team has put up since Sutter was hired.

          I think for players that are struggling, there’s Richards, who had 20 points in 25 games for Murray but has only 6 in 13 games for Sutter.

          As for what the rest of the season is going to bring, there’s no reason to believe this team shouldn’t make the playoffs, but I don’t see them finishing anywhere above 6th in the West. They do have a lot of road games coming up, but a lot of those games are against inferior opposition. The Kings will have no one to blame but themselves if they can’t earn a seat at the big boy table.

          I think the Kings would have their best shot at winning in the first round if they faced either St. Louis or Chicago. The Blues are a strong team and they’re obviously well coached, but I think the Kings’ D can keep St, Louis off the board enough to beat them. The Kings have had good success against Brian Elliott, as well. Chicago is ripe for an upset – their goaltending is suspect, and in my view, their defense can be worn down. It’ll be a tremendously exciting series, and it’ll probably go the full seven.

          • I think the final cut all comes down to games in hand. The Stars are the only threat from behind and most likely bump the Kings to eight by the end.

          • I think we’ve seen this with a few players, but upon coming back from concussion, they seem to be in a bit of a funk. Perhaps it’s being more hesitant, or they’re just not thinking as quickly and sharply. It seems like the latter for Richards.

            Richards’ play has been poor and he has been making cute plays that don’t work way too often. To be fair, he was doing this a lot earlier in the season and it wasn’t hurting him as much. Nobody called him out on it, even though to me it was clearly a problem he should fix.

        • We are getting into a wormhole here, but I just want to say quickly that those pointedly pointless point shots were an aberration, to me. I know it happened, I know it qualified as being apparently due to “shot mentality” but I think it is unlikely that Murray actually wanted that to be our only attack.

          I thought our entire offense became like the power play, but in all situations: ya know how sometimes you are screaming “shoot the damn puck” when they would make the endless perimeter passes? I thought that was the situation, being over-compensated at the blue line.

          I was a Murray supporter, but it fell apart. He had to go. It was his fault because he is the coach. But also, judging Murray by just the last few terrible weeks or months is like stepping into a divorce and judging someone’s family commitment by just the break-up scenario.

          I don’t totally disagree with your feeling that the players were more rigid under Murray, but I cite two major areas:
          (1) Under Murray, those guys won the 9 in a row, dominated top teams consecutively on many occasions, showed well in the playoffs when undermanned, and improved in the standings every year.
          (2) The actual turning point seemed to be between coaches when Stevens showed them a particular video session. I think it was Williams, or Brown and it Kills me I can’t remember right now which guy. I am paraphrasing when one of the players told Patrick O’Neal that they had a video session focusing on net presence, holding the puck or making plays (that was the gist) and that the session was pretty humbling for a lot of guys. Right after that, that game, Brown was often quoted about the team not changing systems so much as changing the way they held the puck, made plays, etc.

          Again, Murray had to go, he got tuned out, and could no longer reach the team. I just think his firing was kind of like changing goaltenders; sometimes it’s all the goalie, sometimes it’s all the team in front of the goalie that needs the ass-kicking, sometimes the whole team is flat. For me it was the last choice.

          • I look at Murray as I would a car mechanic. Once the car is tuned a driver is brought in to run the race.

            It appears that there are now two systems in place. Three men in and cycle or for when things do not click a reversion to the Murray perimeter system.

            I look at it this way. If we had faster wings on the dump it would be easier to set a man in the crease (instead of having to hit the half boards to intercept pucks)

    • Anything is possible ie. Tampa Bay last season. I’m scratching the last game against Edmonton and putting it on fatigue. But the way the team played against Calgary and can play that game on a consistent basis, imo the team was looking like a worthy contender to go deep.

      Who are the real contenders out west? Detroit, Vancouver, Chicago and maybe SJ? Can we get past them in a 7 game series? Hell yes. Will it be a sweep? Highly unlikely but, as you know, playoff hockey is always bite and scratch.

  10. I have no doubt that Kings will finish as the 7th or 8th seed. Or pretty much where they are right now. I don’t see Dallas climbing back into the picture with Benn out for 2 weeks now and I don’t really expect too much movement with all the tight 3 point games that typically happen down the stretch. I’d love to be wrong and see the Kings go on some wild tear, without the obligatory downturn, but I don’t really see it happening.

    • I’d rather see the team get in and “peak” during the playoffs rather than peaking too early, getting a good seed, then falling off. That to me is the epitome of frustration. Just ask any Caps fans.

      • The D has been very consistant for years. The coaching has changed, but there’s no reason to believe that the D will suffer any kind of drop off.

        If the offense could become just as dependable, we could be just as good as Boston, if not better.

        That peak would be nice, but balance is the only thing worth striving for. True balance leads to true confidence, and though I think luck plays its part, I’d rather count on tangible aspects of the game, then aspects the Kings have no control over.

        It might very well come down to luck, and I’d certainly take it, but I wouldn’t be completely happy with it when we could be so much more.

        • Dominick, clearly you and I don’t always see eye to eye on things, but I have to have a massive disagreement with you on this one.

          For me there is no comparison between the two at this point. Boston has a real substantial top six forwards. As you know, we’ve rotated players like Richardson into our top six. He would be fourth line in Boston.

          So, how bout we check out the following stats.
          Goals scored so far: Sequin (17) Bergeron (14) Lucic (16) Marchand (16) Horton (14) Kelly (13) Krejci (10)

          A dominating Chara on d.

          Kings: Kopitar (14) Richards (14) Brown (12) JW (8) SG (7… injured) and then there is Stoll w his (5)

          Top row adds up to 87. Bottom adds up to 60. But I’ll even make that 64 to imagine that Gagne would be up to 11 by now. That would be a difference of 23 goals amongst the top six. Then the B’s third line players like Pouliot and Dan Paille have 15 between the two of them. Meanwhile Lewis, Clifford and Penner have 6 between the three of them.

          The B’s have a true skilled sniper in Sequin. The Kings don’t have a sniper.

          They just aren’t playing at that level Dominick. I mean, of course I understand it’s not like you’re saying that Florida or Nashville could be as good as the Bruins. But it’s at this point in time really a bit of a stretch to say the Kings could be that good. On a few games basis…. perhaps. On a season long or playoff long basis I really don’t see that w/o a fairly substantial upgrade to the ‘quality’ up front.

          If you think I’m being difficult or something taking issue here, this is what was said only this week on the nhl.com power rankings: ‘Anze Kopitar’s 42 points in 46 games are nice, but they’re sensational when you consider he plays on a team that struggles to score three goals most nights.’

          Not certain they’d be saying that about anyone on the B’s.

          • Sorry, messed up my addition. It should have only been 90 goals for the B’s top six. Anyway, not a big difference. Math wasn’t my top subject.

          • I imagine since the Kings are now sending 3 men deep and activating the D more often a little sag on defense is to be expected.

            I like looking at head to head stats. A good example is the Edmonton Game. Prior to the game ithe round numbers looked like this:
            Kings had 45 less goals then Edmonton yet had over 350 more shots on the season.

          • Your comparing offensive numbers to a team that plays a well designed offense. Put those guys on the Kings, and not one of them would outscore Kopi. I know many like you believe if we just had the offensive players to compete, we’d win more. That does help, but this team is deeper than Columbus, and scored less.

            The problems with the Kings is that they are too relient on defense. That is not my own personal break down but every analyst across the hockey world.

            If you can’t see that, then we don’t even have a middle of the road to meet at.

          • Look Dom. You tend to go to these extremes every time we see things differently “if you can’t see that then” it’s hopeless.

            Let’s just leave it at this ok? I live back east and so tend to see a lot of the quick highlights from teams back east. I watch how the Bruins score goals and very often they aren’t of the greasy variety. Very often they are but quite often not. I’ve seen both Marchard and Sequin, and they have what I would call ‘a touch’ around the net. That’s probably why Sequin was touted to go No. 1 in the draft but ended up No. 2.

            So to answer your points…. no, I actually don’t think a player like that would plummet to 8 goals in the first half from 17 in same period if he were on the Kings. It’s essentially the same discourse we’ve had before.

            I’ll try my best to put it in number terms. You Seem (to me, and of course I could be way off in this assessment) to feel like let’s say 65% of the Kings ‘offensive issues’ stem from the type of game they play. Me, I feel like 65% of their issues stem from the players they have up front. So, no I can’t say that you put Lewis (for instance) on the B’s and he’d all of a sudden have 9 goals in the first half.

            But I allow that I could be wrong.
            Also, last year during the finals a lot of people were saying that the Kings and the Bruins were very similar in terms of how they were designed and the type of approach that they have to the game. If that’s in fact true (and to me, you’re saying that the Kings play a more defense oriented game), then I don’t understand why the difference in offensive numbers.

            That’s all. Look, I’ll say it differently and you can feel absolutely free to disagree if you wish. I think Peter Chiarelli has done an outstanding job of drafting and developing and trading for forwards. See Horton (trade) and all the rest on the roster.

            I think DL has done what I’ll generously call an average job of drafting and developing and trading for forwards (save the trade for Mike Richards and perhaps Justin Williams who has been good at times, and not so good at times).

            NOW, let me say that I just reread part of your post where you say that the Kings rely too much on defense and that analysts agree. I Agree Too!! But the point is, that one of the reasons they have to do that (imo) is because I’ll say they don’t have the horses on the wings. The only truly consistent winger that I see on this team is Brown. If he doesn’t score, which other winger can one count on to score? None really as I see it. It doesn’t mean that no other winger ever scores. It means that they lack balance – but you had actually said that in your post way above….. so we do agree. You see? We just disagree on ‘amounts’….if that makes any sense.

            I know this team is deeper than Columbus but scores less….. and that’s 100% accurate. But then let’s compare their potential to teams who are well above Columbus. Just not sure I see Right Now the potential as currently constructed to challenge the Bruins. That’s a whole lot of goals they’d have to make up to be at a Stanley Cup winning goal.

            But you do, and I hope that the team feels the same way that you do. I feel there is a good reason why the Bruins won the Cup last year and could likely end up in the finals again. Meanwhile, if we’re being realistic, and a lot of posters are….. we’re asking if it’s possible that the Kings can get in the playoffs and win a round.

      • I agree…looking back it is often the middle of the pack teams that surge in the playoffs.

        • True. They do surge. But to Win the Cup is another story altogether.
          2011 – Boston (were known to be a very good team… not mid pack)

          2010 – Chicago (tremendous talent up front, Norris winner on d…. for sure not mid pack)

          2009 – Crosby and Malkin

          2008 – Detroit

          2007 – Anaheim, picked by THN before the season to win the cup

          2006 – Carolina….. finally, a mid pack team that won the Cup. But not something I’d count on.

          All of that said, I do see your point. But I think what everyone here wants is for the Kings to become a team that can regularly challenge the elite teams, and not a sort of .520 team that can often beat the elite teams.

          Really boils down to what we all want. I’ve never met Scribe or Surly, but I’ll bet ya anything that they want this team to be a team that can truly challenge on a regular basis for the Cup.

          Btw, I’m not trying to be contrary. I’m just attempting to take a look at where the Kings are now, and what’s needed for them to get to the next level.


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