For the past year and a half, I’ve been running on fumes of good faith. Every game, well or poorly played, I believed the Kings could win every game, right up until the final buzzer. That confidence was well earned over two fantastic playoff runs, but it is now bereft.

In the midst of our second five-game losing streak of the season, I find myself watching the team in the way I used to; gritting my teeth towards inevitabilities and futilities.

What a fucking bummer.

I don’t have answers on how to end this. Trades and benchings and lines and systems float through my head and they all circle back to two simple words: Play better.

I wouldn’t be opposed to a major shake-up of sorts. I wouldn’t be opposed to some minor tweaks to the team. I think something has got to give and I do not like reading that Kopitar’s attitude is “everybody knows we’re going in the wrong direction right now, and that we have to turn it around.” No shit, Mr. tar. As they say, knowing is half the battle. It doesn’t always equate to doing.

The team needs a kick in the pants, and that can come in a multitude of ways from several places, but it needs to start at the top. It was the players job to fix a month ago. It was the team’s captains job 2 weeks ago. It was the coaches job last week. Now it’s Lombardi’s. That can mean as much as a big trade to the core of the team, or as little as installing a breathalyzer in a few player’s cars. It usually doesn’t, but in this case, shit does flow uphill. A playoff team can sustain one prolonged losing streak per season. Two is hard to recover from.

Any more sliding down the standings and the possibility of missing the playoffs becomes very real. While these players have earned the chance to turn the ship around on their own, there is no sign that it will happen soon as this skid is not a sudden turn of events, but a gradual sanding down to the nubs.

I retain some semblance of former confidence that the team will rebound and win tonight against the Sharks. But even if that happens, one win doesn’t cut it. Perhaps the upcoming Olympics has something to do with it. What optimist in me is left wants to believe that and once it passes the team’s fire will be reignited. Only time will tell.

It’s too bad I’m not religious. Maybe I’d have had some experience trying to keep faith in the face of depressing evidence.