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Kings cooling off, not getting results on road trip

February 28, 2023, 1:38 AM ET [1 Comments]
Ben Shelley
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Following a four-game winning streak after the All-Star Break, the Los Angeles Kings have cooled off a bit over their current road trip.

They've gone just 1-2-1 over their four road games and are set to end the trip tomorrow against the Winnipeg Jets. It’s not like they’ve been flat, but there have been mistakes and they just haven't been able to get the job done.

Against the Minnesota Wild, the Kings were the better team for most of the night, but just couldn’t convert. Then in the loss to New Jersey, Los Angeles blew two different leads, giving up a two-goal lead and after managing to pull back ahead, they gave up the tying goal in the final minute and lost in overtime.

The Kings did rebound with a good game against the Islanders but even in that outing, they let their opponent get within a goal of erasing a three-goal lead. But yesterday, while a lot of the attention went towards the K'Andre Miller/Drew Doughty incident, Los Angeles only gave up 21 shots and despite a good start to the game where they outplayed New York, they fell behind and couldn’t catch up.

The team’s scoring has dried up from their wild pace over their four-game winning streak. While they tallied 23 goals over that four-game stretch, they’ve only scored nine goals over this four-game road trip. Their power play also hasn’t had a ton of chances to operate, which has been a factor.

The team’s goaltending also hasn’t helped. While the Kings haven’t had a ton of bad goals against necessarily, they’re just rarely getting the saves when they need them. Los Angeles has a strong team, but not strong enough to outscore their goaltending struggles against a high quality of competition come playoff time.

The Kings haven’t had above a .900 save percentage from their netminders in any of their last six games. Pheonix Copley has created more stability but he’s only going to provide average goaltending at best.

Los Angeles is still prone to defensive issues, with a lot of their problems coming from turnovers in their own end. At the same time, goaltending is a clear weakness and going after a goalie seems like the most obvious move before the deadline. Whether or not that actually happens, however, is a different story. It wouldn’t be shocking to see them just wait until the offseason and look towards free agency instead.

Even despite the Kings’ less-than-stellar road trip, the good news is they're still benefitting from a very weak Western Conference. As of now, they still sit fourth overall in the West in points percentage.

The Kings have a good chance to end the road trip on a high note tomorrow, as they face the struggling Winnipeg Jets.


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