Just to get it out of the way, the last team that won the
That bit of
They mustered little resistance in losing for the sixth time in seven games and ninth in their last 11. They never pressured goaltender
"We know we've got to come out and get points and we came out here and laid an egg," defenseman Matt Greene said. "We've got to erase this game and get our game back quick. We're in trouble right now. We've got to find a way to right the ship."
The details differed but the outcome Tuesday was familiar for a team that's 5-11-6 on the road:
"It's not good," team captain
No, it wasn't.
These aren't the cohesive, resilient Kings of recent seasons. "We're not the same team. It's quite a bit different team," Sutter said. "We've been able to manage it at home but [it's] a little bit more difficult on the road."
At home they can create matchups to get center Anze Kopitar away from opponents' checking lines or shutdown defensemen. Without an effective second-line center —
As Sutter noted, their personnel is different. Their defense has been stretched by losing premier penalty killer Willie Mitchell to free agency — which they anticipated because of salary-cap considerations — and by losing
Are they too tired and battered to play the "heavy" game that brought them success? Brown said the problem "starts with our emotion….We need everyone to be invested in the game emotionally and from there we can work on Xs and O's and all that but you need the emotion first."
Sutter was dubious when told Brown blamed a lack of emotion. "He did?" Sutter said. "He made a bad change on the first goal."
Sutter said there's enough time to recover, a process he said can begin with a victory Thursday at Florida. But time is growing short and they can't go to the well of "we've done it before" and expect to rally again. Holding team meetings won't do it, either.
"I don't think we need that. We've talked enough," Kopitar said. "Now we've got to do it on the ice."
If they don't, they'll join Carolina as another footnote in an inglorious history.