The Alberta two-step made the Kings fall flat on their faces.
One night after a winnable game against the Edmonton Oilers slipped through their fingers, the Kings just couldn’t muster enough against the Calgary Flames.
They took 14 shots in a 4-1 loss at Scotiabank Saddledome to finish the three-game trip with back-to-back losses after a win against the Vancouver Canucks.
Here’s what we learned:
Calgary exposed their weary legs
Players will say it’s not an excuse, but the Kings played Thursday and it showed at times. All the notions about the Kings as an old and slow team seemed to be confirmed with Johnny Gaudreau skating free in their zone all night.
The pairing of Jake Muzzin and Alec Martinez was a combined minus-4 and was on the ice for an early goal against for the second straight night, although this was a goal that Cal Petersen would probably like to have back.
The Kings aren’t lacking for young legs. They have Austin Wagner, Sheldon Rempal and Matt Luff. But their big guns are getting exploited on nights like this.
The penalty killing continues to confound
It’s hard to believe the Kings owned the NHL’s top unit last season. They have already allowed 21 power plays goals after they yielded 39 goals all of 2017-18.
Assistant coach Dave Lowry was in charge of the unit last season and presumably still plays a big part, but new assistant Marco Sturm is also overseeing defense. Interim coach Willie Desjardins said the loss of Trevor Lewis isn’t a big enough factor to skew their numbers, which isn’t much of a consolation.
More change could be coming
General manager Rob Blake has made his dissatisfaction known and, with a 5-8 record under Desjardins, they’re beyond the evaluation process.
They have 16 losses. Last season, they didn’t take their 16th regulation loss until Jan.18. The one aspect to consider is the injuries they’ve incurred. The addition of Carl Hagelin can’t be properly judged with him shelved, and they are also without Lewis and Jack Campbell.