Nights like Thursday are reminders of how far off the Kings have drifted.
A team that stamped its mini-dynasty on defending the net and taking care of the puck can’t break the puck out to save its life at times.
That was again evident in a 5-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. The Kings didn’t have cohesion in the beginning and end of the game, and many of their goals allowed were due to turnovers.
Rinse and repeat. How long this can continue, at nine losses in the first 12 games, without some major change is seemingly the only question going forward.
Here’s what we learned:
These are veteran errors: Derek Forbort had the puck taken away by Travis Konecny and again by Jordan Weal, which resulted in a goal. Dion Phaneuf made a pass from his end that was intercepted at the blue line.
On and on it goes for the Kings, whose defensemen were charged with seven giveaways. These are largely by their veterans, one of many disturbing trends.
“I think we turned pucks over that turned into opportunities in our net, and we didn’t get pucks deep, moved our feet and we didn’t create opportunities,” coach John Stevens said.
“[We were] a step slow with the puck and a step slow checking to get the puck back. [It’s] too much time in your zone and too many bad things happen.”
The Kings often look stagnant at both ends of the ice and have made mediocre teams look like they have a powerhouse forecheck. Twelve games in and there’s no end in sight.
“The effort was there,” Anze Kopitar said. “Everybody cares. Everybody plays hard. We’ve just got to do it better. That’s the bottom line.”
Just shoot the puck: It’s commonly referred to as getting too cute instead of putting rubber on the opposing goalie. The Kings admit to passing too much, especially on the power play, and that happened again Thursday.
Tanner Pearson got the puck in front of the net and passed it to Tyler Toffoli. The Kings couldn’t convert 95 seconds of a two-man advantage in the first period, and Philadelphia turned around and scored the first goal.
The Kings went 1-for-5 and are 6-for-43 on the power play. The Flyers’ penalty killing unit was ranked 30th.
“It’s a fine line on the power play between trying to do too much and doing the easy thing,” Jeff Carter said. “Usually the easy thing works. So we’ve got to get working on it.”
This is an epic schedule fail: The Kings are set up nicely with seven straight games at home, following a run of non-playoff teams on the road. But the Kings are 1-1 on this home stand and their record against non-playoff teams since Oct.18 is 1-3 (this doesn’t count the Flyers, who made the playoffs).
So what amounted to points for the taking on the calendar has translated to seven points total in 12 games.