What we learned from the Kings’ 2-1 shootout loss to the Islanders
What we learned from the Kings’ 2-1 shootout loss to the New York Islanders at Staples Center on Thursday:
The Kings’ offense isn’t clicking on a consistent basis
No great news there, but it’s something to monitor. Coach Darryl Sutter singled out center Anze Kopitar and winger Marian Gaborik for not generating much offensively on Thursday, but those two forwards weren’t alone.
Still, the Kings have worked their way out of scoring droughts in past seasons. And, presumably, General Manager Dean Lombardi still has the Columbus Blue Jackets on his speed dial for a potential rescue after having plucked Jeff Carter and Gaborik away from them in previous trades for scoring help.
The Kings’ power play needs revamping
Or at least, a boost of energy. The Kings were scoreless in four advantages on Thursday, the fifth time in six games they’ve failed to score a power-play goal. In that span they’re one for 20. No team with Drew Doughty on the point should struggle that much. When his teammates stand around, as they too often do, he feels like he has to do too much and doesn’t play to his strengths.
It is early in the season; adjustments are coming
Truly, it is. The Kings are 7-4-3 now, 14 games into this season; they were 9-5-0 at the same point last season and were 6-5-3 at the same stage in 2011-12, and they went on to win the Stanley Cup in both of those seasons. Lombardi and Sutter have shown themselves to be skilled at making adjustments as needed and at getting the most out of what they have. Most important, the defensive foundation that is behind all of the Kings’ success is still there.
Asked if the Kings are in a slump after winning only one of their last six games, Sutter was emphatic that they are not.
“Not really. We played really well tonight,” he said Thursday. “We played really well the last game. Why would you look at the last six? I mean, we just finished going into Dallas and winning, we came and got a point against a really good team tonight.”
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