The Los Angeles Kings look to turn their season around tonight. The team plays in Dallas and this will be the start of our season-long coverage of the team that is based in El Segundo.
After winning two Stanley Cups the Kings have fallen on hard times. There had been some hope that this year would be the year that they rebound and head back towards hockey’s Holy Grail. Unfortunately the exact opposite has happened.
So, how bad is it?
Well so bad that the team had to hold a players-only meeting after their drubbing to the Buffalo Sabres at the Staples Center on Saturday afternoon. This came after their beating by the New York Islanders on Thursday.
Closed-door meetings are never good. The consensus after the meeting was that it wasn’t the coaches fault, that some of the players were not committed. Some had not been playing with the utmost intensity it takes to win in the National Hockey League.
The statement about the coaches is an interesting one. Although the season is young, coach John Stevens has a lot to prove. He came out of the Darryl Sutter era. That group won two cups but Sutter was finally let go after it was said the team had stopped listening to him. Stevens was suppose to turn all of that around. He has been given every opportunity to do so.
The team has brought in some players to help with that. The knock is that the core is too big and slow in a faster league now. The other problem is goal production on the bottom half of the roster. A lot of speed but they are having a tough time notching goals.
The game tonight in Dallas will be a turning point. It will be interesting to see which fork in the road the team takes.