LA Kings Plagued by Same Issues as Last Season

Jonathan Quick, LA Kings (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Jonathan Quick, LA Kings (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Like last year, the LA Kings can’t score goals, and can’t prevent them either.

Last season, the LA Kings finished last in the Western Conference with 71 points, and only Ottawa finished worse league wide with 64 points. This season has not been any different for the Kings, as they have only 41 points in 50 games and seem destined for another last place finish in the Western Conference. Two issues that have plagued them the last two years more than anything are scoring and goaltending,

The LA Kings can’t score

Especially over the last two seasons, the Kings have trouble putting the puck in the back of the net. They scored 202 goals last season, only more than Anaheim. Similarly, this season they have scored on 125 goals through 50 games, and again only more than again Anaheim.

The Kings have a pretty good strong first line with their captain, Anze Kopitar, anchoring it with young and promising left wing Alex Iafallo and right wing Tyler Toffoli. Those three players have 43, 27, and 27 points respectively leading the Kings. That is the good part.

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The bad part is their secondary scoring has lacked very much the last couple seasons. They still have Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, and Drew Doughty. However, these players are not what they used to be offensively. Each player has seen their offensive numbers drop since the 2017-2018 season and they are not getting any younger.

The Kings also do not have any third or fourth liners that can contribute regularly offensively. There are flashes in the pan here and there in certain games, but they are unable to sustain consistent offensive success. This hurts them in a plethora of games which leads them to losing by a lot of goals and brings us to their second problem: goaltending.

The LA Kings struggle at goaltending

The Kings have a two-time Stanley Cup winner in Jonathan Quick in goal. Though he played a few games for the Kings in the 2007-2008 season, he has been a mainstay in crease since the 2008-2009 season. Quick has been an effective most of his career, and was at his peak when the Kings won the cup in 2014.

However, save for a season when the Kings made the playoffs in the 2017 season, Quick has been on a major downturn since the cup win. Especially in the last two seasons, Quick has been below a .900 save percentage.

His positioning which was aggressive in challenging the shooter has still been his tendency later in his career. However, without good defensive positioning from his forwards and defense man Quick has been left hanging on one too many occasions leading to many odd man rushes and easy goals scored by the opposition.

Additionally, Jack Campbell has not played too well at all either. He has a bit higher save percentage than Quick this year .899% to .896%, but it has not made much of a difference. Campbell does not challenge the shooter as aggressively as Quick does, but his positioning in the net is not as good as Quick’s.

He tends to leave open spots in the sharp angles and gets beat by deflected shots rather easily. Campbell is still only 28 so he still has time to get better.

The Kings were one of the better teams of the 2010-2019 decade as they won two Stanley Cups and were able to amass solid championship teams. However, as the years have went on the Kings have lost their identity and are no longer the grinding out defense first team they used to be.

They have encountered difficulty in scoring and goaltending especially the last two seasons and it does not look like it will get better anytime in the near future.