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Horrid Play By Kings Brings Up Scary Questions

This is what the Kings and Kings' fans hope to see a lot at the STAPLES Center this season. (LAist/Jimmy Bramlett)
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The Kings lost to the Phoenix Coyotes 1-0.

I’m trying to think of positive things to say about this game, and unfortunately the only thing I could come up with was that Dodgers’ pitchers and catchers report to spring training on Tuesday. Being Dodgers’ Pride Night, Dodgers’ General Manager Ned Colletti dropped the puck in a pregame ceremony.

To summarize the game, the worst power-play team in the league somehow scored a power-play goal against the fourth-best penalty-killing team. Kings’ goaltender Jonathan Quick didn’t have too much work to do making only 20 saves in the loss.

While the Kings recorded 28 shots-on-goal, the only part of the game that was remotely interesting were the three fights and 40 penalty minutes in a tortuous 47-minute first period. Included those penalty minutes was Coyotes’ goalie Mike Smith bodyslamming Anze Kopitar down to the ice. Who needs a 28-save shutout when you can get in a little bit of WWE action? Perhaps this was the best thing to do especially with the announcement this week that season ticket prices are going to increase for next season.

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But we’re past anger and disappointment. We’ve been there with this team before with the sacking of head coach Terry Murray. When Darryl Sutter came on board, it looked as if the offense was starting to wake up. But in the past month they’ve regressed past their point of previous futility.

All of this brings up some questions for the Kings.

1. Who knew Michal Handzus, Ryan Smyth and Wayne Simmonds provided that much offense for the team? The Kings were supposed to be improved in that area the offseason trade for Mike Richards, but they are now a league-worst 2.10 goals scored per game.

2. Will Rick Nash solve the Kings’ problems? With the trade deadline coming around in 10 days, it’s obvious the Kings are buyers. As General Manager Dean Lombardi told’s Dan Arnitt while channeling the film Midnight Run, “Take a wild guess.”

The obvious target for the Kings is Columbus Blue Jackets right-winger Rick Nash, and it is rumored that the Kings and the New York Rangers are the two teams left standing. However it is also known that Nash doesn’t want to come to Los Angeles. If he watched this game, who could blame him?

It’s a broken record with these players. “Again, we have to find a way to score goals and win games,” Anze Kopitar said after this loss. Can one player magically erase this quagmire?


3. Now here’s another question that will probably be the scariest for the Kings organization. With the ineptitude the Kings have been showing all season long, who really cares?

Like I mentioned earlier, the Dodgers and Angels report to spring training over the next week. The Clippers are exciting fans seeing if they can meet their potential. Seeing whether the Lakers will succumb to their age is quite intriguing. Hell, even the Ducks are starting to make some noise, only eight points away from the Kings for the final playoff spot.

So who beside the diehards are going to put up with this awful play?

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I’ll just say that while the Kings were on their road trip, I might have watched all of two periods of their games. Sorry, the Clippers and Lakers were far more interesting than the 2.1 goals per game the Kings were showing.

If the Kings don’t get it together soon, apathy will soon take over. And with the increased ticket prices to come, who will care enough to show up?

At least the Clippers are relevant winning up in Portland 74-71.

Phoenix Suns at LA Lakers. 7:30 p.m. FSWest, ESPN, AM 710 KSPN.
Anaheim Ducks at New Jersey Devils. 4:00 p.m. FS Prime Ticket, AM 830 KLAA.
Valparaiso Crusaders at LMU Lions. 6:00 p.m. ESPNU