Kings Flop On the Ice to Visiting Stars
The Kings are starting to get into a lot of trouble. The inability to sustain any sort of intensity and discipline killed the Kings in their 4-1 loss to the Dallas Stars.
“We didn’t have any enthusiasm, any energy,” captain Dustin Brown said. “It’s disappointing coming after a day off.”
The Kings seemed to look all right in the first period when they held the Stars to seven shots on goal. Michal Handzus got a power play goal to put the Kings up 1-0 15:52 in the first period.
But then the penalties started getting called. Wayne Simmonds got called for tripping with 47 seconds left in the first, and Sean O’Donnell got called for interference with 18 seconds left. The Kings would stave off the Stars for the rest of the period, but once the second period started it was too late. Brenden Morrow scored on the 5-on-3 advantage 17 seconds into the second period to tie the game.
While the Kings have killed 44 of their last 48 penalties, they only killed three of seven penalties assessed tonight. In addition the Kings could only convert one of seven power plays getting only eight shots on goal.
“Our special teams were no good tonight,” head coach Terry Murray said. “Penalty killing was no good. The power play was no good. We don’t score on the opportunities, and that’s it.”
Brad Richards with his grillz-like mouthpiece scored twice in the second period. The first came at 4:20 after Jarret Stoll was called for a high sticking. The second came at 9:15 - merely ten seconds after Drew Doughty was called for tripping.
Steve Ott 48 seconds into the third period took advantage of a Ryan Smyth interference penalty to give the Stars the 4-1 lead.
“Quite frankly, it’s a lot of bullshit,” Brown said on the way the Kings have been playing as of late. “We need to take a look in the mirror as individuals and as a team.”
Brown is right. It is a load of bullshit with even the fans booing the team at the end of the game. One fan in section 315 screamed out, “You guys are so bad we’re talking about baseball up here,” as time expired.
Unfortunately Brown’s sentiment is not shared amongst his teammates or his head coach.
“We did not have the right attitude,” defenseman Rob Scuderi said. “It is no reason to be concerned. There is no reason to be panicked.”
“You guys are going the wrong way with this game tonight,” Murray told the media when asked whether it was time for urgency. “Everything was good. We started fine. Everything is fine.”
“Obviously our goal is to make the playoffs, but if we play like this we’ll be four-and-out,” Brown said. “We need urgency from every aspect of this team - coaches, players, trainers. We all need to get that mindset.
“There’s only so much you can talk about. Eventually you have to eat your words and go out there and do it. We’ve had talks lately, and again it’s bullshit.”
It’s easy to understand the anger Brown felt. He led the Kings with six shots and four hits while getting blasted by Jamie Benn late in the first period that left him cut under his left eye and bleeding. Other than Brown and Justin Williams, there really wasn’t a whole lot of good going on the ice.
However if there is no sense of urgency from the rest of the team, they’re completely delusional. Frankly what Murray said shocked me to silence.
The Kings will need to regroup and get on the same page since they head out once again on the road to the Minnesota Wild on Monday and Nashville Predators on Tuesday for another back-to-back affair.