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The Kings Are a Big Disappointment
I can’t take it anymore. I spent most of 2011 watching the Dodgers stink it up at the Ravine, and now here I sit in the coldest arena in the country watching the Kings stink it up on the ice.
On this Saturday night, the Kings honored Bernie Nicholls who set the franchise record of 70 goals in the 1988-89 season. As he modestly said before the STAPLES Center crowd about that season playing with Wayne Gretzky, “That year Wayne filled the Forum, and I entertained it.”
Well ten miles to the northeast and 23 seasons later, the Kings would gladly give up their collective left testicle for anyone who can generate offense like that. Since the Kings defeated the Anaheim Ducks in the home-and-home series on Nov. 16 and 17, the Kings have gone 3-5-1 and playing only one superb game against the San Jose Sharks on Nov. 28. They’ve scored three goals only once in that nine-game span and are currently on a three-game losing streak including one against the Ducks.
Perhaps whatever the Ducks suffered from was contagious.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this. When the team added Mike Richards and Simon Gagné during the offseason, it was supposed to be a Renaissance of offense in Los Angeles. Little angels playing Handel’s “Messiah” were supposed to hover over the STAPLES Center as the Kings supplemented their already tight defense with a more potent offense. The Kings were supposed to be fighting for a top seed in the Western Conference.
“Look around us,” Dustin Brown said. “I think we have what it takes in this room regardless who is in or out of the lineup.”
Instead they are fighting to tread water with only Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown and Mike Richards putting in consistent performances game after game (and Richards has been out since Dec. 3 with a concussion!) Drew Doughty after his lengthy holdout has only been seen in penalty boxes. Gagné hasn’t been heard from for about a month. Jack Johnson has shown some moments of brilliance only to regress back into a player who can’t locate the net to save his life. A more in-shape Dustin Penner has been in and out of the lineup with injuries.
And tonight in the Kings 2-1 loss to the Dallas Stars, things just got more ridiculous. They committed four penalties in their offensive zone.
“Those are needless penalties, and I think we took a few of those tonight,” Dustin Brown commented.
The Kings power-play still remains a joke getting only three shots-on-goal in three power-plays on the night. They can’t score 5-on-5 although they get good chances even-handed.
The Dodgers I lived with since I expected them to be bad all season. In fact with an 82-79 record they really outperformed the 72 wins I thought they would muster. But the Kings were something else. They were supposed to be a juggernaut. They were supposed to be one of the more dynamic teams in Southern California across all sports.
But what we get is night after night of disappointment. Night after night of a quiet third period that could rival the cricket chirps at Lakers’ games. Night after night of fans chanting “We Want Offense” from the upper concourse levels.
The Kings are a disappointment, and if they're not careful they might wind up like the Ducks.
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