Here are three things wrong with the struggling Kings going into Monday’s Pacific Division grudge match against the San Jose Sharks:
1. They can’t score.
2. They can’t score.
3. They can’t score.
It really is that simple. The Kings have superb goaltending. Their defensive play is terrific. They work harder than most teams. They stick to their system. They’re all nice lads who love their mothers and fathers. They just aren’t getting it done when it comes time to putting the puck into the back of the other team’s net. Can’t win if you can’t score, as Kings coach Darryl Sutter might say. And the Kings aren’t winning these days. They’ve lost five in a row and 12 of their last 16.
Here are the grim facts: The Kings rank 26th in scoring in the 30-team NHL, averaging a paltry 2.38 goals per game. The teams behind the Kings? The Florida Panthers (2.31), the MInnesota Wild (2.28), the Calgary Flames (2.21) and the Buffalo Sabres (1.82). See any potential Stanley Cup champions in that group? No, neither to do I. This is nothing new for the Kings, however. It’s an ongoing problem that surfaced three seasons ago and was masked by the Kings’ runs to the Stanley Cup in 2012 and to the Western Conference finals in 2013.