Hockey players are never ones to reveal injuries. So we ask after the final game of the season. Dustin Brown said he had a torn PCL in his left knee, which won’t require surgery but which did affect his mobility. Justin Williams was playing with a partially separated shoulder. Had Anze Kopitar been around, the same would’ve been asked of him but didn’t see him postgame. Definitely looked like something was wrong for Kopitar. Then there were all those injuries and concussions we did know about. But again, at this time of the year, most players are battling through something. The Kings seemed to have more of their fare share of things.
Here’s an excerpt from my column in today’s LA Daily News:
The Kings are on the road again.
Just can’t wait to get on the road again
The Kings are complete busts on the road this season. Last year, they wrote the manual on how to win playoff games on the road, where they lost just once in winning the organization’s first Stanley Cup championship.
This playoff season, the Kings are totally befuddled on the road, where they’ve lost every game but one.
The Kings’ season can come to a crashing halt Saturday in Chicago, where Game 5 is an elimination game for them in the Western Conference finals.
Chicago leads the best-of-seven series 3-1 and can advance to the Stanley Cup Finals with one more win. The Kings would need to win three consecutive games to advance, and two of those would be on the road.
If their season were to end today, it would be fitting for the Kings if it happened the road, because that’s where most of their debacles have happened.
In their eight road games, the Kings have scored 11 goals, averaging 1.4 per road game. It’s amazing the Kings have even come this far.
Really, the Kings don’t score much at home, either, and are averaging just 2 goals per game this postseason. Goaltender Jonathan Quick has made up for the paltry offense, most of the time.
But they established a particularly disturbing trend by taking their road play to a new low. Quick has played well, but when he didn’t, the Kings were pummeled 4-2 in Game 2 in Chicago.
And because Quick was shaky in net in Thursday’s 3-2 loss to Chicago, the Kings have too many deficiencies to count.
This could be it, today. The Kings could be down to their last game.
And unfortunately for them, it’s on the road.
“We’re not happy with the situation we’re in, but they’ve got to win four games,” captain Dustin Brown said. “Right now they’ve only won three. We still have life We’re not going into a do-or-die game thinking we’ve struggled on the road. We’re going into this game thinking we need to win. We have to find a way to grind it out. Your record on the road doesn’t play into a game like (today).”