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Kings Drop 4th Straight Game


Los Angeles — On a cold fall night here in L.A., the Kings got colder, dropping their fourth straight game in a 3-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins Saturday night at the Staples Center. Chris Kunitz scored the tying goal with 2:57 left in regulation. He then went on to score the winning goal, beating Jonathan Quick with a fast wrist shot to win the game in a fourth round shootout.

The Kings drop to second to last place in the Pacific Division, edging out the Anaheim Ducks by one point. While numerically only out of first place by 3 points, this loss is troubling. The Kings played a solid defensive game throughout. But what the Kings had on defense they lacked enormously on offense. To some degree this is a credit to the Penguins defense. The Kings couldn’t get anything going because the Penguins were doing their job and successfully holding the Kings off. But as Kings players say a million times in their off ice and in between period interviews, “you gotta find ways to generate goals.”

The biggest issue of the night that I had with the Kings was their passing. I see a continued pattern of two things. One, long passes up ice that the Kings seem to love. These long passes are designed to generate breakaway’s and possible 2 on 1 situations. The problem is, it’s just not working. The Kings are trying to pass too far up ice, through traffic, at bad angles. The Kings simply cannot connect with their players with all that traffic. Can we try something else please?

The second is the Kings short passes. The Kings can’t seem to pass between their own net and the blue line without turning the puck over. This reminds me of the scene in “The Mighty Ducks” where Emilio Estevez makes all the players pass eggs back and forth between each other and keeps repeating “soft hands!” I’m seriously considering calling Coach Murray with this suggestion.

I keep repeating to myself and others that we are still early in the season. That the Kings still have plenty of time to fix the mistakes they are making and turn things around. But in the back of my mind I keep wondering if that is just an excuse I keep making for the Kings continued losses. Of course only time well tell if that is true. But the Kings have to get it together NOW or there is no hope for even reaching playoff land. As of the opening of the season, the new Kings slogan is: “The Time Is Now.” I couldn’t agree more.

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