So You’re Telling Me There’s a Chance

Doughty Lloyd split

This statement is intended with as much optimism as there was for Lloyd Christmas when he first spoke it.

Looking Ahead: No Time Like the Present – Crowned Royal

The average record of teams the Kings face in February: 23-21-6.

Average record [of teams the Kings face after February] = 27-18-5 … Take out the game against Columbus (who the Kings have actually lost to this season), and it goes to 28-17-5, which is one point shy of both San Jose and Pittsburgh. This will be quite the mountain to climb if the Kings have a sub-par February.

Would 5-7-2 qualify for ‘sub-par’? That would be generous.

As a matter of fact, February was almost a catastrophic failure for the Kings. But like so many Edmonton teams of recent past, they may they may have sucked their way into the lottery.. but instead of the Eberle, Hall, or Nugent-Hopkins lottery (any of which will likely prove more fruitful the next ten years) the Kings hit the Jeff Carter lottery.

The team’s scoring woes were so bad, Dean Lombardi was willing to take on a contract that will no doubt be worse in 7 years than Dustin Penner’s current deal. And it will be for a multiple seasons. But enough about week old topics.

The Kings only dodged digging themselves an inescapable grave due to conference foes’ similar futility. The Sharks had a miserable road trip and the Blackhawks couldn’t keep a puck out of their net. Also, Anaheim stumbled after putting together an incredible string of wins to get back into relevancy. Calgary continued to struggle. Dallas and Colorado have been up and down.

These are the only reasons the Kings weren’t sellers last Monday.

The fact that the Kings haven’t completely fallen out of the playoff race despite losing nine games in February coupled with a potentially competent offense going forward, there may be providing a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

So you’re telling me there’s a chance?

Yes. If the team can figure out how to score consistently. Not even the four goal outpourings we’ve become accustomed to. Two goals a night would do just fine IF-

Quick continues playing Vezina caliber hockey. And if Sutter realizes the error of playing him too much.

That shouldn’t be a lot to ask with the average forward salary on this team at $2.75 MM (3.08 without the recent rookie call-ups), when the player carrying the team squarely on his shoulders the entire season is making $1.8 MM. It’s time everyone else stepped it up. Like they keep saying they need to.

And I hate to put pressure on a 22 year old, but if he didn’t want it, he shouldn’t have held out of training camp to be the highest paid player on the team. Drew needs to start making things happen. He is supposed be what Erik Karlsson is. In fairness, Doughty has been very good defensively. But the Kings have Rob Scuderi for that. And Willie Mitchell. And even Matt Greene.

I’m not even saying he needs to score goals. It’s a nice bonus, but Doughty needs to create more offense- start rushes, gain zone entry, make plays from the blue line, set up scoring chances. He should be answering the bell for the offensive vacuum as much, if not more than anyone. He put himself in this position.

The last thing the Kings need is another player kicking back collecting a paycheck. Anymore horse-shit and that locker room will be really foul.

It’s not going to be easy, but the road to the playoffs is doable. Unfortunately, as much of a chore that will be with the difficulty in the schedule ahead, just making the playoffs won’t cut it with the fan base in Los Angeles anymore.

To make a successful showing, the Kings will not only need to get in the playoffs, but win a series. To do that, a finish better than seventh or eighth in the West would be far more ideal. Actually, the best option would be to win the Pacific Division. The Coyotes are in control at the moment, as they hold a five point lead and the Kings don’t play them again this season. But they do play the Sharks three times, including a home and home to end the campgain. If the Kings can win those three games, I guarantee they’ll at least come close to winning the division, as well as getting a little revenge for what could have been last April.

Otherwise, a first round match-up against Vancouver or Detroit will only prolong the improbable trek.

Comments
14 Responses to “So You’re Telling Me There’s a Chance”
  1. Player X says:

    Hopefully the team is coming around at just the right time…maybe this week of practices will help Carter settle in, and it gives Sutter one final chance to add in more of the type of plays where Voynov snuck down back door on the PP. I don’t expect Sutter to abandon the deffensive style that is his hallmark, but there have been some, a few, tweaks to open up offensively and I am hoping he can sprinkle in a few more this week. Starting Saturday, as you said, it’s gonna be do or die, for the Kings and also almost every team the Kings face. Crunch time…

  2. J.T. Dutch says:

    player carrying the team squarely on his shoulders the entire season

    … You might want to stop kidding yourself about this.

    • crownedroyal says:

      Which part exactly?

      • J.T. Dutch says:

        … OK, whatever. Have fun.

      • crownedroyal says:

        I don’t get it. You don’t think Quick has carried the Kings all season?

      • J.T. Dutch says:

        I don’t get it.

        … You sure don’t.

        You don’t think Quick has carried the Kings all season?

        … He hasn’t, so no.

      • crownedroyal says:

        You do mean the Los Angeles Kings, right? Im just trying to figure out how someone can attempt to argue that Quick hasn’t carried the team this season. I’m endlessly fascinated by this notion. Please consider this your forum to enlighten my ignorant soul. The floor is yours.

      • J.T. Dutch says:

        … As long as Quick continues to play behind arguably the best defensive team in the league, and as long as Quick continues to consistently get outplayed by the goalies who oppose him from game to game, he’s not carrying anything or anyone but himself.

        You can’t have it both ways. The Kings are poor offensively partially because of the attention they pay to defensive positioning. Without that attention to defense, Quick would not have the numbers he has. Very rarely are the Kings outshot or outchanced. If Quick played as well on most nights as his opposing netminder, the Kings would be a far more successful team.

      • crownedroyal says:

        The fact that Quick has been outplayed on a few occasions does not refute the fact that he has been the Kings most valuable and consistent performer.

        The only player I could even comprehend an argument being made for would be Rob Scuderi. But the team doesn’t lose if Rob Scuderi makes one mistake in the 20:23/game he plays. The team does often lose if Quick makes a mistake in the 60:00/game he plays, which would perhaps enhance the perception of Quick failing the team.

        The other reason it may seem Quick gets ‘outplayed’ is that the Kings have a frequent knack for making opposing goaltenders look better than they are. Lack of any forwards acting as dynamic game changers combined with the majority of shots taken from outside the prime scoring area will do that.

        The Kings do often outshoot opponents, but it is less often that they outchance.

        I agree that Quick usually has easier saves to make in games than many other goalies that play on teams that do not have the focus on team defense. But the reason is that most of those teams don’t count on winning every game 1-0 or 2-1. They can give up a goal or two here or there; the Kings cannot.

      • J.T. Dutch says:

        They can give up a goal or two here or there; the Kings cannot.

        … You were saying?

      • crownedroyal says:

        The Kings score 4 goals one night and all my points refuted! Drats! They have risen to a whopping 2.12 GPG which clearly disproves that they can give up two goals no problem because 1 out of 10 games they will score more than that! Time to rethink my entire outlook on this season.

      • J.T. Dutch says:

        The Kings score 4 goals one night and all my points refuted! Drats!

        … The point is that the inherent flaw in saying a goalie’s carried the team on his back is over-simplistic and that it disregards all of the individual game situations.

        The Kings’ defense has been at least as good as Quick has been this season. They’ve allowed the 5th-fewest amount of shots per 60 minutes this season at 5-on-5. So, it’s a chicken-and-egg thing. Is it Quick being successful because his defense is so good, or is the defense looking good because Quick is successful?

        Since the defense has been as good as it is now for the last four years, and Quick has NOT been as good as he is now at any point in his career, forgive me if I lean toward the viewpoint that the defense is making life relatively easy for Quick this season. I’m not saying Quick’s not having a good season. He’s been very good. He earned his All-Star berth. I don’t think he’s carrying the team, though; not at all.

        The Kings do often outshoot opponents, but it is less often that they outchance.

        You have the luxury of saying, in effect, that most of the Kings’ shots are poor shots, and most of the opponent’s shots are not, but that isn’t based on anything but subjective opinion and bias – and I plainly disagree with you. The Kings have been done in by some tremendous saves over the course of this season, and the save percentage of opposing goaltenders against the Kings is freakishly high and frankly, it’s unsustainable.

        I’m not anti-Quick here. Jon has improved his game exponentially, and I’m happy for him. I simply believe he’s been overrated and overhyped in his three seasons here as the number one, and this season, that hype has been through the roof. I think that demeans the sensational work that the team has done defensively during this season and seasons past.

      • crownedroyal says:

        There is no refuting that the team is one of the best, if not the best overall defensive team in the league. There are defensively really no holes now (except maybe Justin Williams) anywhere in the lineup. Combine that with the coaching system that focuses on defense and it does make Quick’s life easier.

        Perhaps he has been overhyped this season, and perhaps the forwards deserve more credit than they get (myself included) for playing an overall sound game if not an offensively potent one. It is hard to discern whether Quick is good because his defense is or if he makes the defense look good by bailing them out for mental lapses (which has happened with regularity, albeit an infrequent one).

        We may have to agree to disagree on the offense’s ability. It is definitely subjective. But they do not seem to capitalize on opportunities like many other teams can in my mind. And maybe there is an inherent bias on my part that will take a lot to overcome after things like the Game 6 five minute power play failure.

        Here is an interesting stat that I just found (I had no idea they kept track of this): The Kings lead the league in shots missed: 884. The rest of the top 5? Winnipeg: 849, St. Louis: 846, Ottawa & Pittsburgh: 843. Does this stat really mean anything? I dunno. But it’s not very flattering.

        Still, I don’t see how Quick can be faulted when 10 of his 29 losses have been either 2-1 or 1-0. Of course he’s had off nights, just like every other goaltender (especially the ones that have played over 50 games already). Let’s break it down this way.

        Games Quick played in and allowed two goals or less: 22-16
        Games Quick played in which team scored three or more: 22-2

        Who here is holding up their end of the bargain?

  3. If Cloutier and Esberg are the goalies with the same defense, the Kings aren’t even close to a playoff spot.

    If there is a single player who could be counted on this season, it’s been Quick. No other single King has been as consistently good this season. Not even close.

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