The Los Angeles Kings ’ scoring woes continued to plague them in this game. It was a long night on Figeuroa and things only went from bad to worse.
Somehow, their special teams had a strange, reverse night in that they managed two power play goals but gave up a brutal shorthanded goal and a power play goal to New York. That’s just special teams, doesn’t even get to 5v5.
Yes, despite the New York Islanders playing the night before, it was the Kings who came out looking sleepy and disinterested through much of the game. The first period wasn’t so bad if you look past the early goal from Casey Cizikas. After that, Kings poured on the shot attempts and did a pretty good job keeping the Isles at bay. Late in the period, rookie call up Sheldon Rempal, drew a slashing penalty from Leo Komarov and this time, it only took eight seconds before they became the final team in the National Hockey League to score with the man advantage. That’s right, folks, Tyler Toffoli, assisted by one Drew Doughty, actually scored on the power play. That seemed to breathe life into them as they tested Robin Lehner a few more times before the first 20 minutes ended.
Okay, so far not so bad. Tied 1-1 after one isn’t the worst thing ever. In fact, the game was mostly close up until the third period. The Isles scored twice more in the second period while the team’s defense largely abandoned Jonathan Quick and left him to fend for himself. The third period, though, was a mess.
A brief summary:
They got an early power play opportunity which wasn’t going anywhere until Komarov accidentally flipped the puck over the glass for a 5v3. It worked! Jeffery J. Carter, a large, beautiful man, brought the Kings within one. And then...
Carter and Doughty were kind of standing around idly doing nothing when Ilya Kovalchuk turned the puck over to Valtteri Filppula who easily steered around the pylons in his way and scored a shorthanded goal. Matt Martin didn’t waste any time and he scored his second goal of the game just a minute later.
It didn’t get any better. Komarov, who was kind of having a so-so night to that point, joined the goal scoring party and the Kings yanked Quick, replacing him with Jack Campbell. Poor Campbell allowed a goal on the first shot. It was hardly his fault as Andrew Ladd tipped a Scott Mayfield shot (no, I don’t know who he is, either) and there wasn’t much Campbell could do. Still. When you allow seven goals to the hapless Islanders, it’s pretty bad.
In short, the Kings started out like:
And in the second period were like:
But ended up like:
Kovalchuk had his worst game in a Kings uniform yet, but the entire team was pretty bad. Adrian Kempe took two penalties and no one could seem to generate any kind of chemistry with their linemates. Absolutely all of the skaters looked completely lost. Was it rust? Were the Isles just capitalizing on their great fortune? It’s hard to say. Helene Elliott offers some food for thought:
Did Kings’ management make a mistake in thinking they could win the Cup again with this core? Mistake in not getting young/fast enough? Overestimate their young forwards? Lots to think about here.— Helene Elliott (@helenenothelen) October 19, 2018