Time running out for LA Kings?
There are still about 30 games to go but the Kings have slipped to 12th place (there are 8 slots in the playoffs per conference) and are simply not playing well or well for 60 minutes.
The team did not add any high level players to last year's team via trade or free agency. The feeling was this team had another championship run in them despite being a year older (most of the team is below age 30). Unfortunately, the team has looked sluggish at times. On other occasions they are strong for two periods but lose focus in the third period. The team has the most overtime losses, again another indicator of not having enough in the tank. As hard as it is to admit, the loss of Voynov to legal issues maybe a major factor. He was regarded as the #4 defenseman on the club. With him out, they have had to fit in some journeyman defensemen and the mainstays have had to spend more time on the ice. This domino effect may have weakened the defense especially in the third period when fatigue becomes a factor. And of course, the various injuries to various players adds to the worn down look of the team. Defense has been a strength of the Kings. Last year's squad that won the Stanley Cup allowed only 2.05 goals/game. This year's team is surrendering 2.59 goals/game.
Sustaining excellence is not easy. There is a reason why back-to-back championships are rare. Hoping they can pull it together.