The Los Angeles Kings were able to regroup and defeat a talented St. Louis Blues team at home. LA was coming off two losses to the San Jose Sharks and Calgary Flames.
LA jumped on the Blues early and held a 3 goal lead most of the game until the 3rd period when the Blues got 2 late goals. The Kings held on for a 3 to 2 victory and now have 38 points on the season. The Kings keep hanging around in the Pacific division, but recently have not been able to put a string of good performances together. They have dropped 4 out of their last 6 games and wasted opportunities to surpass division leader the San Jose Sharks. It is pretty evident what this Kings team must fix and that is creating more goal scoring opportunities and simply scoring more goals.
LA currently sits in 3rd in the Pacific Division and 6th overall in the Western Conference. The issue with the Kings is their lack of scoring and getting any consistency from their centers and wingers. LA is ranked in the bottom half of the NHL in both goals per game and power play percentage.
The Kings just don’t have that dynamic scorer that every team needs if they want to compete for a Stanley Cup. That burden usually falls on Jeff Carter, but he recently returned from a month long absence and is still getting his feet under him. LA has gotten help from one of their minor league call ups. Tyler Toffoli had 2 goals against the Blues and has 6 goals in 14 games played.
Jeff Carter has the talent to get on a goal scoring streak, but it may never happen this season. The Kings have been able to stay in the top half of the Western Conference by getting contributions from all over the team. 7 Kings have 5 or more goals and they do boast one of the best defenses in the entire league. LA is ranked 3rd in the NHL in goals allowed per game and backup goalie Ben Scrivens is allowing an average of 1.56 goals per game.
The Kings’ defense is keeping them afloat right now, but if they want to be atop the Pacific Division and even the Western Conference they must score more goals. Jeff Carter may eventually come around or someone else like Toffoli or Justin Williams will start scoring in bunches. There is no need to panic, but by the time the trade deadline comes around the Kings might want to trade for a goal scoring threat.
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