It is not a secret that the Los Angeles Kings offense has been far from where it needs to be for the majority of this season. In 24 games without Jonathan Quick, the Kings only scored 57 goals, for an average of about 2.4.
Somehow, they compiled a 13-8-3 record in those 24 games. In five games since Quick has returned the Kings are 3-1-1 despite only scoring 10 goals in five games.
The offensive woes seemed to reach an all time low Monday against Vancouver. The Canucks spent the majority of the game targeting some of the Kings’ star players in an attempt to retaliate for Dustin Brown injuring their goaltender, Roberto Luongo.
Brown was targeted, along with Drew Doughty. Jordan Nolan was getting punched at one point before he even got his gloves off to fight.
All of these penalties opened up the door for the Kings. In the first period alone, Los Angeles was on the power play for 8:13 in the opening period alone. They also had a 5-on-3 for another 48 seconds. Despite all of this, the Kings could not put up a goal in the period, and were actually outshot 8-7 in the period.
Fittingly, Brown scored the game-winning goal in the third period off of a beautiful pass from Anze Kopitar. Quick had a super human game and picked up his 27th career shutout, en route to a 1-0 victory for the Kings.
There are cries from fans for the Kings to do something about this now and make a trade to fix up their offense. They will need to make some kind of deal for sure, but the fix for right now needs to come from within.
There are a lot of guys playing well below their level of potential. Though Jeff Carter has 29 points (16 G, 13A), he has done so in spurts. If he consistently averages right around a point per game for the rest of the season, the Kings will already be a significantly better team.
Even more importantly, Mike Richards needs to start scoring some goals. There is no denying that he is one of the best playmaker in the game. He is second on the team with 24 assists, but only has six goals. Along with that, he has not scored a goal in 22 games. A slump like that is ridiculous for somebody with his talent level.
The playmaking ability will always be there, and there is no questioning that he belongs on the ice with one of the first two lines. However, for the Kings to make a serious run at the Stanley Cup, he will need to put the puck in the net and take some pressure off his line mates to do so.
Lastly, Doughty has also underperformed this season. He only has 24 points in 47 games. Though these numbers are not much different than his career average season, he is capable of much more. There are not too many defensemen in the league who can handle the puck at the level that Doughty does. He has the speed to get to where he needs to be and the power and accuracy on his shot to put up far better numbers.
However, his defense has improved every year and is at a level that it has never been. Defense is the most important part of his game, but he still needs to be putting up better numbers. When he is on the ice with the Kopitar-Carter-Dwight King line, he has the ability to basically be a fourth forward.
It remains to be seen what will happen at the March 5 trade deadline, but if these three guys can step up to the level that they can be playing at consistently, the Kings will not need to do much.