After losing 2-0 to the Maple Leafs on Thursday, the Kings have a back-to-back road trip to Montreal and Columbus.
The Kings, coming off their worst performance of the season, will face the Montreal Canadiens and the Columbus Blue Jackets on the road in consecutive games this weekend.
The Kings could not have done a worse job of balancing their offensive and defensive output on Thursday.
In sharp contrast to their strong all-around performance in Ottawa two nights earlier, they were shut out for the first time this season and allowed five goals.
We need to work this out. Anze Kopitar, the team captain, warned after a setback in Toronto that the club could not rely on the previous season.
Mistakes of varying severity occurred throughout the middle frame on Thursday.
A power-play goal, an odd-man rush goal, and a breakaway goal were scored in 66 seconds against the Kings.
They would give up another goal in the second period, waste a five-minute power play in the third, and lose by a score of 5-0 to the Maple Leafs’ frantic forecheck.
Toronto’s dominating play almost started from the opening faceoff and culminated in a game-winning goal in the middle period.
Three goals in a minute and a half, or however long it was, pretty much sums up the night for me.
“It’s unfortunate because we were done after the first two,” Coach Todd McLellan remarked. Since the Kings will be playing three games in four nights, Friday’s practice was canceled.
Their first opponent is the Canadiens, whose offense has been spearheaded by center Nick Suzuki and winger Cole Caufield’s pure goal-scoring touch.
Kirby Dach, a former top Chicago prospect, and Sean Monahan, who the Calgary Flames waived in a salary dump to make room for Nazem Kadri, have provided the Blackhawks with much-needed depth in the middle and up front.
Carey Price, the goaltender for the Montreal Canadiens, has only played in five games since leading his team on a miraculous run to the Stanley Cup Finals two years ago.
Although knee issues have been his main setback, Price enrolled in a player aid program last year with the National Hockey League and the NHL Players’ Association.
Shea Weber’s condition hasn’t helped matters, as Jake Allen and Samuel Montembeault have been splitting time in the net for Montreal.
He still has four years and $110 million left on his contract, but he hasn’t played at a high level in two seasons.
The Montreal Canadiens have been formidable despite playing in a tough division.
With 28 points, they would be in the hunt for a playoff spot in the Central Division and close in the Pacific, but they are now in sixth place in the fiercely competitive Atlantic.
Still, that’s a lot more than the Columbus Blue Jackets can say, since they’ve been among the NHL’s worst this year.
Columbus has allowed more goals per game than any other team, and only the Ducks have a worse goal differential.
Despite the fact that the Blue Jackets had a great draught and shocked the hockey world by signing Johnny Gaudreau, a winger from Calgary, in the summer, everything has gone wrong since then.
Despite Gaudreau’s team-leading scoring performance, he has been largely ineffective due to a slew of ailments.
The season is likely over for the team after star defenseman Zach Werenski had a season-ending shoulder injury last month, and star winger Jakub Voracek was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome and may not play again this season.
Source: LA Daily News