LA Kings Running Out Of Time To Right Ship

LOS ANGELES — With thirteen games remaining in their 2009-10 regular season, the Los Angeles Kings find themselves headed in the wrong direction at the worst possible time.

The reason? Poor starts and shoddy, lazy play have been glaring problems for the Kings, who are just 3-4-1 since the Olympic break.

But even before that, when the Kings set a record with a nine-game winning streak from January 21 through February 6, 2010, the Kings got off to slow starts in most of those contests and had to struggle for come-from-behind wins.

Indeed, slow starts have been a problem throughout the season.

“We just need to get our game in order,” said head coach Terry Murray. “We need to come for sixty minutes and know the importance of every play, every pass, every face-off.”

“Getting through the middle of the ice to get your game established in the early part is critical and that seems to be something we’re not buying into throughout this year,” added Murray. “We have to figure that part out.”

69 games into the season, one would think they would have that part figured out by now. Nevertheless, the evidence, or, perhaps more appropriately, the carnage left behind, stands out after embarrassing efforts against the Montreal Canadiens, the Chicago Blackhawks and two at the hands of the Nashville Predators.

The poor efforts and lazy play have resulted in the Kings losing far too many loose puck battles, not getting traffic and pucks to the front of the net, poor puck support through the neutral zone and sub-par defensive zone play.

“Especially at a critical time of the year, we were up against a team that’s right behind us, it’s unacceptable how we started the game,” said right wing Dustin Brown following his team’s 3-2 loss to the Predators on March 14. “It’s unacceptable to say the least....

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