Los Angeles Kings: Inconsistency Keeping Them From Reaching Next Level

LOS ANGELES — Last season, the Los Angeles Kings tantalized their long-suffering fans with a 101-point regular season and their first playoff appearance since 2002. To top it off, they got off to a blazing hot start in 2010-11, earning a 12-3-0 record in their first 15 games.

But then the wheels fell off the cart in November, with the Kings losing seven out of eight games from November 15 to November 29.

The Kings followed that up with a 9-3-0 record in their next twelve games, only to lose their last four games, the latest being a 4-3 defeat at the hands of the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks at Staples Center in Los Angeles on January 3.

To paraphrase Garrett Morris, one of the original cast members of NBC’s Saturday Night Live…

Can you say inconsistent? I knew that you could!

Early in the season, the Kings were playing solid defense and were getting just enough scoring to put them firmly into the win column, despite the fact that their power play was virtually non-existent. But when they got into their big losing streak in November, their defensive zone coverage fell apart as well.

During their strong December, the Kings fixed their defensive zone issues and the power play started to heat up. Then, in games at Colorado (a 5-0 win on December 21), against the Anaheim Ducks (a 4-1 win on December 26), and at San Jose (a 4-0 victory on December 27), the Kings put in their best performances of the season, and in recent memory.

“In those games, the Kings played the best hockey I’ve seen them play in twenty years,” said Jim Fox, Kings television color commentator and former right wing who ranks eighth on their all-time scoring list.

One might think that playing that well would spur the team onto even greater heights.

Guess again.

Indeed, ...

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