Los Angeles Kings Still Waiting for Top Guns to Find Their Stride

The Los Angeles Kings have received much-needed reinforcements on both offense and defense recently. 

Justin Williams and Mike Richards have supplied a nice dose of secondary scoring while captain Dustin Brown has stepped up in the past week to deliver his finest performances of the year.

On the blue line, newcomer Jamie McBain looks much more comfortable paired with veteran Robyn Regehr than he did with a fledgling Brayden McNabb.

Despite these promising signs, L.A. is faced with an unexpected problem: Two of its most reliable and trusted cogs have looked decidedly mediocre for long stretches this season. 

Now 23 games into the 2014-15 campaign, there’s reason to worry about a couple of the Kings' lynchpins.


Anze Kopitar

Prolonged slumps are nothing new for the big Slovenian, but they don’t usually occur this early. If he hits his annual bump in the road in January, 2014-15 could have the makings of an ugly year.

Kopitar has 10 points in 20 games—and Hockey-Reference.com indicates he is on pace for the worst offensive season of his career. He's pointless in his last four outings. Despite having quality linemates for the most part, he ranks seventh among Kings forwards in points per 60 five-on-five minutes. 

The picture isn’t any prettier on the man advantage, as he sports the fifth-lowest points per 60 five-on-four minutes.

As has been the case during previous dry spells, Kopitar is shying away from the trenches, losing more board battles than usual and seldom attacking the middle of the ice to generate offense.

Most concerning of all is the fact that he finally has a legitimate sniper on his wing in Marian Gaborik, but instead of ramping up his production, he’s seen it dwindle.

Salt in the wound may have come on Tuesday night when the sharpshoo...

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