Dec 9, 2011, 12:33 PM EDT
Lost in last night’s buzz over yet another Wild win last night was the story of yet another loss for the Kings.
Los Angeles (13-11-4) has now dropped three straight and finds itself a point out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. For a team with one of the highest payrolls in the NHL, this wasn’t the plan.
As we touched on yesterday, scoring goals has been the Kings’ main issue. Despite boasting the likes of Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards and Drew Doughty, they own the worst offense in the league, averaging a paltry 2.25 goals per game.
Doughty’s lack of production is the most concerning. After missing training camp to negotiate a monster eight-year, $56-million contract, the 22-year-old defenseman has just eight points in 23 games.
“You can’t miss training camp,” Kings coach Terry Murray told ESPN.com Thursday. “Not in this game. You can’t miss training camp. You can’t miss the start of the year. That takes a big bite of everything away from you.
“Now you come in with expectations that are an incredible burden, incredible. With that kind of contract, and the only way a lot of people are going to look at him is to be a Norris trophy winner, finish first with the Presidents’ Trophy and win the Stanley Cup.”
Murray has to be feeling the heat as well. The veteran coach has been behind the bench since the start of the 2008-09 season and hasn’t yet led his team past the first round of the playoffs. This was supposed to be the season the Kings put it all together, but clearly that’s not happening.
- Done deal, finally: Wings ink DeKeyser to two-year, $4.375M extension 4
- Update: NHL wants to see fine system in action before publicizing diving 3
- Get your odds to make the playoffs for all 30 NHL teams 12
- Blue Jackets GM to Johansen: It’s about the team, not ‘one guy’ 24
- Will the NHL publicize divers? 48
- Report: NHL, Epix network to partner on Winter Classic reality series 17
- Habs to play without captain for just second time in franchise history 16
- Chiarelli: At some point, I’m going to have to trade a defenseman 53
- Devils post-Martin Brodeur era about to truly start 9
- Report: Rangers expected to announce captain on Thursday 12