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.
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- Voracek turns monster season into massive eight-year deal 71
- Report: Canucks, Sutter closing in on five-year deal, north of $20M 28
- Voynov serving sentence at jail that once advertised it had flat screen TVs 45
- Report: Bernier and Leafs more than $2 million apart ahead of Friday’s arbitration hearing 12
- Flyers re-sign Couturier: six years, $26 million 41
- Benning calls Sutter a ‘foundation piece’ for Canucks 24
- Here’s a chart that shows which teams have been good/bad at drafting 42
- Penguins sign Fehr to three-year, $6 million contract 22
- Trade: Penguins send Sutter to Canucks for Bonino, Clendening 54
- Bettman says NHL would have to ‘consider’ putting Quebec City in the Western Conference (71)
- Voracek turns monster season into massive eight-year deal (71)
- Rangers sign Stepan — six years, $39 million (62)
- NBC Sports to broadcast 105 NHL games in 2015-16 (58)
- Trade: Penguins send Sutter to Canucks for Bonino, Clendening (54)