The Most Disappointing Los Angeles Kings so Far in 2013-14
The Los Angeles Kings struggled early in the season due in part to a lack of production from their top players.
They've turned things around in the past month, and with points in 13 of their last 14 games, the Kings now sit fourth in the Western Conference.
But there are still a few L.A. players who haven't played at the level they're capable of. Whether that means putting up points or playing better in their own end, these are players who can, and should, be playing at a higher level.
These are the most disappointing Kings so far in 2013-14.
Stats courtesy of NHL.com.
Jonathan Quick got off to a slow start this season by his standards, and because of an injury, he hasn't had a chance to turn things around.
Quick was 10-5-0 with a .905 save percentage, 2.35 goals-against average and one shutout before the injury. Those numbers are similar to what he posted in 2012-13—one of the worst campaigns of his career.
That said, he played at a completely different level in the playoffs, helping the Kings return to the Western Conference Final.
It's those clutch performances in big games that make Quick a lock for the U.S. Olympic squad. Not to mention he will likely get his starting job back in L.A. immediately upon his return, despite the fact that Ben Scrivens is statistically one of the NHL's best netminders this season.
The fact that Dustin Brown is one of the more disappointing Kings tells you just how good of a season the team is having.
Hampered by a hamstring injury early in October, Brown failed to produce offensively and was unable to make an impact physically.
However, over the past few weeks, Brown has turned up the intensity and now ranks second in the NHL with 106 hits. He's played solid two-way hockey and put a ton of pucks on net, but that hasn't translated into points.
The captain has just five goals and five assists this season and has been particularly cold as of late, with three points in his past 14 games.
If Brown wants to make a good impression heading into the Olympics, he must start to produce more offensively. A good place to start is on the power play, where he has just one goal this season.
When a player hasn't registered a single point in 23 games, it's hard to call their season anything but a disappointment, regardless of who it is.
In this case, it's Trevor Lewis.
By no means is he a sniper or skilled playmaker. Lewis is a responsible two-way forward who plays a significant role on the penalty kill. He racked up just 14 points in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign, but that was a career high. He should be expected to at least match that total this season.
If he wants to continue to play decent minutes once he's healthy, Lewis must be more effective when he has possession of the puck, especially deep in the offensive zone. Generating more scoring chances and continuing to play strong defense five-on-five will help get Lewis on the right track.
Only Matt Frattin has a worse plus/minus rating than Lewis' minus-four.
There were high expectations for Matt Frattin the moment he and Ben Scrivens were acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Jonathan Bernier.
While the trade can't be questioned because of Scrivens' spectacular play as of late, Frattin hasn't proven to be a strong addition to the team.
He started the season on the second line with Mike Richards and Jeff Carter but struggled to make an impact at either end of the rink. He's been up and down the lineup since and has also spent time in the press box.
In 24 games, he's managed just two goals and four assists for six points. Frattin doesn't need to register a ton of points to be an effective player, but producing at a similar pace as last season when he had 13 points in 25 games wouldn't hurt.
To contribute and be a factor every shift, Frattin must play sound defense and make clean, timely hits, especially on the forecheck.