Following a pair of brutal losses in San Jose, the Los Angeles Kings need to brush off the past two outings, make a few adjustments and return to their game in order to give the Sharks a run for their money.
Granted, allowing 13 goals in two contests—including a baffling seven unanswered markers in Game 2—isn’t easy to forget for a defense-first squad.
Nevertheless, if L.A. simply views losses as losses regardless of context, then the team finds itself in the same situation as in 2013. Last season, the Kings rallied back from a 2-0 deficit to eliminate the St. Louis Blues.
Such a comeback is possible against the Sharks as well. After all, San Jose holding serve at home was almost to be expected, as it’s a dominant team at the SAP Center. The Kings are also solid at Staples Center—especially when facing the Sharks.
As LA Kings Insider’s Jon Rosen notes, the home team’s record is 22-1-1 in the past 24 games between these two rivals.
This series will have a heartbeat until the Kings lose on their ice.
With that said, they won't win this series if they can't win in San Jose, so they must find a way to generate momentum that can be carried into hostile territory.
Ramping up their intensity and regaining their composure are obvious keys, but they’re not easy changes to implement on a short-term basis. Besides, only the individual players themselves are in control of such aspects of the game.
Here are tweaks that L.A.’s coaching staff and the club as a whole can instantly bring to the table by design.
Advanced statistics courtesy of Extra Skater.