I recently stressed the importance of this homestand and the Kings have since massaged away my worries. Wins in each of their last two games have almost completely obliterated the growing outcry stemming from the previous eight games that granted only one victory.
Nothing pretty, but love is blind in this case and now there’s room to breathe. They’ve tightened up in the defensive zone, most notably on the top of the circles, and they’re finally getting a few bounces in the offensive zone. Jonathan Quick continues to play well and Terry Murray has expressed his interest in leaning more heavily on the goaltender, good call.
You can’t ignore the bliss from Anze Kopitar tallying both game-winners, carrying four points in four games to his name. The Kings have gone from 11th to fourth in the Western Conference in a matter of 48 hours. They’ve rebounded against a flimsy Florida Panthers club and the top team in the Western Conference, the Detroit Red Wings. The previous eight games aside, the Kings have regained hope and confidence, capitalizing on a weak opponent and knocking off the top team in their conference. Good teams beat bad teams. Good teams beat good teams.
This core has been too consistently successful for the Kings' recent slide to trigger serious worry. The problems that attributed to the horrendous play weren’t gaping weaknesses, but simply disappointing performances.
I’m not saying the victories against Florida and Detroit have shown a complete overturn, merely it is a positive improvement. Isn’t that we’ve been seething for? I will admit that I never thought their struggles would last as long as they did. They were losing games, problems were exposed and frustrations piled up, but that is in the past. The remainder of this homestand calls for the Minnesota Wild and Calgary Flames, two teams that stand at the bottom of the Western Conference. Two teams the Kings need to beat. Factor in the favorable amount of practice time in El Segundo, which very well may be the most valuable asset to this trip, and the Kings should fly to Michigan on a roll.