LA Kings Must Utilize Homestand To Right Ship

Alex KinkopfContributor IDecember 3, 2010

MONTREAL- NOVEMBER 24:  Mike Cammalleri #13 of the Montreal Canadiens exchanges words with Ryan Smyth #94 of the Los Angeles Kings after a penalty call on Smyth during the NHL game at the Bell Centre on November 24, 2010 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

From www.Kingscast.net

Now that November is finally over, I’m blocking it out. Losing seven of their last eight games has dropped the Kings to the Pacific Division‘s basement and 11th overall in the Western Conference.

I thought they were going to come home strong against Chicago and beat the defending Stanley Cup Champions in front of a thirsty crowd. I thought they were going to snap out of it and hammer on the Ducks last night in Anaslime. Wrong and wrong. This has almost become too much to handle, but I’m done whining about this terribly awful slide.

With the Kings returning home for this upcoming four game stretch at Staples Center, which couldn’t come at a better time, now’s the time to start fresh, clean the slate. Don’t wait for Willie Mitchell and Alexei Ponikarovsky, they can hop on board when they return.

While home-ice is often over-hyped, this particular homestand should prove most helpful. They don’t just have the comfort of playing in Los Angeles, they have time: four games spread over twelve days. Plenty of opportunities to settle down, watch video, mend the systems in practice. Furthermore, three of the four opponents coming to LA are teams we need to beat. What’s going on Toyota Sports Center?

The Kings will face Florida, Detroit, Calgary and Minnesota, with the Red Wings clearly being the most threatening opponent. While the Wings sit atop the Western Conference, the Kings’ have an opportunity to boost confidence against sub-par Florida, Calgary and Minnesota teams. Detroit will provide the Kings with a good test against a team who has replaced them atop the conference.

We’ve got comfort in hearing promising news regarding Willie Mitchell and Alexei Ponikarovsky‘s injuries, but it’s important that improvement is made before they return.

This offense has been surrendering themselves in the neutral zone. There’s no push, no lanes opening, no confidence entering the zone. The defense has been tentative, gaps galore at the blue-line, no early physical presence.

These problems aren’t rooted from the abilities of this roster, just bad performances. Don’t try and tell me Matt Greene and Drew Doughty are this bad. Don’t tell me this offense and this power-play don’t have the capabilities to be a huge threat.

A lot of this is mental, just bad decisions with and without the puck. You’ve always got to brace for a bad stretch, unfortunately this one has been drawn out. Please, put the trade talks on hold for a bit, that’s not going to fix the issues that have evolved from this downfall. Maybe for a boost come the playoffs, not now.

I also wouldn’t mind seeing Terry Murray settle down with the line shuffles and Manchester transactions. It’s difficult to settle down when the lineup constantly changes, let a few things work themselves out. Here’s to a resurgence at home, whaddya say?


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