The Los Angeles Kings are well beyond the point of needing a “wake-up call” and could very well be in a full-blown crisis.
Marian Gaborik gave the Kings a 2-1 lead 2:19 into the third period on Thursday, yet they didn’t even earn a standings point. Instead, the Panthers scored two goals to win 3-2, giving Florida two straight wins and the Kings a third consecutive defeat.
Things get way uglier if you zoom out and check out the big picture for Los Angeles.
Since 2015 rolled around, the Kings only have three wins. Since Dec. 29, they’re 3-6-4.
They haven’t generated a single point in the first three games of a five-game road trip that continues in Tampa Bay on Saturday and ends in Columbus on Monday.
Yeah, there are a lot of bad ways to frame it beyond those meat-and-potatoes numbers:
The Kings are seated at 54 standings points in 51 games with more road contests than home games remaining (not great for a team that’s now 5-12-6 away from the Staples Center).
Check out this video of PHT’s Jason Brough and Mike Halford breaking down the Kings’ woes for more on the embattled defending champs:
Attribute to the rivalry at large or more personal beefs, but either way, Thursday saw a first as Colorado Avalanche sophomore star Nathan MacKinnon engaged in his first NHL fight.
It happened just 44 seconds in against Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson. One can almost imagine Avalanche fans and execs holding their breath as the younger star seems to fight out of his weight class a bit:
Hey, as next wunderkind Connor McDavid would attest, sometimes even star players need to drop the mitts.
The Colorado Avalanche have carried much of the early play against the Detroit Red Wings, but they haven’t been rewarded just yet.
It seemed like they did, however, when captain Gabriel Landeskog seemingly gave them a 1-0 lead. It was not to be, as officials waved it off, stating that a hand pass was involved:
Petr Mrazek ended up shutting out the Avalanche in a 3-0 win.
Patrick Roy also eventually admitted it was the right call:
The Ottawa Senators displayed this tribute video for defenseman Chris Phillips, who passed Daniel Alfredsson for the franchise record in games played with 1,179 on Thursday:
Heading into the game, Phillips was humble, as NHL.com reports.
“It means a lot. The type of player I am, I’m not going to be breaking any other records, let’s put it that way,” Phillips said.
Indeed. The 36-year-old has scored 71 goals and 288 points with a 20:42 TOI average for his career, not exactly All-Star numbers (but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been valuable in his own way).
During the game, the Washington Capitals left the bench to congratulate Phillips while Alex Ovechkin remarked at his longevity. Phillips’ family was on hand, too:
Anaheim Ducks vs. Nashville Predators has the makings of a great test for two top Western Conference teams, especially with Pekka Rinne returning, but it sounds like Ryan Getzlaf won’t play.
Multiple sources including Thomas Willis of the Predators’ website and the OC Register’s Eric Stephens report that Getzlaf is a late scratch for this contest.
Update: Stephens reports that the Ducks said Getzlaf had been dealing with a lower-body injury that he aggravated during warm-ups. He’s considered day-to-day at the moment.