The Kings continued to struggle scoring goals as they were shut out by the worst team in the league on Saturday afternoon en route to a 1-0 defeat to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The shutout loss is only the latest in a season that has featured plenty of scoring woes for Los Angeles. After all, becoming the worst scoring team in the NHL doesn’t happen overnight.
By the end of the game, they were 0-for-8 on the power play and feebly failed on a 6-on-4 advantage to end the game. If they were able to score a single goal against Columbus’ second-worst penalty killing unit (or 25th ranked defense), they could have earned at least a single point against the woeful Blue Jackets.
The 1-0 defeat wastes yet another solid effort by Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick. The man is among the league leaders with a 1.93 goals against average and a lofty .934 save percentage; yet he still has 17 losses (11 regulation, six OT/shootout) through 35 games played. How can a guy with those numbers lose almost 50 percent of his games? It’s quite simple actually: the Kings only have 21 goals in Quick’s 17 losses.
After the game, head coach Darryl Sutter told the media that he was happy with the overall effort by his team. “We did everything we wanted to do today except score on the power play,” Sutter said after the defeat. Of course, scoring an even-strength goal may have been something they would have liked to do. Or a victory—that’s something that should have been on the agenda.
The positive spin in LA is that the defense and goaltending has been so good this season, the team is still sitting near the top of the Pacific Division and on the cusp of a playoff spot. The loss to Columbus is the first regulation loss for the Kings under Darryl Sutter (5-1-3) and the first loss for the Kings overall in regulation in 10 games. Not bad for a team that has scored two or fewer goals in 19 of their last 21 games.
Just imagine what this team could do if they found a way to start scoring.