At least they can go home now.
For the Los Angeles Kings, that was about the only good thing about last night’s 4-1 loss in Colorado. Unable to solve Semyon Varlamov, they suffered their fourth straight defeat. It meant their five-game road trip ended with just one win, that 7-0 blowout of the Maple Leafs in Toronto.
“It’s disappointing,” said head coach Darryl Sutter, per LA Kings Insider. “We had points going into 10 seconds or whatever was left in Ottawa, and we played really hard in Winnipeg, and it’s a shootout. It’s a three breakaways versus three breakaways deal. It comes back to saves there. Tonight, hey, it’s not easy. They’re a big team and in a high altitude, finishing a trip’s a hard game to play, and we were right there. You’ve got to find dirty ways to score goals. That’s what they did.”
Tuesday’s loss dropped the Kings’ record to a modest 7-9-1. After 17 games, they’re two points back of a wild-card spot, and three back of third place in the Pacific Division.
As for the injuries, well, they’re still there. Jonathan Quick is out until the New Year; Marian Gaborik, Brayden McNabb, and Andy Andreoff won’t be back until December. Oh, and Anze Kopitar is hurt now too. No word when he’ll be back, though it’s not expected to be long term.
Looking ahead, the Kings have six games left in November, five of them at Staples Center, the other just across the way in Anaheim. Thursday’s date against the slumping Oilers is a big divisional matchup. Edmonton is four points up on Los Angeles, so a regulation win for either side would be pivotal.
“It’s desperate. We need to play more desperate,” Drew Doughty told the Los Angeles Times. “When you’re losing games it’s not fun. . . . It’s not fun coming to the rink sometimes. We’ve got to be more desperate and treat every single game as if it’s a playoff game or a division game, and that’s how we’re going to get back on track.”