Offense Abysmal in Kings 3-1 Loss to Colorado

Matt Greene (presumbly) wonders when this offensive slump will ever end. (photo courtesy of NHL.com)

The Kings fell to the visiting Colorado Avalanche by a score of 3-1. J.S. Giguere stopped twenty-five of the twenty-six shots he faced and Peter Mueller had the go-ahead goal in just his fifth game back from a career-threatening concussion. It was his third goal of the season after two earlier in the week. Mueller had previously been sidelined since 4/4/2010.

In the losing effort, birthday boy Jonathan Quick was not bad, but clearly frustrated after being dealt his twenty-first loss of the season. The goaltender drew a slashing penalty late in the third period which led to the final Colorado tally and the then insurmountable two-goal deficit. The Kings have scored two goals or fewer (including overtime and shootouts) in all but one of Quick’s losses on the year.

The offensive slump continued for the Kings in a big way and that was clearly evident during the team’s first period of play. After recording three shots on goal in the first five minutes, they went without one for next twelve minutes. The Kings were outshot 10-0 in those twelve minutes.

The second period began with the same amount of enthusiasm and push from the home team, as they didn’t get another shot on goal until Anze Kopitar’s goal 5:26 into the frame. The Kings’ leading scorer parked himself in front of the net as a Dustin Brown shot from the point bounced off Giguere’s right pad and onto Kopitar’s stick for the easy finish. Prior to that tally however, the Kings saw an entire twenty minutes of game-play go by without recording a single shot on net. No word on what sort of dubious record the home team had been chasing with that effort.

However, the lone goal served as the Kings’ only highlight of the evening. They were outshot overall by a count of 31-26, although it was never really that close at all. They were outplayed, out-hustled and flat out beat in almost every single facet of the game.

It was another ugly showing at home. For as often as they find themselves on the winning side of the stat sheet, the Staples Center has presented its own number of problems and currently serves as a venue that has grown accustomed to seeing less than inspired play on a nightly basis.

The loss dropped the Kings to a point behind Pacific division-leading San Jose, although they have played four less games than this Los Angeles squad. The offense still stakes its claim as worst in the league, a figure that had seemingly been on the rise during the first few games under Darryl Sutter but has been nothing but sputtering as of late. They’ve scored a total of 107 goals on the season, five behind the Columbus and the New York Islanders, two teams who are very nearly the worst in their respective conference. For what it’s worth, they have allowed 110 goals, which marks a goals scored vs. allowed differential of -3. Of the sixteen teams currently in playoff contention, only Colorado and New Jersey have a worse figure.