Around the NHL: LA Kings early season struggles continue

The woes continue for the Los Angeles Kings this season, as they fall victim to shutout by the Vancouver Canucks in a 3-0 stinker on Tuesday.

“We are not doing what we need to do in order to win,” Kings defenseman Alec Martinez said. “We are not winning battles in tough areas, we are not good enough on our own end, and we are not capitalizing on chances. We are not playing with a sense of urgency.”

Three embarrassing games in, the Kings have been outscored 12-2 and are left wondering aimlessly in search of their first win of the season and their lost identity.

“We are not doing the things that we need to do to get quality chances,” Kings forward Anze Kopitar said. “Whether that is not coming in with possession, or that is not recovering the puck the way we should, we are playing too soft to get the pucks back.”

“Often times special teams are the difference in hockey games,” Martinez said, “especially in our league and the way it is nowadays. There is no excuse; we need to capitalize on those opportunities.”

The Kings were so poor on offense, they made Canucks goalie Ryan Miller look the American hero from the 2010 Winter Olympics again. By only taking 15 shots on goal, they made Ryan Miller’s shutout look easy.

“It’s not busy because he’s not giving up any rebounds,” Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins said, “if he was giving up rebounds it’d be a lot busier. He’s just handling everything so clean, so that makes a difference.”

Kings goalie Jonathan Quick had an improved performance compared to the previous two games. He made 23 saves and only gave up two goals. He may have to make all the saves if he is getting zero offensive support, but at least he still has the support of your teammates.

“Quickie’s fine. We haven’t been helping him out enough,” Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said. “I feel like as defensemen and forwards, we’re not letting him see enough pucks and were letting the other team get deflections and stuff like that.”

“Goalies go through this and you’ve got to fight your way through it and just be better next game,” Kings goalie coach Bill Ranford said. “He’s a competitor. He’s not one of the best in the league by accident. He takes it personally, and that’s not a bad thing…. As a group, we’ve got to help him out. He’s just got to gut it out and get through this.”

The Kings are at the bottom of the league in goals per game (1), goals against (4.5) and power play percentage (0.0…fat, drunk and stupid is no way to play hockey). They host the Minnesota Wild on Friday.

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Sports Kave senior writer

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