Do the Los Angeles Kings Deserve the Playoffs?


Even with the Los Angeles Kings recent victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning, are they still a playoff team? The Kings lost two games in a row going into the Tampa Bay game, and while they came out with an impressive 4-2 victory, that still doesn’t mean that they’re ready to make a full push to the playoffs.

I love the Kings just as much as the next guy, but I’m sure that the next guy isn’t thinking realistically. We must get out of the mindset that the Kings are always going to pick it up midseason and make the playoffs and win the Stanley Cup. It was nice when it happened, and it was a very special moment, but that’s not this year.

The Kings are struggling a lot this year. And it can be attributed to the loss of Slava Voynov early on in the season due to ongoing domestic abuse case, which is looking bleaker by the day as more details are released, and the trial itself nears. The Kings also lost Tyler Toffoli for some time, and Tanner Pearson is still out. Both these players are top contributors and with them out of the picture, even if it’s just for a little while, the Kings can suffer if the team doesn’t step up.

And that’s a major problem right now.

The Kings aren’t stepping up when they need to the most, and it makes the loss of any player that much more significant. Mike Richards struggled greatly this season, he’s been on the downtrend for a while now, and has been waived down to the Manchester Monarchs. Justin Williams and Drew Doughty are also lacking in the points department, and while both may have scored in last night’s game, does that change the fact their numbers are still less than what they were last year?

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I understand that we can’t always expect our players to play exactly the same that they did last year, but it’s important that every player is pulling their weight. And Dustin Brown said it himself, the team needs to kick it into gear and begin playing better. I don’t care if you’ve been in this position before and you’re comfortable with it. The fans aren’t. You don’t want to be in this position. You want to be able to say that you didn’t procrastinate your success in the regular season.

It is quite amazing that the Kings have managed to become quite the playoff team while being a lackluster regular season team. To go from almost no playoffs to a Stanley Cup is going to be one of the historical marvels in NHL history. But what makes it special is that it doesn’t happen that often, and therefore, I’m not expecting the Kings to do this all the time. And neither should you.

Yes, it’s critical, but it is also crucial. The Kings pulled off what they did last year because they had such a strong lineup of players, it was made possible. With Voynov out, and Pearson injured, and Richards no longer on top of his game and in the AHL, along with Willie Mitchell no longer in the picture, can the Kings really pull it off again this year?

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  • My answer would be no. But that’s not a bad thing. Maybe the Kings need this as a wakeup call to be ready to make some moves in the offseason. Maybe they’ll end up buying out Richards’s contract, and use that money to get a player that can produce, and a player that is younger.

    The Kings have a lot of moves that they should be making, and the trade deadline isn’t here yet, so maybe they can make some moves now. But even if they make the moves now, I still don’t think that they’ll be playoff ready and a Stanley Cup team this year. But I’d rather a team suffer in the regular season after winning a Stanley Cup, than think that they’ll always make the playoffs despite a poor regular season. I’d like to see a team that will build off of its success rather than ride it straight into the ground.

    The Kings have a lot that they need to work on, and let’s face it, the playoffs are more and more out of reach.

    Next: Kings Defeat Lightning 4-2 on the Road