Los Angeles Kings: Cap-Cash is in the Offense, They Need to Earn It.


The Los Angeles Kings have shifted their management balance fundamentally.

As opposed to other years, all the cash-money is invested in the offense.  These forwards need to start earning it.

Consistent scoring has been a problem all season long.  The Kings have been snake-bitten in a number of games, generating upwards of 35+ shots, and scoring 1 or fewer goals.

With 2 games left in the season the Kings are 19th in the NHL with 2.66 goals per game.  That number comes in the shadow of the Kings being 12th in the NHL with 30.8 shots on goal per game.

In shots the Vancouver Canucks rank 15th, Winnipeg Jets 17th, and Calgary Flames 28th.  However in goals per game Vancouver is 10th, Winnipeg is 16th, and Calgary is 6th in the NHL.

Los Angeles Kings
Los Angeles Kings /

Los Angeles Kings

These numbers come on the heels of a 4-2 L.A. loss to the Edmonton Oilers.  The Kings were able to generate 27 shots against the NHL’s 3rd worst team.  But L.A. only put up 2 goals.

Both goals came on the power-play, but more importantly they were scored by defensemen: Jake Muzzin and Drew Doughty.

The Kings defense isn’t the solid-core foundation it has been over the past few years.  Kings President and General Manager Dean Lombardi has done his best to bring in players, whether by free agent signings or trades, to fill the holes.

However, the fact remains that this is a fundamental shift in the Kings style of play.

L.A. isn’t a run-and-gun team.  They haven’t been for years.  Arguably, some could say since Wayne Gretzky was on the team.  Even then, they weren’t a true run-n-gun style.

Now it’s clear on the ice and at the bank.  The Kings still aren’t run-n-gun, but the focus is on offense.

Whether this team wins or loses will be based on the performance of its forwards.

Currenly the Kings have three 20-goal scorers:  Tyler Toffoli, Marian Gaborik, and Jeff Carter.

That’s not necessarily bad.  Despite the shift in focus the Kings still do play a conservative game.  Playing in the Western Conference means every game is going to be tight, and it’s going to be very tough to put the puck in the net.

The concern is what we have seen throughout the regular season.

The terrible trend of the Kings outshooting opponents, sometimes drastically, and still failing to score more than two goals.  If you don’t score more than two goals in today’s NHL, you are not going to win.  Case in point – the New Jersey Devils.

The Devils are 3rd worst in Goals For (176) on the season with 2.14 per game.  They are also 13th in Goals Against (209).

It doesn’t matter if Cory Schneider plays out of his mind.  Schneider can’t score (at least not regularly).  And even if every game you get to a 0-0 tie, you will lose in the shootout.

The Kings have run into some of the same problems.  The snake-bit inability to score and terrible shootout performances.

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This is a big year for Alex Turcotte and the Los Angeles Kings
This is a big year for Alex Turcotte and the Los Angeles Kings /

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  • It’s not like L.A. isn’t dedicating the resources to their offense.  In fact, that’s where all the resources are.

    This year’s salary cap is $69 million.  According to spotrac.com the Kings defensemen, including inactive Slava Voynov, take up $19.33 million.

    $19.33 million for 9 players.  The average L.A. defensemen costs $2.15 million against the cap.

    It’ also means that the forwards cost $49.67 million.  Including everyone, that is Mike Richards and Andy Andreoff, the Kings forwards cost $3.31 million against the cap.

    Mike Richards contract is a problem.  For 5 goals and 15 points L.A. is paying $7 million.

    As a big fan of Dustin Brown one can make the argument that there are intangibles the fearless captain brings to the game.  Brown hits; he has tremendous leadership.  He also costs $7.25 million for 11 goals and 25 points.

    In comparison Tyler Toffoli has 22 goals and 47 points.  Toffoli costs $685,000.  At least for the rest of this season.

    Scoring is down across the league.  No player is going to reach 100 points this season.  That is unless John Tavares scores 17 points in his 2 remaining games.

    The point is the forwards earning the big bucks need to find a way to step up and score.  Those players that get the biggest checks comprise the core of this Kings team.  It’s their team.  The need to decide how they want their season, and legacy, to go.

    With a playoff race this close, coming down to the wire, a few more goals and that extra point gained can be the difference in punching your ticket or not.

    More from Rink Royalty

    Mar 10, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Los Angeles Kings right wing Marian Gaborik (12) and defenseman Jake Muzzin (6) and right wing Dustin Brown (23) and defenseman Brayden McNabb (3) celebrate a goal in the first period against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports