5 Reasons the Los Angeles Kings Didn’t Make the Playoffs


Apr 7, 2015; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Los Angeles Kings head coach Darryl Sutter is seen on the out on the players bench as they took on the Edmonton Oilers during the third period at Rexall Place. Mandatory Credit: Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports

The end of the 2014-2015 season has come for the Los Angeles Kings. Everyone has got to be wondering why the defending champs didn’t even break into the playoffs. It’s sad. It’s embarrassing. It’s not what anyone expected.

So how did this happen?

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Let me give you 5 reasons…

1. Slava Voynov’s trouble with the law

When your #2 right-handed defenseman gets in trouble with the law, it’s gonna hurt. Voynov was arrested for spousal abuse after dressing for just 6 games. He didn’t touch the ice for the rest of the season and for good reason. The Kings tried to replace him by picking up Jamie McBain, but that really didn’t pan out. McBain helped some, but not enough to take the pressure off of Drew Doughty for the entire season.

A couple other players stepped up in his absence. Alec Martinez moved to the right-side and did really well until he dealt with a concussion. And Brayden McNabb had a great season amidst making some AHL status errors on the ice, in my opinion. Andrej Sekera may have helped if he was picked up a month before the trade deadline. All in all, no one could take Voynov’s $4 million per year spot to help the Kings achieve playoff position.

2. Awful in shootouts & overtime

3 and 15. Yep. That was the Kings record in shootout & overtime games. That’s horrendous. Especially coming off a 12-8 shootout/overtime record last season. To me, this is the biggest reason the Kings missed the playoffs. They just couldn’t get it done in those tie games after 60 minutes were up. If they would have come out with 2 or 3 more shootout wins, we’d be watching them take on the Vancouver Canucks. That would have been a lot of fun to watch!

Los Angeles Kings
Los Angeles Kings /

Los Angeles Kings

3. Fatigue

The Kings played have played more games than anyone else since 2012. Just check out how many playoff games they’ve had in the past 3 seasons:

  • 26 in 2014
  • 18 in 2013
  • 20 in 2012

Add 212 regular season games to those numbers and you’ve got a total of 276 games in 3 seasons. That’s tiring. Especially when your previous playoff run took you through San Jose, Anaheim, and Chicago – all going to 7 games! Let’s conclude that the Kings need a full summer to recover. And they’re getting it!

4. Mike Richards drama

When one of your highest paid players who used to be a star has a less-than-awesome season, it’s going to affect the team. It distracts you from doing what you’re supposed to do – play hockey and win. All the questions and talk about Mike Richards had to take an emotional toll on the team. We know Mike Richards is a great “team guy” and very likeable so losing him is going to hurt. Dean Lombardi – we know you are a loyal guy and appreciate that about you, but it is now time to cut the cord and say goodbye to Mike.

5. Series losses to Flames & Jets

Toward the end of the season, there were really only 3 teams that had a chance at making the final 2 playoff spots in the Western Conference – Kings, Flames & Jets. And the Kings just couldn’t get a hold of either of them. The flames won 4 of 5 meetings and the Jets won 2 of 3 meetings against the Kings. And it was easy to see why…

The speed and youth of the Flames had the Kings skating in circles. It was pretty sad to watch, wasn’t it? The Flames found open space, made quick passes and spread out the Kings defense game after game. Don’t watch the highlights of their final match-up of the season. It’s depressing.

And the Jets just beat up the Kings. They were fast, finished every hit, and had a competitive edge over the Kings. I’m not sure what Sutter says to the boys on the bench, but I couldn’t stand watching the Kings play the Jets because they were getting manhandled. And it seemed like no one on the Kings cared to fight and compete back.

Darryl, please let the boys send a message every now and again. You’re the defending champs. Play with a little more pride and passion.

What do you think? What other reasons made the Kings miss the playoffs this year?