LA Kings vs. Golden Knights: Team learned nothing from Tuesday

LA Kings Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LA Kings Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

A night to forget in Vegas where nothing went right and more questions appeared. The LA Kings defense was non-existent while the offense had no spark.

The LA Kings entered Friday’s contest on a two-game losing streak, which included a loss in the Freeway Faceoff on Tuesday night. Facing another rival on Friday—this time 268 miles out east in the state of Nevada. The Golden Knights have lost their last three vs. the Kings and were outscored during that time 20-13 before puck drop tonight. The Knights’ previous hockey game was precisely ten days ago, where they fell to the Blues in a shoot-out loss.

What will the 18th all-time meeting have in store for this new rivalry?

Coach Todd McClellan preached for his team to compete this week. Compete for each other. Compete to win hockey games. Friday night showed that was farther from the truth. Vegas, who hasn’t played for ten days, scored just 50 seconds into the game. Hague scored his first of the season in a play where LA had three players surrounding one Knight but left Hague unmarked.

Kings looked confused on defense for the remainder of the period as Quick faced odd-man rush after odd-man rush. As Kings radio analyst Darryl Evans said, “Kings look slow and predictable.” This proved correct, as Vegas scored two more times within one minute and eight seconds part off odd-man rushes.

Where was this team’s energy? Where was the offensive zone time? Where was the effort to compete? Non-existent. Sean Walker and Matt Roy were missed tonight. But that’s still no excuse for this lack of lust effort along the blue line.

Heading into the second frame, I expected a bounce-back performance. Not necessarily on the scoreboard, but the little things – superior defense, additional scoring chances, etc. I was looking for the LA Kings to finally come out and compete. Those positive thoughts were short-lived as the Knights scored their fourth of the night, this time by Karlsson in under two minutes.

Jonathan Quick was pulled from the game and was replaced by Cal Peterson. Most Kings fans who didn’t watch the game would see Quick’s stats and quickly make assumptions. But, in my opinion, Quick deserved better. Quick faced scoring chances all night from Vegas with no help defensively. Vegas would tack-on one more before the end of the period to take a 5-0 lead heading into the final intermission.

At this point, it was about pride. Playing with heart. Sadly, Martin Frk exited the game with a lower-body injury before the start of the final frame. Austin Wagner finally put the LA Kings on the scoreboard scoring his first of the season assisted by Dustin Brown.

Then it was tick, tick, tick. Coach McClellan showed his frustrations on the broadcast throughout the final period. Who could blame him? His message to compete was not delivered.

Kings battled in the end, and Dustin Brown scored his fourth of the season on the powerplay. That was also career goal 100 on the man advantage for Brownie. The deficit was now only three. The LA Kings decided to compete in the third period, but it was too little too late by that time, falling by a 5-2 final score.