LA Kings: Team report cards after the first ten games

LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports) /
3 of 5
LA Kings Kurtis MacDermid
LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports) /

Category two: LA Kings Defense.

Grade: D

The defense right now is an even bigger problem than the offense. Five times this season, the LA Kings have given up four or more goals this season. On a team that does not score a lot of goals, that is very problematic. To make matters worse, with the injuries to Matt Roy and Sean Walker, the makeup of the Kings defense corps will be in flux for the foreseeable future.

Going into this season, the team knew at least two rookies would be playing most of the time – Mikey Anderson and one of either Kale Clague and Tobias Bjornfot. They also re-signed Kurtis MacDermid to serve mostly as the seventh defenseman and also brought in Mark Alt to provide depth in Ontario. With the two injuries, MacDermid, Alt, and rookies Bjornfot and even Austin Strand will find themselves with more playing time. Certainly, this was not the plan going into the season and barring a trade or free-agent signing. This will be the makeup of the defense for at least a month.

There is a strong sentiment among Kings fans to “let the kids play,” and knowing their team has one of, if not the best prospect pools in the NHL, who could blame them. To know what they really have in their prospects, the Kings will have to get them NHL playing time, which seems to present the perfect opportunity.

The one caveat in all of this, however, is to “let the kids play,” means there will be three or four rookie defensemen in the lineup on a regular basis and with that comes on ice growing pains. Even when Roy and Walker come back, it could be greatly beneficial for all involved to deviate from the plan and have both Clague and Bjornfot stay with the Kings and learn from the veterans.