LA Kings: A breakdown why the Kings are so bad in the first period

LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports)
LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports) /
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LA Kings Jonathan Quick
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The LA Kings are mired in last place of the NHL Honda West Division. Here is a period-by-period breakdown of their season so far.

The LA Kings entered the 2021 season with a mixture of hope and potential, but also with tempered expectations. The hope came from the seven-game win streak that ended last season and had some in the fanbase believing this team was finally on the rise.

You might have heard that the LA Kings have arguably the number one rated prospect pool in the NHL, and with some of those prospects being inserted into the lineup this season, the potential for an exciting season was and still is there. With all of this comes the tempered expectation that many pundits still consider the LA Kings to be a lottery team, and their play recently has reflected that.

Certainly, the LA Kings are a team in transition. With only five players leftover from the roster that won the Stanley Cup in 2014, the glory days seem like a distant memory. In an attempt to keep that championship window open, multiple first-round draft picks were traded away, which ultimately plunged the team into a rebuild. The rebuild yielded several high draft picks that have built the vaunted prospect pool – but many of them are a year or two away from playing in the NHL.

The LA Kings are currently in last place in the NHL Honda West Division with a 3-6-3 record for a total of 9 points. The team has lost five games in a row, and while it is too early to throw in the figurative towel on the season, if things aren’t turned around soon, the playoffs may very well end up out of reach. It is true injuries to key players have plagued the Kings during this losing streak, but this team has had inconsistency problems as well.

The goaltending (especially Cal Petersen) and special teams have been above average, but the five on five play on both the offensive and defensive sides of the puck has been terrible. To further breakdown the Kings’ consistency problems, let’s look at their period-by-period play in terms of goals for/goals against and shots on goal for/shots on goal against.

For argument’s sake, I’ve left out overtime and shootout stats, as each game does not have these.