Los Angeles Kings Losing Streak Exposes Worrisome Concerns

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Tyler Toffoli Los Angeles Kings Losing Streak
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 15: San Jose Sharks Goalie Martin Jones (31) makes a save on a shot by Los Angeles Kings Right Wing Tyler Toffoli (73) during an NHL game between the San Jose Sharks and the Los Angeles Kings on January 15, 2018 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Kings losing streak is troublesome. They have tumbled further down the Western Conference playoff picture as a result of their recent poor play.

They’ve been surpassed by both the San Jose Sharks and Calgary Flames in the Pacific Division, as the Vegas Golden Knights still have a strong hold on the division.

The Kings are now fourth in the Pacific and are currently in position for the second wildcard spot in the Western Conference.

Los Angeles Kings Losing Streak Exposes Worrisome Concerns

They risk falling out of the playoff picture altogether if they can’t quickly find a way to gain some points.

What’s especially concerning is that the last three of these four straight losses have come at Staples Center. Perhaps some time away from Los Angeles would be welcome.

After hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins on January 18th to conclude this four-game homestand, 11 of their next 15 games are on the road.

Their 13-7-2 record away from home offers some hope that they can at the very least tread water in the playoff hunt while on that extended stretch on the road.

Kings Giving Up More Goals than Usual

These four straight losses have brought with them some uncharacteristic play from the Kings. They’ve given up 16 goals in four games despite allowing the fewest goals per game in the league over the course of the entire season.

Jonathan Quick started three out of the four games and had a save percentage below .860 in two out of those three.

Darcy Kuemper got the start between the pipes against the Sharks to give Quick a rest. Quick had previously started nine straight games.

The result was much the same, however. Kuemper gave up four goals and suffered his first regulation loss of the season.

The Kings had their bye week January 7-13 to recharge but were not able to bounce back from their losses to the Flames and Nashville Predators immediately prior to that break.

The loss to the Predators was especially sobering since it was the Kings first regulation loss at home since November 22 against the Winnipeg Jets.

Things didn’t get better when they returned from their bye week, either. They lost to their two California rivals, the Sharks and Anaheim Ducks.

Key Pieces on Offense Have Been Quiet

The power-play has been terrible during this four-game skid. They’ve gone just one of their last nine on the man-advantage.

Dustin Brown has been noticeably quiet during this losing streak. Despite being the second leading scorer on the team, he’s gone three straight games without a point.

Tyler Toffoli and Marian Gaborik also both have just one point apiece in these four consecutive losses.

Key sources of the offense have not generated their typical levels of production during this stretch. Those types of voids are always going to be hard to overcome, especially when a normally staunch defense is allowing more goals than usual.

Perhaps it is just an aberration that will soon correct itself. There has been a large enough sample size so far this regular season to adequately reveal what type of team this is.

They utilize grit and tenacity while surrendering the fewest goals per game in the league. They’ll be fine with just adequate offensive production.

A huge reason they’ve been generating so much buzz as a potential Stanley Cup contender is that players like Brown and Gaborik are offering resurgent performances.

It’s telling that the Kings have faltered during a stretch where neither player has really asserted themselves in the scoring column.

This disappointing losing streak could easily serve as a much-needed wake-up call for the Kings as they look to climb back up the ranks of the Pacific Division.

Despite their impressive road record, a lengthy stretch away from home can always be a daunting endeavor.

Their upcoming road appearances will likely determine how viable of a contender they’ll ultimately be in the Western Conference playoff picture.

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