It has been a lost December thus far for the Los Angeles Kings. Not that the Kings haven’t tried tweaking things.
Take for instance Saturday night’s contest against the Dallas Stars. In an attempt to shake things up, the Kings started Jonathan Bernier between the pipes. They also inserted Brad Richardson into the lineup for the jettisoned Ethan Moreau, who was waived assigned to the AHL Manchester Monarchs. L.A. even broke out the old gold and purple jerseys along with having Bernie Nicholls in the house, but it was to no avail.
Just to illustrate the contrasting starts for the Kings and Stars this season, the Pacific Division leading Stars had rookie Richard Bachmann in net to shutdown the Kings in their own building. In fact it was the second time in as many games on home ice that the Kings had been frustrated by a rookie keeper. Prior to that it was Minnesota Wild rookie Matt Hackett, who stymied the Kings with 42 saves.
While the Kings had defenseman Willie Mitchell back in the lineup, even his scrap against Steve Ott couldn’t ignite the anemic Los Angeles power play. The Kings were 0-for-3 with the extra attacker and are 3 for 34 over their last ten games. In fact, the Kings have registered two goals or less across their past eight contests.
One bright spot scoring wise on Saturday was the aforementioned Richardson. On a line with Trent Hunter and Jarret Stoll, Richardson netted his first of the year, on the penalty kill no less.
Los Angeles has dropped four straight, including its last three at home. Granted the Kings are only three points shy of catapulting from 12th to third in the Western Conference. While L.A. is better on the road thus far (5-3-3), they’re going to have to find that scoring touch quickly, as they embark on a four-game road trip, beginning with the Boston Bruins.