LOS ANGELES — There’s no query the Kings’ lack of scoring price them a playoff berth, as coach Darryl Sutter identified the opposite day. Their lack of goaltending depth whereas Jonathan Fast was sidelined for 59 video games due to a groin damage additionally proved to be an excessive amount of to beat, in keeping with Sutter.
However there’s a third cause the Kings will likely be on trip after Sunday’s regular-season finale in opposition to the Geese at Honda Heart. The Kings didn’t hold tempo with their Pacific Division rivals, particularly the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers, through the offseason.
The Kings didn’t enhance their roster after exiting the playoffs within the first spherical final spring, a surprisingly meek exhibiting in opposition to the San Jose Sharks. The Flames and Oilers improved with a collection of trades, signings and roster tweaks, and it paid dividends with a dramatic rise within the standings.
The Flames returned to the playoffs after a one-season absence. The Oilers are again within the postseason for the primary time since reaching the Stanley Cup Closing in 2006. The Geese are battling the Oilers for his or her fifth consecutive division title. The Sharks and Flames are preventing for third place.
The Kings will end fifth within the division and both ninth or 10th within the Western Convention.
They have been solely 11-13-2 in opposition to division foes going into Tuesday’s sport in opposition to the Oilers.
“Sustain,” Sutter mentioned. “You’ve received to maintain up. There’s no query about it.”
Normal supervisor Dean Lombardi’s offseason strikes failed miserably, plain and easy. Not one among his summer time additions remained on the Kings’ roster Tuesday, with most enjoying for the staff’s AHL affiliate in Ontario. Others have been traded away.
Lombardi did enhance the roster on the commerce deadline March 1, including veteran Jarome Iginla and goalie Ben Bishop. Iginla and Bishop are eligible to grow to be unrestricted free brokers July 1, and it stays to be seen if they may re-sign with the Kings. Iginla, 39, may retire.
Nevertheless, different trades in current seasons didn’t pan out as anticipated, particularly offers for Milan Lucic and Andrej Sekera, each of whom signed with the Oilers after the Kings paid steep costs for every in separate strikes in 2015.
Sutter declined to research the Kings’ season additional the opposite day, however may accomplish that subsequent week.
“I’m nonetheless trying forward,” Sutter mentioned whereas addressing a query in regards to the Kings’ lack of scoring. “We’re going to guage a few of our gamers. We have now division video games three of the subsequent 4. One factor about this season is we haven’t stored up within the division from quite a lot of completely different areas.”
Lombardi is predicted to ship his postmortem on the season subsequent week.
Questions in regards to the Kings’ type of play, their roster make-up and their incapacity to attain extra objectives will likely be atop the checklist of reporters’ queries to Lombardi, whose staff has missed the playoffs twice in three seasons since profitable the second of two Stanley Cup championships in three seasons.
The established order didn’t get it achieved this season.
Modifications seem like so as.