The Staples Center has the pleasure of witnessing the high-scoring, high-octane offense of the Lob City-dubbed Los Angeles Clippers. As long as the LA Lakers have a certain fellow that wears #24, scoring will always take place no matter who is on his supporting cast. However, there is one team that occupies the Staples Center that definitely has not lit up the league in terms of scoring. Despite holding the #7 spot in the NHL Western Conference Standings, the Los Angeles Kings are dead last in the NHL in scoring. Their defense has kept them in the playoff hunt as they’re 4th in the league in defense with only 116 goals allowed. The Kings have lost their last two games and managed only 47 shots on goal combined within those two games. Conventional wisdom dictates that if they want to play postseason hockey, they have to start putting the puck in the back of the net. Daryl Sutter has failed to generate some offense for the LA Kings nearly a month after replacing the axed Terry Murray.
Kings GM Dean Lombardi is on the hot seat. This is the third head coach that has been hired under his tenure. At some point, the fan base is going to take their finger-pointing away from the head coach and towards the front office. The point could be right now. The acquisition of Mike Richards has failed to jump-start the sputtering engine that is the Kings offense. In the last 18 games, he has managed just one measly goal. Gulp. Simon Gagne is on the shelf with a concussion. GULP!
They have 20 days until the deadline to try to make a move that could at least alleviate their offensive struggles. The lining may not be silver at all. Dean Lombardi has stated out loud his current struggle to find a worthy acquisition. Last year’s acquisition of Dustin Penner by Lombardi has panned out to the tune of four overall goals during the season.
As it is, the Kings may be too salary-cap strapped to make a move at the trade deadline. They will have nearly 14 million off of their cap room for next season. However, it’s becoming increasingly unlikely that Dean Lombardi may not get a chance to work with the new cap room.