Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/19/13 at 10:56 AM ET
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
The Kings, who lost only four of 20 games as they soared to their first-ever NHL championship last spring, have yet to take off this season as they prepare for the Edmonton Oilers’ top wings, Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle, at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Rexall Place.
With a third of the NHL’s 48-game lockout season fast approaching, the Kings are going nowhere fast. They’re a pedestrian 5-6-2, which puts them 14th in the Western Conference. There’s been some mechanical failures that need fixing — they are 22nd on the power play, 17th on the penalty kill, only 21 even-strength goals, way too many players with zero or no goals.
Los Angeles has scored only 30 goals, the fewest in the league, which puts all the heat on the two Masked Jonathans — Quick and Bernier — in the net. Quick, the playoff MVP and Vezina Trophy runner-up, is still fast post-to-post, but not as all-world as last season, when he had a .895 save percentage and 2.74 goals-against average. Bernier has been better (a 2.08 GGA, but only an .893 save percentage).
If general manager Dean Lombardi is going to get another defenceman with Matt Greene and Willie Mitchell out with injuries long term, he may have to give up his back-up goalie, but Bernier will have to play more for teams to get a real book on him.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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