Good afternoon! I’m sure many NHL fans are delighted with their teams. The Lightening, Jets, Islanders, Flames, and many teams are wining a lot of games. But that’s not the case for me! I’m a fan of the Los Angeles Kings and they’re having a particularly awful season. The 2018-2019 season is a lost cause for Kings fans, but their team can make adjustments in the future. I’ll give you my thoughts below.
Here’s my usual disclaimer. I’m not a sports expert, newscaster, athlete, or journalist. But I’ve watched many games for several years and it’s easy for regular viewers to pick some pointers. Common sense will set you free. What’s the key to a successful ice hockey team? At this point, I would say speed is essential. Other elements are very important as well, but all successful hockey teams are quick on the ice. Speed helps players maneuver around the other team, steal the puck, shoot frequently, and seem less predictable for the opposing goalie. That also means good teams have a lot of endurance. Speed doesn’t have much significance if a team slows down in a short period of time. Even goalies need to be quick. They have to block and catch pucks throughout the entire game. The best goalies have incredibly fast reflexes and they tend to be very flexible.
What else matters for prime hockey teams? Naturally, accurate shooting is important. A team can’t win without scoring points. Unlike a lot of sports, ice hockey is a low scoring game. Many shots are fired, but very few pucks get inside the net. Accurate shooters just have a better chance of scoring points.
Tough defense is also significant. Ice hockey is a real contact sport. Defensemen have to steal the puck and knock the offensive players around. It’s an effective way to wear down a team. Beating up players might sound barbaric, but that’s just part of the game. It’s a great way to cut down shooting and bring down a team’s speed.
What’s going on with the Kings? I have some theories. First of all, their best players have been around a really long time. They’re a veteran team who needs to get younger. For a while, these same players were amazing. They won a couple of Stanley Cups a handful of years ago. But that’s the past and people keep getting older. Age makes a huge difference in sports. Unlike a lot of careers, athletes wash out when they hit middle age or younger. The career of an athlete is quite short. Unfortunately, the Kings are a slow team who are developing predictable movement. Other teams can skate circles around them. It seems like the Kings shoot the puck frequently, but they’re less accurate and even I can tell where the puck is going. They also seem to get really fatigued in the second and third periods. It’s not unusual for them to have a strong first period, but their momentum usually dies out. I greatly admire their goalie, Jonathan Quick, but this isn’t his prime. Opposing teams are scoring way too many points against him.
I’m not particularly impressed with their younger talent either. Here’s what happens when teams are really good. They get the worst draft picks. Lousy teams get the best young players who are entering the sport unless there’s a trade. For quite some time, the Kings were great, so their younger talent wasn’t very good. That means their veteran players aged as time progressed and the team wasn’t building anything else. Truthfully, I’m not surprised. This happens in sports all the time. Think about the NFL. Teams can win the Super Bowl and be terrible a few seasons later.
Ironically, there’s a silver lining to this disappointing season in the NHL. The Kings have the worst record in the Western Conference, which means they should get a solid draft pick. In fact, this trend might continue for a couple more seasons. Eventually, they’ll probably trade or release some players too.
You probably think I’m being really hard on my favorite hockey team, but I’m not trying to be mean. I’m simply pointing out their weaknesses and possible solutions. It’s all in the hands of the owner anyway, so we’ll see what happens. I follow a lot of sports and the Kings are definitely my weakest team this year. The Lakers aren’t having a great season either, but I’m noticing a bigger problem in hockey.
Hopefully, the NHL draft will bring some new talent to the Kings and the following season will be much better. I want to be optimistic. Would you like to know something ironic? The other awful team in their conference is the Anaheim Ducks. Two rival teams in Southern California are on the bottom of their division and the entire league. I’m pretty sure the Senators are the only NHL team with a lower record. The tide is bound to shift in the near future.
How is your hockey team performing this season? Do you have any general thoughts about the NHL? Go ahead and leave a comment. That’s all for now, but I’m going create another post next week. You’ll get to see an upcoming interview, my photos at WonderCon, a review for Captain Marvel, and more. Just keep coming back to see more content. Thanks a lot and have an awesome week.
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