LOL Trying to blame this on the new captain? Not much he can do when the bigger problem is DL and Sutter. When you have those 2 main people refusing to change their styles in an NHL that is changing, you will have what we see on the ice. The heart and soul players are gone. Kopitar can be a great leader but not with the cast they have. When you bring up players like Scuderi over the kids, you know there are problems. As much as I am thankful to Dean for not 1 but 2 Stanley Cups, his and Sutter's time is done.
Until they can unload some of these insane contracts and get and get a new GM/Coach, expect this for the next few years.
And whats worse is its not even entertaining losses. 2 schools of thought. If its boring but the Kings win people will watch, because they win. If its exciting and they lose people will watch because it is entertaining and you are at least see skill...
What the Kings have now is the worst of both, amazingly boring hockey, with zero excitement and losing.
I knew in 2015 this team had run its course, as many did when they missed the playoffs. i cannot for the life of me figure out how the guy that built it could not see it was all crashing down around him. The fog of war I guess, or just plain denial of acknowledgment that the once great empire has fallen.
DL failed to do what the best have done, change the game while changing the game. In that I mean the best in any industry become the best, then rather than resting and thinking they have come up with something that is unbeatable, they are trying to beat themselves as if they are their own competition. DL believed he set a new standard for the NHL and the way a few teams built themselves DL believed the Kings were the model everyone was trying to achieve but he was already there. Meanwhile some teams realized they could go young, fast, and skilled, to get around the slower forechecking teams and exploit them. That is the Kings, now with a lack of skill, lack of youth, and lack of speed we are witnessing the obvious death of the great 2011-2014 Kings team.
Twas a magical run, and I am thankful to the bottom of my heart that I got to see those 2 cups, its 2 more than I realistically thought I might ever see, and for that DL I thank you. But you have got to re-assess your view of the team and the league and do what you can to get younger, faster, and more skilled because the non creative, dump, chase, forecheck, grind out 3-2 league is no longer the game being played.
I missed the Duck game - i was seeing HACKSAW RIDGE....which is great....but when I checked my phone upon exiting the theater...I saw 4-0.
But this is what I noticed about the crumbling of our dynasty.
When the Sharks "stripped" Thornton of the "C" after the 3-0 series choke job...the next season, they went with all "A"s....including Joe. Now - he's still an "A"....
The Kings should have followed that lead...Take away Brownie's "C"....give out "A"s to: Brown, Kopi, Drew, Greene, Carts (or any combo of these).
But in reality - the Kings demise starts with Voynov...then Dean keeping Richards...trading for two players who spent 1 1/2 years with us before leaving for Edmonton (of all places).
As much as some here disliked Stoll - I liked him. He did the little crap (like winning face offs and being a semi-pest)...and I love his girlfriend...but I digress.
Love to have Marty Jones - but we don't.
Love to have some decent draft choices - but we don't.
Love our 2 banners - but that's all we're getting for awhile...if not forever.
Kopitar sucks for letting Quick, Gaborik, McNabb, Andreoff and Zatkoff get hurt.
Gaborik is the only one of those who could potentially make a difference in the first ten games. Even then, he hasn't played well for two years, so it's an "on paper" difference.
Goaltending, apart from Zatkoff in Minnesota, has been good enough to win.
This team is losing due to a lack of talent and an antiquated approach to the game. It's similar to what happened in Calgary for a few years after Sutter's team reached the finals. Same system, less belief from the players, and a change in personnel that didn't quite fit the goal.
However, teams with little firepower have had success before, largely because they play like a team and bond together. That isn't happening here yet, and it is fair to question the leadership. It's too early to have any kind of definitive opinion though.
There are two extreme ends with Kopitar as Captain. One side is Anze rising to the occasion, taking ownership of his team, and getting out in front and pulling them ahead. Theoretically that would help him personally overcome some of his individual shortcomings as well, namely consistency. It could happen, but it hasn't happened in the first ten games. Small sample size.
The other end is Kopitar's even keel approach becoming a curse, where the lack of emotional motivation, which has always been his biggest weakness, infecting a team where his presence - a long term, untradable presence - prevents any other leaders from stepping forward and a couple of losses become ten in a row because there is no one there to turn up the heat when needed. That is WAY too early to see. That needs at least a full season's worth of evidence to determine.
So it's likely in between, veering from side to side. He deserves every chance to grow into the role, but after ten games its too early to see any negatives, and there have been no positives at all.
I think this is the key, and has been since they won the Cup the 2nd time. Playing Sutter's system is hard both physically and mentally and it takes total buy-in from everyone to work. The Kings had that buy-in and don't anymore. At least not consistently.