Sutter’s LA Hot Seat!
After winning the Stanley Cup in June of 2014 the Los Angeles Kings were poised to repeat last season. Well things did not go as planned. Too many peoples surprise the Kings managed 95 points, and fell short of making the playoffs. There were many excuses that were talked about. The players were worn out from the grueling playoff runs of years past. The off-ice problems with Slava Voynov took their focus off winning. The excuses were endless.
Well the 2015-2016 season was supposed to be a fresh start in Los Angeles. The Kings were expected to bounce back, and reenter the playoffs. For that matter, make a Stanley Cup run. With the Voynov problem in the past, and the Mike Richards and Jarrett Stoll problems removed from the team. All focus was on getting back to the playoffs.
Just one week into the regular season the Kings find themselves in the basement of the Pacific Division. Their winless record of 0-3 does not sound insurmountable, but they honestly have not been competitive in the three loses. The Kings started the season off with a 5-1 loss on opening night to the San Jose Sharks. Just two nights later they lost to Arizona 4-1, and backed that up with a shutout loss to the Vancouver Canucks 3-0. That is just two goals in three games, and they have allowed twelve. Not good!
Again excuses have been a plenty. The fact is, the Kings look slow. They look old and slow. Offensively they have been non-existent, and defensively they have been terrible. Superstar goalie Jonathan Quick has not been anything close to him, and new grinder Milan Lucic has been very undisciplined and has caused way more harm than good for the struggling team.
The result of this lackluster start will probably be the firing of coach Darryl Sutter. He had his struggles last season with his team’s attention, and the actions of his players do not make me feel like things are any better this season. Many have said that Sutter has lost the locker room. The players are tired of his demanding coaching style. Well it is hard to put a finger on it, but do not forget that last season Sutter was locked out of the dressing room by the players. Not a good sign that things are going well, and this years results do not look like fences were mended over the off-season.
Unjustly, coaches are often the first to go when quality teams struggle. This will probably be the result in Los Angeles, but the fact is there are more problems than Darryl Sutter. The Kings look slow, and unmotivated. Sadly the two Stanley Cups that Sutter brought the Kings will be forgotten, and without a miraculous turnaround, Sutter will be the sacrifice. The heat is on coach Sutter in LA, and the next two weeks will be critical.
* Photo Credit - USAToday Sports Images
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