3 Takeaways From Los Angeles Kings’ 6-2 Loss to the Maple Leafs

Simply two weeks in the past, the Los Angeles Kings had been the most well liked workforce within the NHL and will go toe-to-toe with any workforce. That has rapidly modified, and the Kings have misplaced 5 straight video games after being comfortably beat 6-2 by the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday evening. Many hoped that they had discovered their recreation after a gradual begin, however they nonetheless have points that should be labored out. Listed here are three takeaways from final evening’s loss.

Kings Closely Outplayed

Because the rating signifies, the Kings had been outplayed on this recreation. Though they regarded a bit higher within the third interval, that had extra to do with the Maple Leafs taking their foot off the gasoline than something. The one line that posted optimistic numbers by way of the primary two durations was the Trevor Moore-Rasmus Kupari-Lias Andersson line. They completed the sport with a 74% anticipated targets share (XGoals%), a 66.7% Corsi for share (CF%), and a 73.3% Fenwick for share (FF%). Each different Kings line completed the sport at 50% or under in these classes. 

Trevor Moore, Los Angeles Kings (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Nevertheless, the Kings have had constantly good underlying numbers this season, even when shedding. So, these stats add an additional layer of fear to this loss. Their high six particularly had been closely outplayed on this recreation, as they couldn’t sustain with the high-powered Maple Leafs’ high six. The dearth of manufacturing from them at 5v5 has been a giant challenge throughout this shedding streak, with only one even-strength aim within the final 5 video games. The Kings must get the highest of their lineup to supply in the event that they need to begin successful video games once more.

McLellan Shakes up the Traces

I discussed that the Kings regarded higher within the third primarily as a result of Toronto took their foot off the gasoline. However one other issue was head coach Todd McLellan. Issues clearly weren’t working on this recreation, so he determined to explode the traces and alter them from high to backside.

Your Third Interval Traces –
Andersson – Kopitar – Moore
Kempe – Danault – Kaliyev
Arvidsson – Lizotte – Brown
Lemieux – Kupari – Iafallo

McLellan tweaking his traces midgame is nothing new, however wholesale adjustments like this are uncommon. Whereas I doubt these adjustments are everlasting after one interval, however I’m wondering if he was making an attempt to offer some gamers a trial greater within the lineup. With the top-six struggling, this may need been an opportunity for different gamers to get a glance in additional elevated roles.

Todd McLellan Los Angeles Kings
Todd McLellan, Los Angeles Kings (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

I’m notably to see if Arthur Kaliyev is given an prolonged look again within the high six. He had two temporary cameos on the primary line in the course of the workforce’s seven-game successful streak however wasn’t in a position to maintain down his spot. The highest two traces are lacking high-end expertise proper now, and whereas Kaliyev has deficiencies, talent will not be considered one of them. The Kings have just a few days off earlier than their Saturday recreation towards the Ottawa Senators, so we’ll regulate the traces in apply over the subsequent few days.

Durzi & the Energy Play Had been a Constructive

The largest optimistic from this recreation was Sean Durzi’s efficiency on the ability play. I’ve mentioned ad-nauseam the issues with the Kings energy play and talked about Durzi as a attainable answer. He was lastly given an opportunity on Wednesday, making his NHL debut towards the workforce that drafted him. Matt Roy retained his spot on the primary unit to start out the sport however was rapidly changed by Durzi, who made an instantaneous affect. He grabbed a main help on Viktor Arvidsson’s aim and a aim of his personal late within the recreation. 

Associated: Kings’ Additional time Loss to Coyotes the Results of Inconsistent Offense

I’ve talked about earlier than that he’s a extra like-for-like alternative for Drew Doughty on the ability play, as each gamers love taking pictures the puck. He doesn’t have the large, overpowering slap shot that Doughty has, however he possesses a really efficient wrist shot. He was thought-about a goal-scoring blueliner getting into his draft 12 months and continued to attain targets within the American Hockey League (AHL) due to this wrist shot. He confirmed it off final evening, placing shot on aim for Arvidsson to tip. He then discovered himself within the slot and fired a pleasant wrist shot previous Jack Campbell for his aim. He nonetheless must work on his 5v5 play, and I’d prefer to see him play with Alex Edler, however he made an prompt enchancment to the ability play and will keep within the lineup due to this.

Kings Fall Again Right into a Shedding Streak

The Kings appear to be doing every thing in bunches this season, leaping between massive shedding streaks and large successful streaks. They should discover consistency and rapidly. We’ll see if McLellan commits to any of the adjustments we noticed late on this recreation, as he must discover a option to get this workforce successful once more.