The arrival of basketball's biggest star in Los Angeles has helped sweep a horrific start from the city's hockey team under the rug and away from the limelight.
The Kings have now lost four straight games, capped by an ugly 5-1 defeat against the Buffalo Sabres on home ice Saturday afternoon. The team decided to hold a closed-door meeting afterward in an attempt to sort things out.
Saturday's blowout loss has seemingly become routine for the Kings, as they've been outscored by a total of 21-5 during their drought.
|Oct. 13||at Senators||5-1 L|
|Oct. 15||at Maple Leafs||4-1 L|
|Oct. 18||vs. Islanders||7-2 L|
|Oct. 20||vs. Sabres||5-1 L|
The two-game home stretch was certainly a pair of contests the Kings expected to win, given that the Islanders and Sabres were out of the playoff race early last season.
"When things have been going wrong, a bad bounce here or there, things have been going south," Drew Doughty said. "You can't talk and say things have been lucky for the other team as much as maybe they have been. You got to work to get the luck back on your side, and we haven't done enough working and competing."
Head coach John Stevens was at a loss for words.
"I'll be honest, I don't have an answer at this second," Stevens said. "I thought after the way we played the other night we would come and rip the doors off the hinges tonight. We have great fans here, and guys love playing at home because of the support we get at home here, so I don't have an answer right now."
The Kings finished last season as the Western Conference's first wildcard seed, despite missing Jeff Carter for most of the season. With Carter back in the fold, the majority of last year's team returning, and the addition of Ilya Kovalchuk, expectations were high for the Kings heading into 2018-19, but they'll now have to climb out of a 2-5-1 hole.
"We've accepted being okay," Muzzin said. "It's not okay. It's not working. It's going to be a long year, guys will be moved if this continues. It's not what we want, so we've got to take a look in the mirror."