Todd McLellan is putting his team on notice after a forgettable four-game Midwestern road trip.
The Los Angeles Kings head coach refused to blame external factors and put the fault squarely on the players after they were outscored 15-4 in the final three games of the trip in St. Louis, Minnesota, and Chicago.
"The schedule has nothing to do with it because the other teams are playing the exact same amount of games, so let's clarify that the schedule is not an excuse, certainly for our team," McLellan told reporters following a 5-1 loss to the Blackhawks on Sunday night.
"I think this trip was good, because it let us know that there are some players that probably can't play in the league right now," the bench boss added. "So maybe we'll have to make some changes. There are some veterans that really have to pick up their play. We'll have to have a chat with them."
The Kings dropped to 4-8-0 with Sunday's loss. Only the Detroit Red Wings have a worse record (3-8-1) among clubs with 12 games played, and the two teams are tied with a league-worst minus-18 goal differential.
Los Angeles ranks dead last in the league with 4.08 goals against per contest and ninth-worst with 2.58 markers per game.
Kings veterans Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, Ilya Kovalchuk, and Tyler Toffoli have combined for just 11 goals through the first dozen games, while 33-year-old goaltender Jonathan Quick is 2-5-0 with a .849 save percentage in seven starts.