Monday, November 16, 2009

Trying to Make a Point

Do the Kings have what it takes to finally make their return to the playoffs this season? The coaches talk about getting more offense. Some fans talk about getting better goaltending. Others talk about it taking a trade for this or that. However, the bottom line is it's only going to take one thing - points. It doesn't matter how the Kings get them. A 2-1 win get you the same two points as an 8-0 blowout. Losing a game by a goal hurts just as much as that shellacking the Kings took in Hotlanta the other night. Two points is two points. And even one point is...well, a point.

After Friday night the Kings had played 20 games. Earlier this season, in an article published HERE, we looked at how the Kings can reach the postseason and breaking down the season into eight 10-game sections. For each 10 game chunk of the season the Kings needed to average 11 points. After the first 10 games they had 12 points. After Friday's game #20 the Kings had accumulated 24 points.

So, overall, a little ahead of the pace needed.

Can they keep that up for the next 10 games? Again, just take it 10 games at a time - no need to get ahead of ourselves. Let's look at the game log:

Game 21 - at Tampa Bay: 2 points earned in a shootout win
Game 22 - at Florida:
Game 23 - home vs Philly:
Game 24 - home vs Calgary:
Game 25 - at Edmonton:
Game 26 - at Vancouver:
Game 27 - home vs Chicago:
Game 28 - at Anaheim
Game 29 - home vs Ottawa:
Game 30 - home vs St Louis:

Pretty balanced, with five games at home and five on the road. With one game at Anaheim, that's a lot of home cooking. Philly and Calgary will probably be two of the toughest games in this stretch.

The scariest game? Anaheim. As predicted in our season preview article (click here), the Ducks aren't the same team as in year's past. Yet, somehow these two always play each other tough. So, which ever squad gets two points that night will probably earn them in a dogfight.

The most important game? There's four. After just raw points, one of the other ways teams make the playoffs is by beating the teams in their own conference. Four games in this stretch (Edmonton, Vancouver, Anaheim and St Louis) are all currently below the Kings in the standings. That makes those four games the most important. Win those and it widens the gap, creating a separation that becomes very important in March and April.

Yes, the Kings are going to need continued solid production from the top line. Yes, the Kings need Brown's line to be more consistent. Yes, Frolov's line needs to score more goals. Yes, the fourth line needs to do something. Anything! Yes, the defense needs to play 60 minutes a night. And yes, Quick needs to play better some nights. But, you know what? The Kings have been getting it done so far, both after 10 games - then, again after 20 games.

Stanley Cups aren't won in November...or even December. However, the two points you earn at this time of the year count the same as the two points you can earn after the All Star break. For now, the Kings need to just keep averaging 11 points or more for each 10 game section of the schedule and the return to the second season will come soon enough.

After all, isn't that why we're all here? Which reminds me, where's my t-shirt?


No comments:

Facebook Blogger Plugin: Bloggerized by Enhanced by

Post a Comment