The Key Three: Dec. 29
Three key aspects of the Kings' 1-0 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets.
1. TWO-MAN (NON-)ADVANTAGE
Is there anyone, in or out of a Kings uniform, who has confidence when the team goes on a power play these days? The Kings are now 2-for-42 with the man advantage in their last 12 games. It’s fair to say that with even a decent power play, the Kings would easily be atop the Pacific Division right now. Instead, they’re chasing, and Thursday’s game showed why. The Kings had a 5-on-3 advantage for 1 minute, 53 seconds, during the second period of a scoreless game. They didn’t score. Yes, Winnipeg failed on its own two-man advantage as well, but the Jets, not the Kings, got two points out of Thursday’s game.
2. BERNIER, AND NOT MUCH ELSE
What exactly did Jonathan Bernier do to deserve this. Bernier started on Dec. 3 and lost 2-1. He stared on Dec. 10 and lost 2-1. He started last night and lost 1-0 in overtime. So, in his last three starts, Bernier has allowed a total of three goals, and stopped 77 of 82 shots, and come away with three losses because of the Kings’ lack of offense. Bernier had a couple bumpy moments early, but also stopped Blake Wheeler’s breakaway attempt eight minutes into the game. What must it be like to be a Kings goalie these days, to know that if you allow one or two goals and play a strong game, you still might lose?
3. LACK OF STAR POWER
There’s no question that the Kings faced a tough situation. They were playing their third game in four nights, and playing the second leg of a back-to-back set after a 2:30 a.m. arrival in Winnipeg. To grit out the game, and take home one point against a fast, aggressive Jets team, is nothing to sneeze at, but if the Kings were to get two points, it called for a to player to step up and make a game-changing play. Dustin Penner nearly did, when his deft deflection hit the post, but where were the rest? The defensemen, as a group, didn’t contribute much offense, and as noted, the forwards didn’t score on the power play.