What is the biggest factor for these 3 goal lead collapses? Is the coaching staff not keeping the Kings focused? Are the Kings not practicing hard enough and get tired in the games? Are they too small?
Is the coaching staff doing enough to prevent these collapses?
I'm lost for words when it comes to the season so far. Even with all these injuries, the Kings should have at least 10 more points right now. If the Kings lose the division or even a playoff spot by a few points, they will have no one to blame but themselves for these 3 goal leads lost.
This is what I'm seeing so far, but I'm sure there are a bunch and everyone has a different take on it.
1.) Lapses in concentration. Making dumb plays and not the safe play when up by three. Cross ice passes, moving the puck to dangerous areas while in the defensive zone, trying to do too much when the odds are very remote.... All should absolutely never happen when up by 3. Normally, I would attribute that to youth, but some of the vets are doing this also.
2.) Lack of size from the forwards. I don't mean that they have to be Bertuzzi size. But 5'10" guys are just bouncing off of 6'2" guys and consequently we cannot stop the opposition's forecheck. Once the game wears on and the pace slows down a bit, the other team begins to establish their forecheck and the Kings are largely powerless to stop it. Slowly, they chip away at the lead until they've gotten back into it.
2A.) And as an axiom to #2, they cannot clear the puck when needed. They're getting bounced off the puck and dominated along the boards because of their lack of size. When you lose these one on one battles, you're not going to be able to clear the puck.
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Last edited by David A. Rainer: 12-22-2003 at 08:17 PM.
I agree with the above and also think that AM's prevent defense has a hand in the collapses. The team doesn't establish the great forecheck that got them in the lead in the first place, and then the other team is given more and more opportunities to score. The only thing the prevent has done so far is prevent us from winning.
1) Lack of Focus
Similar to the first post. (DeathFromAbove) You saw Matty Norstrom fumble the puck in his skates against Vancouver, and let Jarkko Ruutu come in and just roll over Huet. How does this happen to a quality NHL Defensmeman such as Norstrom? That cant happen.
Where are the forwards down low to help out? When Ruutu came in front it was a 3 on 2 down low. Corvo had no help. He had to take either the man or the pass, and as a defenseman he made the right move. He was so caved in there was really nothing he could do. All the forwards are standing at the blue line waiting for the puck. Even Pallfy, for example, he hangs out in the neutral zone for the home run pass. Get back and help out.
3) Clearing attempts
Again similar to the 1st post. This is the NHL. Rimming it around the boards with no elevation will NOT get the puck out. If your making a breakout pass then fine. But that pass HAS to be on the stick. Not in his skates, not off the boards, the other teams forecheck will be on you by then. But if you are holding the lead, you either flip that puck high over everybody, or HARD and HIGH off the glass. No cross ice passes in your own zone anymore.
I think that now, with several squandered leads under their belt, the problem may be largely mental; almost like they are expecting to lose the lead once they have it.
Whatever the problem may be, I hope they find a way to remedy it soon. The third period of the Vancouver game was absolutely disgusting. Icing the puck every single time you get possession is never a good idea, but against a team like Vancouver, its just insane. The Kings are just lucky Huet was on top of his game tonight.
Guys, it's all about responsibility on the clearing attempts... for the thrid game in recent memory, the Kings had a player Giveth and then Taketh away (or vice versa) and get 1 point when they should have gotten 2.
The Felon, Matty Norstrom and Alex Frolov all recently scored huge goals and either had previously (in The Felon's case) or subsuquently (in the other cases) turned the puck over that lead directly to a tying or momentum turning goal that stole a total of 3 points from the Kings.
Last night the Kings were killing a penalty, the puck was almost out of the zone when Frolov, who had looked TERRIFIC all night failed to get the puck out of the zone when it was on his stick about 7 feet away from the blue line. He has a responsibility to do so because of that critical area AM always talks about, about 5-7 feet inside the Kings' zone... you MUST clear the puck... at all costs... without fail or excuse. He didn't and it lead directly to Sopel's goal which was a back breaker (it was also a perfect shot Huet had no chance on).
As I said in another post, players aren't killing the Kings, plays are. I like this team a lot, even with the injuries. Huet stood on his head last night, but he couldn't overcome a lack of responsibility by one of the Kings best players this season (A-Fro)...
Lack of Focus... Lack of Schmocus... If professional athletes need coaches to keep them focussed with a 3-goal lead anywhere (on the road or at home), against one of the top teams in hockey, those players need to be playing hockey in sunny, warm New Hampshire. It's not like the Kings have any choice people, they still have about 4 or 5 guys who SHOULD be in New Hampshire... It's the plays not the players themselves.
I predicted a 6-2 loss... I'll take a 4-4 tie as disappointing as most of you guys think it might be, this team realistically shouldn't be getting points against some of these team with the talen their FORCED to throw out there... Those are my opinions.
Huet was pretty good yesterday... stopping 40 of 44 shots - but the rest of the team needs to take some blame for allowing 44 shots on goal... especially to a Canucks team that right now is totally off their game and basically slumping.
The Canucks have been struggling in their game for about a month now (more like 6 weeks)... they seem disinterested for 40 minutes most nights and then seem to turn it on in the late stages to get a win, or a tie... we've been coming from behind way too often recently - seems like every game - and have gone to overtime for 12 games already this season (and like 8 of their last 10 or something ridiculous)!! this team is more talented than that - they've won 6 of those OT games, and only lost 2...
still gotta hand it to the Kings though... with so many injuries your boys are playing better than most thought they would.
don't feel too bad though... the Canucks have been winning most of their games by playing for 15-20 minutes and coming from behind... it's not just against the kings.