Almost 12 months ago the Maple Leafs were rolling into Hollywood to take on the Los Angeles Kings. The Toronto media was agog with a team that is flush with young players that was in the midst of conducting a rebuild that the Maple Leafs would be well-advised to emulate:
But the Kings are now one of those teams for whom free agents aren't just filling spots but are supposed to be the player or players who put the team over the top. The team is not satisfied with simply making the playoffs.
Kevin McGran's article was one of many prematurely anointing the Kings a team on the verge. Similar to St. Louis, a couple of hard-fought series losses to the Sharks and the Canucks were seen as harbingers that the Kings were on the verge of taking the next step. Maybe they will. But it sure doesn't look like they will this year:
- They sit 10th in the West and are 5 points out of 8th.
- They sit 29th in goals for with a scant 69 scored this year.
- They are 3-7-0 in their last 10
- The great Drew Doughty has 2-7-9 and -6 in 27 GP
- The awful Luke Schenn has 1-9-10 and +2 in 31 GP
- They hired Darryl Sutter as their new head coach