Thursday, December 30, 2010
Kings: Good time for some New Year's resolutions
By Dan Arritt
A stretch of four games in five nights that started with such a bang, ended with an ever louder thud.
The Kings were lit up for the second consecutive night, this time allowing a season-high goal total in a 7-4 loss Thursday night against the Philadelphia Flyers at Staples Center.
The Flyers, who had been outscored, 11-2, in their previous two games, jumped on Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier for four goals in the second period, sending him to the bench in favor of Jonathan Quick.
The night before in a 6-3 loss in Phoenix, it was Bernier who replaced Quick in the second period.
The Flyers were expected to be the team holding its breath with their goalie selection. Michael Leighton had not played since last spring after undergoing back surgery in October. Leighton was able to relax after Philadelphia turned a 2-1 first-period deficit into a 6-3 second-period lead.
About the only bright spot for the Kings was their power-play unit. They scored two goals with the man-advantage and another during a long delayed penalty.
The Kings, who had not played four games in five days since the 1994-95 season, started the stretch with a 4-1 victory Sunday against the visiting Ducks, then followed up a day later with a 4-0 win in San Jose. That marked their fourth consecutive victory and fifth in six games.
There must've been quite a celebration on the plane ride from San Jose to Phoenix, because the Kings look like a different team since.
Their sudden turnaround is eerily similar to a slump they fell into earlier this season, when they started a franchise-best 12-3-0, then lost seven of their next eight. They allowed 11 goals in the first two games of that stretch. This time they’ve allowed 13.
We’ll find out what the Kings have to say in the locker room.