The LA Kings have scored first in 4 of their 5 video games to start out the 2021-22 season, however they’ve only one win and three factors within the standings to indicate for it. Alex Iafallo bought the Kings on the board 11:39 into the opening interval on Saturday night time towards the St. Louis Blues.
The Eden, New York, native collected a rebound off defenseman Alex Edler’s shot to mild the lamp for the primary time this season. Nonetheless, the Blues would go on to attain six unanswered targets, together with three in a catastrophe of a second interval.
“I assume we simply let up,” Iafallo admitted after the Kings’ 7-3 loss. “We talked about having an excellent begin and leaping on them, however we’ve to remain on them, within the offensive zone, maintain going ahead. We’d like all three durations subsequent sport and we should be able to go.”
Iafallo was named an alternate captain previous to Saturday’s sport in place of the injured Drew Doughty. And the latter’s absence was obvious, particularly on particular groups, the place the Kings gave up 4 targets on seven penalty kill conditions.
The penalty kill was an space of power for this staff final 12 months, ending within the Prime 10 in that division. Nonetheless, by means of the primary 5 video games this season, the Kings have the second-worst penalty kill at 53.3 %. Conversely, they haven’t been superb on the person benefit, both. Thus far this season, the Kings have transformed simply as soon as on 12 powerplay alternatives, courting again to Tuesday’s sport towards Nashville.
“It was type of every thing, it’s positively not a sport that we need to play, we’re embarrassed proper now,” Iafallo mentioned. “Clearly every interval, we’ve bought to come back collectively, whether or not it’s the facility play, penalty kill, every thing hurts tonight. We’ve bought to bounce again and are available collectively.”
As for what’s subsequent, the Kings are off on Sunday, however they’ll must regroup and accumulate themselves for one more shot on the Blues on Monday.
They’ve largely been a one-line staff within the early goings of this season, led by Anze Kopitar’s robust begin. It’ll be attention-grabbing to see if head coach Todd McLellan throws the road combos into the blender, with an outdoor potential of introducing new blood from Ontario. Both manner, the Kings must discover a method to flip round their poor begin to the season whereas adjusting to life with out Doughty, in the interim.
“Take an excellent have a look at ourselves tonight, have a look within the mirror, and keep in mind our errors,” Iafallo mentioned of what the Kings must do. “On the similar time, we’ve bought to come back collectively, speak extra, maintain our possibilities, remove their possibilities.”
The Kings and Blues will meet once more Monday, with puck drop set for six pm PT.