Two Kings Games: Not So Much a Recap


OCTOBER 23, 2018
Ha. I made these “graphics” forgetting that my website’s background was dark. I’ll fix it next time. FYI, I’ve had this post in DRAFT for a few days. This last week’s been incredibly busy and exhausting for me, but I’m about to fly out to Vancouver as I type this, so I’m sure I’ll want some downtime once I get to my apartment in the downtown.

EDIT 10/29. Scratch that, LOL I’m actually in Seattle right now on my way back from Vancouver. I have so much to write about but, I’ll save most of Vancouver trip for the next post. This entire post was spread across a week’s worth of writing, because I’m an idiot, but, eh. Blogging is merely a hobby for me.

Anyway, I did attend these games. However, I didn’t write about them because (1) there are other people much better at reporting this; (2) I do my best to enjoy the game; (3) despite enjoying the game, I’m still recovering from being a witness to these significant losses.

Let’s be honest, since we’ve been a bit of “heated topic” in our community as far as theorizing what is going on, whether said theories are logical or possibly unreasonable, maybe flat-out absurd. They may even be flat-out too accurate, too little, too late.


A Team with a Mid-Life Crisis (Sadly)

Before I continue, I’m going to put the phrase “lack of skill” to the side. I don’t really want to address the skill of the players… yet.

The Kings—as a team, not the community—are suffering from a bit of complacency mixed with an identity crisis. I have mentioned a couple of times since starting this blog that they have had clear issues of rebuilding. They are developing bad habits, regardless of how much they state that they are aware of the ongoing, detrimental flaws they need to be diligently working on.

Complacency, in an inclusive sense, is very prone to being a bad habit and, regrettably, a silent killer. Pair complacency up with a loss of identity, and you are ramping into a storm of issues that will only become worse the longer you wait for it to “go away.”

Who or what is really to blame when this happens?

There are many opinions as to where the fingers should point. It is easy to blame Stevens for his sense of coaching (perhaps maybe lack thereof). However, we should all realize that saying the coach is the primary problem is much too simple of a solution. One thing Stevens could do is at least invest time into the fresh young faces on his team by giving them more TOI. The kids need more NHL seasoning. Come the second half of the season, assuming they stay hungry and play alongside the still-eager veterans, they will be even proficient players.

If not just the coach, it’s the players too, right?

Only Human

If we dive into human factors, reminding ourselves that even though professional athletes are indeed a part of an industry that we deem as entertainment, it doesn’t negate the fact that what they do is their career. It’s a job that pays bills. Injuries, suspensions, contracts, and so on—they’re all influenced by it, for better or worse.

On the math side, looking at things from an analytical point of view—the statistics, the points—it very well could be. Given the average age of the Kings, the risky long-term contracts of their “past-prime” players may (or will) cause salary cap issues. However, if we are going to bring numbers, doesn’t this fall onto the GM, Rob Blake?

Then again, who really knows what conversations happen with the management team. I’m not even going to pretend to know what their day-to-day is really like notwithstanding what the media tells us as the consumer audience.

Listening to Stevens in his post-game interviews, I personally can’t tell if he’s making excuses or he IS entirely aware. It doesn’t help that a lot of the community feels that being relieved of his duties would solve the problems the team is having. If we could see what conversations are happening behind the door, the mediocre coaching could very well be related to their identity crisis and low morale that is very obvious after losing six straight games in a row.

What I’m personally worried about is that whatever solutions they come up with maybe impulsive out of desperation as they are, as Stevens says, “in this business to win.” If that were indeed the case, beyond everything and anything else, then what’s the real problem?

Morale

It’s disappointing listening to the post-game interviews because at this point we’re hearing them run in circles stating the same issues over and over again. I mean, I get it, no one really wants to talk about how and why the lost the game next to what they think they could do better, ESPECIALLY when the team isn’t doing better at what they said they weren’t doing in the previously played game a couple days prior.

After the team loses, I do my best keep unattentive to the infamous comment threads–anywhere. I don’t want to be that person who knows what everyone’s gripes are, so much I’m going to argue about line-ups, theorize the management teams, so on and so on.

It’s a shitty situation, right? Sports have become such a pedestal in entertainment that the expectations are insurmountably higher than it was back in the “mid-century.” The game has changed a lot, from rules to players, to the resources (or lack thereof) one needs to learn to play hockey, HOW they played hockey–it all means something as far as the nostalgia of hockey.

Despite what us “modern timers” may feel (under the assumption that you aren’t some hockey history connoisseur), we have to admit to ourselves that hockey doesn’t have quite the same “energy” and “grit” as it used to.

But why is that?

The health of the players began to be a priority. Who can argue against that? First of all, what good is any hockey team or hockey game just because a key player wasn’t present due to injury that may have been avoided, taking existing regulations into account. Let’s not also discuss other critical aspects that are affected by the inevitable (e.g., injuries, suspensions, ejections).

If we were to focus on just the Kings in an isolated situation truly–and perhaps blame “bad coaching,” “bad contracts,” and the consistent complaint of “players past their prime”–each issue despite how often they are admitted and called out, they start to sound like an excuses this far in… in October. Lol