Dustin Brown doesn’t really want to hear the word consistency. An eight-game winning streak is pretty consistent right?
After back-to-back losses, the second one in the form of a 4-2 loss to Pacific Division leader Anaheim Ducks on Friday night at the Honda Center, the question that has been asked numerous times throughout a season of inconsistency was once again posed to the Los Angeles Kings’ captain.
This loss, unlike so many others, wasn’t the result of inconsistency.
"We win eight in a row and lose two and you guys think it’s consistency? It’s just playing our game," he said. "No one was questioning that two games ago."
If it wasn’t consistency, then the question that begs to be answered is how did a team go from 2-0 to 4-2 in just 20 minutes?
The Ducks’ forecheck had a lot to do with it, which goes hand-in-hand with the defensive pressure that was applied heavily throughout all 60 minutes. The Kings managed to break their pressure and get on the other end for two goals in the first two periods, but barely possessed the puck in the third.
"We kind of slowly started to get away from our game a little bit," said center Jeff Carter. "And get away from the things that were winning us games previously."
It was simply a case of ending up worn out from a team that played the Kings exactly how they typically play their own opponents: They played up-and-down, finished their checks and applied an overwhelming defensive pressure.
Ducks’ forecheck spurs comeback win over rival Kings
"They’re just as big and physical as us," Carter said. "Every time we play them they’e on the forecheck hard and they did a good job of it. They played a solid game."
While the Kings got away from their game for only 20 minutes, the Ducks played theirs for a full 60.
"It’s the National Hockey League, if you don’t play 60 good minutes, then you’re not going to win the game," Brown said. "I think the longer the season goes on, the less luck plays a part. The lucky teams are generally dying out."
You could probably say that it’s lucky that the Kings, who still hold the final Pacific Division playoff spot in the Pacific Division with 70 points, will face Edmonton, the second-worst team in the league on this next trip. The Kings need all the points they can get right now and there’s four out for the taking with a possibility to take two from the Western Conference’s Wild Card leader in Winnipeg first.
But if there’s no luck involved, then maybe what they really need is, in fact, consistency.