Culver City Observer -

Coach Explains Why Kings Missed The Playoffs

 

April 16, 2015



By Steven Lieberman

Observer Reporter

It was the final regular season game for the Los Angeles Kings, a team that was eliminated from playoff contention, but they came out and ended the season with a bang by beating the San Jose Sharks, 4-1, in front of a sold-out Staples Center at noon on Saturday...the NBC nationally-televised game-of-the-week.

The Kings became the first defending Cup champion to fail to qualify for the playoffs since the 2006-07 Carolina Hurricanes. And the Sharks ended its 10-year postseason run.

But not that the Kings didn’t give it a good effort. They finished with 25 home wins, one shy of the franchise single-season record.

After the game, Kings coach Darryl Sutter reflected on the season and the fatigue-factor.

“I think our team was incomplete this year,” Sutter said. “We have a great home record, but the back-to-back games hurt us and the long parts of the year and attrition. The young guys got big experience and learned a lot from the regulars this season.”

By incomplete, Sutter was most likely referring to the loss of one of his stars this season, Slava Voynov, who was suspended for the season and indefinitely on charges of domestic violence. His wife was the victim.

And also the lack-luster effort by Mike Richards who was sent down to the minors during the season. Richards was instrumental in helping the Kings win the Stanley Cup twice in the past three seasons. He just under-performed this year.

Jarret Stoll and Justin Williams, two of the three stars-of-the-game, also lamented the Kings season.

“This win today meant a lot to our fans, but it was a weird, bad feeling because it didn’t mean anything,” Stoll said.

“Excuses are for losers,” Williams said. “We got kicked on our asses. We’ll reflect on what went wrong and prepare for next year.”

After Sharks defenseman Brent Burns scored in the first period, it was all Kings from then on. Tyler Toffoli scored in the second period while Brayden McNabb, Marian Gaborik and Andy Andreoff all scored in the third. Andreoff’s coming on an empty-netter.

This regular season finale between these two teams came a year after they played in the first round of the playoffs when the Kings became the fourth team in NHL history to win a best-of-seven series after losing the first three games.

And on another positive note, with this win today, the Kings gained a little momentum going into the offseason.

 

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