A change of scenery has proven to be effective for the LA Kings. On a lengthy road trip, the Kings have been playing some decent hockey on the road. For a team that has struggled terribly this season, winning three of five games on the road is a step forward. They will head home to play the Bruins on Saturday following Monday.
So, yeah, they have some time to relax after this long road trip. The Kings can make this a winning road trip or a split tonight in Washington. It’s highly unlikely they can stage a comeback to go from last in the Western Conference to a playoff berth, but they aren’t completely out of the picture.
The Kings are tied with the Ducks for last in the Western Conference at 51 points. That’s only 8 points behind the Wild for the final playoff spot despite tied for last. That showcases how wide open and tight this conference has been in 2018-19. Crazier things have happened, so maybe the Kings find some magic.
The craziest part is that the Ducks are still technically alive. Having said that, the Kings and Ducks are in all likelihood cooked, especially the Ducks who just pulled the cord on Randy Carlyle. The Kings may have a better case for tanking and going after a high draft pick. Jack Hughes, a talented American, would immediately give the Kings attention in Los Angeles. People would at least be talking about the Kings again.
The Capitals are on the heels of a 5-4 overtime loss against the Panthers over the weekend. They can’t go losing games like that at home, but it’s best to get rid of the sloppiness now instead of March and April. The Caps go into the new week with a record of 67 points and now are behind the Islanders by 5 points in the Metropolitan. Head below for our free Kings vs. Capitals pick.
L.A. Kings vs. Washington Capitals Pick
A lack of goal scoring has been plaguing the Kings all season long. The puck just hasn’t been finding the back of the net for them. They’re 30th in the NHL with 2.36 goals per game. However, the Kings have seemingly found a scoring touch on the road during this east coast tour. LA are averaging 4 goals per game in their last four games and have also recorded 3.1 goals per game in their previous ten games. I think Willie Desjardins had seen enough and wanted to see his team press the puck more.
Sitting back and relying on their defence, like they’ve tended to do in the past, is not working in this era of fast hockey. Jonathan Quick is no longer the same goaltender, nor are several of the other veterans on this roster. It’s resulted in some more scoring, but they have been getting caught defensively as a result, though.
While they are doing a better job offensively, they’ve also allowed 3 goals per game in their previous ten outings. The Kings’ offence could do some damage again before heading home. They face a Washington squad who have been getting reamed with 4.4 goals allowed per game in their last ten. Holtby has watched his numbers slip to a 3.07 GAA and 0.906 save percentage.
They’re going to need him to repeat. He’s such a streaky netminder that he very well could get hot just in time for the playoffs. As far as tonight is concerned, the total of 5.5 looks good for a play on the OVER. A total of 5.5 in a game featuring the Capitals is not going to come around a whole lot this season. It’s because of their opponent, but the Kings have been showing something offensively recently. With that said, the Capitals’ defence has been cold and will likely give up some scoring chances. Their moneyline is too pricey, but a 4-2 final, which looks accurate, gives us a winning pick on the OVER.