ANAHEIM -- From the easternmost fringes of Canada to the West Coast of the U.S., plenty of hockey talk has swirled around potential trades involving the Kings and a high-scoring forward.
Jarome Iginla, Brad Richards, Tomas Fleischmann. Every day it seems a different player is headed to Los Angeles to provide that final piece of the puzzle.
After their latest setback Monday night, a 2-0 loss against their Pacific Division rivals, the Anaheim Ducks, those rumors are sure to build volume.
The Kings lost for the seventh time in the last eight games, but this marked their first via shutout. They have four goals in the last four games and haven’t scored an even-strength goal in the last 11 periods.
Kings captain Dustin Brown, looking frustrated as he sat in front of his locker at the Honda Center, said his team doesn’t need to reach outside the organization for scoring help.
“No one is questioning our scoring when we’re winning seven straight,” he said. “Now we’ve lost seven of eight, or six of eight, or whatever it is, people start questioning things. The season is ups and downs and it’s just a matter of staying at an even keel.”
Brown has gone the extra mile to end the scoring skid, moving from right wing to the left side on the front line. However, nothing seems to be working at any level.
Brown hasn’t scored a goal in the last five games. Wayne Simmonds, who moved up to the top line to take Brown’s spot at right wing, has no goals in the previous five and one in the last 13. Third-line center Michal Handzus has two in the last 12.
Even the second line, which contributed a majority of the scoring while the Kings surged to a 12-3-0 start, has gone ice cold.
Justin Williams, Jarret Stoll and Ryan Smyth have combined for one goal in the last six games after producing 23 in the first 17.
The lack of scoring against Anaheim was particularly frustrating because the Kings did their jobs in most other areas.
“We played well enough to win the game,” said Kings coach Terry Murray. “We’re not scoring goals.”
Murray said he doesn’t plan to “fool around with the line combinations” at this time. He said he was pleased with the chemistry up front against the Ducks.
“I thought we checked well, good puck movement,” he said. “We turned it over a little bit in the second period on some breakouts where they came back at us, but overall the attitude of the checking was good.”
The Kings will have a couple of days of practice to try and sort out their scoring. They next play Thursday against Florida at Staples Center. Expect a few more trade rumors to filter through cyberspace between now and then.