The old sports cliché says that you’re never really in trouble in a playoff series until you lose at home. But, with all due respect to the wisdom of old sports clichés, right now the Los Angeles Kings look like a team that’s in a lot of trouble.
They’ve dropped the first two games of their Western Conference finals matchup with the Blackhawks, including a surprisingly easy Chicago win Sunday that saw L.A. trailing 4-0 before the midway mark. While the series has returned to Los Angeles for the next two games, the prospect of the Kings coming back to win four-of-five against the Presidents’ Trophy winners seems slim.
Or does it? After all, the Kings are the defending Stanley Cup champions, and they’ve already come back from a 2-0 series deficit this postseason (against the Blues in Round 1). Counting them out after two games of a seven-game series seems like a reach.
Here are eight things that are going wrong for the Kings right now, and our best guess as to whether they’ll be able to fix them in time.