Previewing the Los Angeles Kings' 2013-14 season:

Game 54 @ San Jose

January 27, 2014

7pm PST (10pm EST)

Do you remember just over a month ago when the Los Angeles Kings were ahead of the San Jose Sharks in the Pacific and even, albeit briefly, within striking distance of the hated Ducks? While I do remember that time, it seems like an eternity ago. Before December 23, the Kings earned points in 20 of their previous 22 games. Since then, the silver-and-black have won just twice in their next 16 and earning points in four of those contests. On Monday, the Kings hope to avoid their second five-game losing streak in a month – but it won’t be easy as they travel to San Jose to take on the red-hot Sharks.

While the atmosphere of Saturday’s historic game at Dodger Stadium was magnificent (I really can’t stress than enough), the consensus I received from Kings fans, especially after Saturday’s end result, was one of sheer frustration.

What I found was the overall frustration of fans supporting a team who are not only unable to score but who have a hard enough time turning their plethora of shots into quality scoring chances. Yes, the Los Angeles Kings go through losing slides every year but it is still hard to fathom how a team can look so hot for so many weeks at a time and then implode for another stretch immediately after. But more on this later.

Having lost four-straight (five if you include their controversial overtime loss in Detroit last Saturday), the Kings face a Sharks team who have won six-straight games, are 8-2-0 in their last 10 outings and 10 points ahead of their rivals from SoCal.

Now that the long-anticipated outdoor game is over and done with, the Los Angeles Kings can return to normalcy and focus on San Jose – hopefully enough to win a game.

In addition to San Jose’s streaking ways, both Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau have signed contract extensions with the team last week and while both are forces, it’s the latter who’s had particular success against the Kings lo these last few years. Needless to say, the silver-and-black will need to do what they can to contain No. 12. But Marleau’s not all the Kings need to contain as Joe Pavelski is arguably the hottest player in the league right now having scored seven goals and adding three assists in his last five games. It is also notable to mention that three of those were game-winners.

There’s no sense analyzing what the Kings need to do to win because it is that apparent. Here’s to hoping to leaving the SAP Center on Monday with two points.

We’ll see if the Kings can do just that.

Enjoy the game!