As first reported on Sunday, the Los Angeles Kings have fired coach John Stevens, previously of the Philadelphia Flyers, and have appointed Willie Desjardins, former Vancouver Canuck coach, as interm coach. Stevens had been with the team since 2010, and coach since 2017.
The team has struggled all year, not only in winning games, but in all around play. Poor play has resulted in only 9 total points this year, and they have the second oldest roster behind only Minnesota. The Kings have not enjoyed much success under Stevens as they are used to, being bounced out of the playoffs in round one last year against the Vegas Golden Knights. They still managed to sign 35 year old Ilya Kovalchuk before the season and he has responded with 5 goals and 9 assists for 14 points in 14 games thus far playing on the top line. They were projected to compete for the Pacific division but find themselves out of the playoff race one month into the season. The Kings also have a goal differential of -17.
For us to totally put this season on Coach Stevens is unfair. Coach Desjardins took over a Canuck team that was struggling at the time but managed to turn that around quickly and he will be looked to for doing the same thing in L.A. The front office, including Rob Blake, are hopeful the season can be turned around with Coach Desjardins and if he will be appointed coach for the long term, or if he will just finish out the season. Will this be the only change they make or are trades coming to shake things up? There is still time to turn it around but they have to act quickly because the playoffs will be here before you know it.
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