Kings and Ducks look to heat up after cold starts

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The Dodgers are in the National League championship, the Rams are getting a lot of ink contending in their first year back in town, college football is in full swing and the NBA season is about to start. Meanwhile, temperatures are still in the 90s in Southern California So a causal LA sports fan could be forgiven if they didn’t realize that the hockey season is already underway.

It is, though it’s not going terribly well so far for the local teams.

The Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks both earned playoff spots last season, and both have plenty of talent. This year however both teams started the year with three-game losing streaks before finally getting into the winning column.

Southern California has had a lot of hockey success in recent times, but duplicating that success will be a tall order this year, according to L.A. Times sports columnist Helene Elliott. She says expectations are high, but the clubs’early-season difficulties may not be just a bump in the road.

“I think there’s bigger issues, especially now for the Kings. Unfortunately their top goaltender, Jonathan Quick, has been injured. And although he won’t require surgery for this groin problem…he does need a long recovery process. So that’s going to be about three months,” Elliott says. “With the Ducks the talent is there, it’s just that they are known for having very slow starts. I think maybe two, three weeks from now, a month from now, if the Ducks are still struggling then I think it gets to a critical point. Right now it’s kind of a matter of guys getting to know each other and getting their timing down and things like that.”