The Los Angeles Kings are in Motown to take on the Detroit Red Wings tonight, and according to Patrick O’Neal of Fox Sports they’ll be without two more veteran players. Alec Martinez is not with the team as he deals with an upper-body injury, while Kyle Clifford has suffered a concussion and will also not play. The team has recalled Austin Wagner, while Sean Walker is also expected to be called up to join the club.
The Kings have had a disastrous season so far, watching key players like Jonathan Quick and Ilya Kovalchuk go out for big stretches. That’s resulted in a tie for last place in the entire league, and a good head start in the draft lottery sweepstakes. The Kings have just 11 wins through 30 games and have scored easily the fewest goals in the entire NHL with just 67 tallies. While Clifford shouldn’t be expected to provide much offense anyway, losing him and Martinez weakens the team defense that the Kings have relied on so heavily.
It appears that the season is almost already out of reach for Los Angeles, who will have to start considering big changes to their core group. The team is apparently already working the phones to make another move, but so far none of their previous transactions have brought about substantial change. While sending Tanner Pearson packing and claiming Brendan Leipsic and Nikita Scherbak off waivers certainly adds some new faces, the Kings could very well be considering some deep and profound changes before the season is out.