The Kings’ structure is collapsing and the top line is weakening, and why is Arthur Kaliyev out of the lineup? – Athleticism

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota games don’t always bring out the worst in the Kings.

It only seems so.

There was good (ephemeral) and ugly (a lot) as they allowed the Minnesota Wild six straight goals, losing 6-3, Sunday at Xcel Energy Center. Unfortunately, for the Kings, the good had a limited lifespan, lasting just over 15 minutes as they built a 3-0 lead before it went seriously off the rails.

The third-placed Kings failed to extend their two-point lead over Vegas in the Pacific Division, and the Golden Knights have a game in hand (and hold the ROW tiebreaker). Here are some thoughts and observations from a lost day in St. Paul.

1. Growing concern: The Kings lost three straight games and the structure that was largely in place for most of the first 70 games faltered in the final five minutes of the first period and essentially collapsed in the 40 last minutes. Also, they didn’t pop well and were deficient around the net.

“When your details erode, a team like Minnesota and some of the other top teams can punish you, and they have,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said.

2. The structure is meant to be a sort of safety blanket, especially for young Kings players who are in the midst of a serious first-time playoff push.

“Our identity – we’ve talked about it a lot in the last month and a half since we encountered this rash,” McLellan said. “Our identity and our structure were supposed to take care of us and now they don’t. We are supposed to be a team that controls well and warns.

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