by Diego Marquez
The Los Angeles Kings have started the 2018-2019 season 4-8-1 and have parted with head coach John Stevens. Along with assistant Don Nachbaur, Stevens will be departing Los Angeles, despite winning two of the last three games played of the 13 total games they spent on the bench to begin the season.
Los Angeles is tied with the Florida Panthers for the fewest points in the league (nine) despite signing Ilya Kovalchuk this past offseason in hopes of providing a boost for the offense. The Kings have been hit with the injury bug after goalie Jonathan Quick went down indefinitely with a knee injury that required surgery.
The former coach appears to be the scapegoat for the organization’s slow start and was already being criticized for having an aging core. Willie Desjardins will replace Stevens on the bench as the interim head coach for the rest of the regular season and have brought on former Kings forward Marco Sturm to replace Nachbaur on the Kings staff.
Steven will exit Los Angeles with a 51-39-9 record after being named the head coach in April 2017 replacing Darryl Sutter. Before then, he served as an assistant with the Kings since 2010. In his first year at the helm, Steven led the Kings to 98 points and a playoff appearance last season, but that was short-lived as the Las Vegas Golden Knights swept them out of the playoffs in the first round.
Interim coach, Desjardins, previously coached the Vancouver Canucks to a playoff appearance in 2015 and finished his three year stint (2014-2017) with an overall record of 109-110-27. He inherits the National Hockey League’s second-oldest roster that is in dire need of a jumpstart to salvaging what could turn out to be a nightmare year for Los Angeles.