We are 5-0-2 in our last 7 games. We have earned 6 out of the last 8 points. We lost last night’s game to the Penguins despite having some great offensive chances. We just could not finish.
MURRAY: “Well, a change is needed. That’s my thinking, when I look at the way we played in some situations last night. We didn’t take advantage of some offensive opportunities. And going back over recent games, there’s a need to get the offensive part of the game going. Maybe it’s a little bit of a change, in some situations, that will be a good thing. That’s what I’m hoping for. With Kopi, and with putting Handzus on the left side — which I did in the Calgary game in the third period — and putting Simmer back up there, I’m looking to get a change, to take advantage of Simmer’s game last night, which I really liked. It was one of the first times, in a little while, that he’s had his feet going, holding onto the puck, creating some offensive opportunities and bringing the work into the game. That’s what I want to do with this look now.”
What line changes you ask?
The fourth line would be some combination of Ponikarovsky/Lewis/Westgarth/Richardson/Sturm
So, we try and improve the first line’s scoring by putting in two players who are not known as scorers. We do this because a “change is needed”…
We then put a young rookie at center on the second line who is more of a finesse player and has shown a creative skill set between two players that crash the boards and are grinders…to do what exactly? Neutralize the center’s skill? Here I thought one would want complimentary players on a line, not polar opposites…but a change is needed…
We then get to the third line of Smyth, Stoll and Williams…well, that’s not really a change is it? I thought a change was needed?
Ah, the fourth line. Yes, we will likely see Kevin Westgarth again. So, the change to the fourth line is to eliminate any hope for its offensive productivity. I know what you’re thinking. I thought Murray said he wants to increase offense? He did, but remember, a change is needed.
Look, Kopitar has gone ice cold. He is playing defense first, everything else second. He looks uncomfortable in the offensive zone and is having a hell of a time finding shooting lanes. Yes, some of that directly falls on our coach’s perimeter loving system but Anze has to take the responsibility here.
Brown is playing like he left his hockey brain back home in December. Poor decisions with the puck, turn overs, some of the worst reads I have seen from any LA King this season. He is putting into serious doubt his merit as Captain.
Yet, despite this, the Kings are getting points and hanging around that 8th to 9th spot. We are even getting the Bettman Points (read: Loser Points).
So, why the change? Why the bizarre shuffling of lines that has NEVER worked, not ONCE this season or last or the one before to generate anything on a short-term or long-term basis?
Because Terry Murray makes changes for the sake of change. He is a one trick pony and so completely out of touch with his team and its chemistry that he is incapable of letting the latter develop while fostering an offensive system that plays to the team’s strengths.
I just hope the team can produce despite his constant changes. I hope the Kings’ players can rise above Murray’s witch doctor antics and win despite him.