Evaluating Terry Murray’s Post Game Comments

Let’s look at this game through Terry Murray’s eyes. The following quotes come from team beat writer, Rich Hammond. My comments follow each quote:

They worked hard. I think, on our side of it, it showed that all the new players were in the lineup and we’re trying to get some of that team chemistry put together. We looked out of sorts for the first half of the game.

Well, in fairness, the Ducks did play their forwards and defensemen who have spent years playing together. I mean, clearly Maxime Macenauer, Kyle Palmieri, Patrick Don’t Call Me Brown Maroon, Nick Bonino and defensive stalwarts like Mat, I lost my T in Tijuana, Clark & Nate I am Guenin for you, have tremendous chemistry born from experience, right? Or could it be that these scrubs who were on the ice tonight were better prepared and coached for tonight’s game? I am sure it is not that. It must be chemistry.

The first period, wow, we were having a difficult time passing, receiving, getting organized. Just on some breakouts, we had a lot of turnovers, some icing calls. To me, that’s trying to figure things out there. That’s what I’m chalking it up toward, is just a lot of new players and trying to get the lines in place, trying to get some chemistry going.

Chalking it up to some intangible, immeasurable factor is ok for now. That won’t be available a month from now.

We’re going to work through this thing, that’s all. This was the first game of five in seven days, so we’ll have plenty of opportunities to go back at it.

Surly & I only request whatever “it” is, it be worked out before Frozen Fury. I want to leave Vegas in a good mood.

(on Parse’s game…) Still not moving the way I would like to see him move. Some plays, just inside of his own zone, on breakouts, turning the puck over. He has a chance there, off an offensive-zone attack, and there’s not much happening on either side of the puck for him right now.

I know exactly the play to which Murray refers. I may have cursed Parse’s name once or six times.

The thing that I want to see is him getting back — I’m not looking for stats, as far as goals and assists right now.

Anyone else laugh when they read this? What good is an alleged offensively gifted wing if one is not looking for him to produce goals and assists? Maybe I am the only one amused.

Yeah, I want to see it,

You are not looking for it but you want to see it. I assume he means “eventually” – in other words, Terry wants to see Parse scoring goals – but on the third line that Terry Murray intends to use as the shut down line?

but I want to see him get back to work. I want to see him skating. I want to see him doing all the other things that are going to allow me to play him on a line with Stoll, in particular, because that’s the line that I’m looking to match up against other teams’ top lines and be responsible.

This is Wayne Simmonds and Alexei Ponikarovsky all over again and, before that, Alexander Frolov. Terry Murray put them in a defensive role to shut down the other teams, gave them the toughest defensive assignments and then used the “not enough offensive production” excuse to criticize them. For those of us paying attention and keeping score, you can place Parse’s name as this season’s Ponikarovsky.

So that’s a big part of it for me, but on the other side of it, his plays and decisions with the puck are not real good.

With this, I agree and I would go further and say, he looked down right awful out there. Kozun belongs in Parse’s spot and to have Parse on this team and in Brandon Kozun’s place is a damn shame (although I would be smart enough to know you don’t place Kozun – or Parse – against the other team’s top line)

(on the Kings’ power play…) Not bad.

Ha ha. Why measure good or bad by success or failure, right? That is far too objective and calculable.

The result is not there, but not bad as far as the movement.

I had a movement earlier today that was better. Result is all that matters, coach. When you go 0-6, the only thing worse is 0-7. There is no bright side there.

We’re so much better on the movement side of things, off the puck and with the puck, to get some different looks than what we were at times last year. It’s going in the right direction.

This is such nonsense. Was it a bit different at times? Yes. Better? No. Better would have been set plays designed for a lateral pass and one timer. Better would have been defensemen not having a preset tendency to send the puck to the net when they have bodies, skates and sticks taking away their lane. Better would have been giving your point man some freedom of movement and creativity to open up the ice. It wasn’t better. It was the same recirculated garbage as last season, a one-dimensional powerplay easily defended and designed to fail.

I think the possession time and the looks that we’re getting are good. We’ve got to hit the net, though. My goodness, we had some defensemen who were shooting the puck in pretty prime areas for defensemen, and we’re missing the net.

This is true. However, I also noticed a lot of hesitation with the puck when the player had a lane. I don’t know if that is chalked up (using his words) to rust or what, but when the puck is on your stick and all you have in front of you is the goalie, hesitation only gives the goaltender time to set unless your intent is to skate to the net, draw the opposing player(s) toward you, freeze the goalie and make the pass to an open winger who will face an empty corner.

The whole idea of shooting from the top end is hitting it, and maybe you’ll score but certainly you’re going to create second and third opportunities off that, give some guys the opportunity to recover those loose pucks and move their feet and create second and third opportunities.

And here is the problem boys and girls. Nothing has changed. This is the same principle as last season. Get it to the point, fire away, hope the puck somehow makes it through, pick up rebounds. It is our entire powerplay strategy.

Going back to the other game, against Phoenix here at home, and tonight, we’re trying to be too fine, I think, and we’re simply not hitting the net at the critical time.

We’re not hitting the net because, in part, we don’t have the lanes to get the puck there. It’s like driving a car into a wall and then wondering what happened to the open road. Anyone count how many shots went off shins, skates and sticks or were intercepted because they were forced? I stopped counting after 10 by the third powerplay.

Look, it’s one preseason game. Quick was off his game. Their goalie, Deslauriers, looked amazing and we made damn sure we made him look exactly that. We are moving on. As I tweeted earlier, hit ctrl-alt-del on this game (for Mac users, click on the apple and hit restart). There are enough games ahead of us that will tell us, as I wrote yesterday, whether Terry Murray is right for this team or whether his fate may come sooner rather than later.


Categories: L.A. Kings News

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26 replies

  1. I say we make John Stevens the head coach and Terry Murray the defense coach. Oh yeah, and fire Jamie Kompon…having no power play coach would probably be more desirable.

  2. Eh I disagree with using results-oriented arguments for something like the power play. Very small sample size. I think we were more threatening than last year and were getting passes between defenders.

  3. I appreciate how TM was more direct and clearer with his comments with Parse. None of this vague “I wish” stuff. To me he wants to see certain things from Parse out there and at this point he’s not getting it done.

    If coach can effectively use these preseason games to fine tune things, things will be looking real good. Would actually like to see Richardson possibly play on that 2nd line. Brownie…I mean he’s good but the guy just loses the puck too much and I think it’s either going to frustrate Richards and Gagne or Brownie is really going to step up his game.

  4. Parse on that 3rd line is killing me. Guy is all but guaranteed a spot and he’s playing himself out of it. For shits n giggles I wouldnt mind seeing Hunter or Ritchie up on that 3rd line.

    Agreed: flip flop Brownie and Willy. I do think Gagne and Richards will click but to really having Willy included will make for a great line.

    Loki was damn good, again. Can we please refrain from giving him Westgarth to play on his wing?

  5. Management has finally given us a team that should never be more than 4-5 points out of 1st in the Pacific all season.

    If this team stays healthy and falters at any point this season then TM needs to go.

    I know it’s just 1 preseason game but it still pisses me off.

    And I agree about putting Willy with Gagne and Richards but i’m sure over the course of the season TM will swap everyone around around like usual. I’m waiting for the super line of Kopi, Richards and Stoll, the other lines don’t need centers, that’s why we have Clifford :)

  6. What’s wrong guys? Not have a good time last night?

    Yeah I came away with the same thought on many of the comments. While not having seen the game it sounded like not much changed at the coaching and system levels.

    And the parse thing? 3rd line offense? Whats that? 6 preseason goals or bust? From someone who long age fell off hockey’s karmic wheel?

  7. Outcome is understandable considering the Ducks played a lineup intent on playing for their livelihood, whereas our players are playing with the intent of sharpening up, not necessarily winning. We had some good chances, just having a hard time finishing, plus (their) Deslauriers played really well.

    I’m a little horrified that Murray is considering Parse on a shutdown line. I’ve seen little out of Parse that I wouldn’t categorize as being disappointing – fact of the matter is, this guy isn’t that great of an all-around player, nor does he specialize in anything, and while I can understand apprehension in “giving up” on a player, I think he’d be better suited in Manchester for the time being. I’d go as far to say that Tyler Toffoli could immediately step in and do a better job than this guy. I’d much rather have Moreau out there on the third line.

    With that said, I’d really like to see Murray go with a different approach with the 4th line. For as likable as Westgarth is, he isn’t really serving a purpose on this team. He’s a decent fighter, but he he’s not contributing to any sustained forecheck, defensive effort, or transition game. Why not go with a little more scoring coupled with defensive responsibility? I think Loktionov is playing his way onto the roster – very impressive!

  8. After several years, EVERY team has their ratted, worn-out Kings playbook on hand and EVERY player who has played in this league for the last several years knows what each King player is going to do before they do it.

  9. It was a very lackluster type of evening by the Kings….but I will give them the benefit of the doubt. New faces on the team and working on getting used to new people and getting the kinks out. We have a way to go before I will put up the “REALLY????? are you freaking kidding me banner”.

    But since I will be in Vegas too next weekend oh please Hockey God grant us a win!!!

  10. In regards to the Parse comments, i think Temu is spot on. If the guy isn’t hustling and making the simple plays, why should he be put on the top scoring lines? You can criticize Temu all you want for putting him on the shut down line, but the fact is he laid it out pretty straight forward. “I dont care about his production”. Just show me the work. If Parse can’t show the hustle and the sense to make the correct plays, then he doesnt deserve to be playing and thats what Temu is asking from all his players first and foremost. Thats his philosophy. Show me the work ethic and the sense to make the simple smart plays and the rest will fall into place. It’s like, show me you can walk before you try and run.

    You might disagree with that philosophy (maybe you think its ok to put Parse on the top line if he pots some goals even if he blunders defensive assignments and turns the puck over frequently), but its certainly an easy one to understand.

  11. Westgarth’s time in the NHL should’ve ended when he got mercy ruled in that fight vs. the ‘Hawks last year, when holmes turned to the linesman to ask him to please jump in before he had to bust Westgarth’s nose more crooked. not a top tier fighter, not useful otherwise. his principle recommendation is the unflattering “better than Ivanans!” Clifford can scrap, if it’s a sideshow squabbler to lighten the atmosphere you need then go with the Clunatic. more evidence of Murray’s commitment to being patient and disciplined in accepting that we will be good, not great. relentlessly pursuing the perfection of mediocrity.

    the obvious thing is to give Parse his shot with Tone Lokti on the 4th line and see if they don’t become a useful auxiliary scoring line on the strength of depth-induced matchup difficulties. but TM is allergic to “matchup.” also “scoring.”

  12. If I were coach, I’d play these forward lines


  13. See everyone wants to swap Brown and Williams, but I feel the opposite… I want to swap Gagne and Penner. I know the prevailing logic is that Richards and Gags played together and showed chemistry in the past, but my logic is that Richards plays a “throw the puck at the net” type of game, so having Penner and Brown rotating through the crease will cause all sorts of havoc. Whereas Kopi plays a behind the goal, along the half wall open up seems kind of game, which is more suited to mesh with Gagne who likes to hover through the circles for passes and longer rebounds.

    So I would do…


    • I understand your logic but (and I hope to have to eat these words) I don’t see Penner around the net much. Switch Williams and Brown.

      • You are right, but that is where Penner’s skill set (soft hands in tight spaces ) is best put to use, and I think the kind of game Kopi and Williams play (the two guys who always have the Puck) causes Penner to need to provide more support along the boards and keep the cycle going. Granted part of This is simply the fault of Murray’s offensive scheme, but I just see Penner and Richards having success together and I see Gagne doing immensely well next to Kopi. You can still swap Williams and Brown. I feel the left side is where the problem is more than the right, on both lines.

  14. Nice power-play idea – with Smyth, Robitaille, Blake and…Kontos. Where do Kopitar’s skills come into play here? Getting weary of this talk – I gather that you are too. Worse yet, this is the kind of talk Murray DOES mean (as opposed to much of the rest).

    In your post about Murray this past week, you mentioned his complicated defenses. I saw just how complicated vs. SJ, and it was like a clockwork that requires a lot of extra energy just to make it move. Whenever the team was tired/needed to “take a round off”, that system was unforgiving. Any breakdown and it goes from semi-impenetrable to exposing the goaltender.
    They could never “keep their gloves up” for an entire game.

    I approve of TM’s defensive orientation, but suspect that we have reached the limit of his creativity or his flexibility. Certain players (AJ) should play outside the strict confines of “system” play. TM has a little Robbie Ftorek in him (read that any way you like).


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