L.A. Kings Drop Game To Devils 2-1

Let’s go through what we discussed in the pre game review and what occurred:

I look at the LA Kings’ powerplay as a key to tonight’s game. The undisciplined Devils have given up 13 powerplays in the first two games. If we can force them into bad penalties early on and strike with the man advantage, the Devils will be out of their element and forced to take chances.

Credit to the Devils for playing a disciplined game. They recognized 13 penalties in 2 games was about 9 too many. They stayed out of the box. The one powerplay the Kings had was the model for inefficiency. More on this later.

With that will come what our top two lines’ greatest strength may be – the transition game and neutral zone counter attacks. Risks, especially on breakouts, often = turnovers and that spells trouble for New Jersey when you have Kopitar, Williams, Gagne, Richards, Brown, Doughty and Johnson skating the other way.

I knew they would be a big part of the game but, when I wrote this, I didn’t expect the Kings’ entire offense from the drop of the puck to the last second would be transitions and counter attacks. Once again, the set plays 5 on 5 were atrociously structured. In three years, despite the skill set steadily increasing each season, Terry Murray has failed in every respect on the offensive side of the puck. All the Devils had to do was pressure the puck carrier and put their sticks and bodies in lanes. On the set plays, New Jersey never once had to defend a lateral pass or anything other than a play from the half-boards to the point for an attempted shot. It got so off track in the third that the Kings’ point men had to start intentionally shooting wide because there wasn’t a lane to be had – how pathetic is a set offensive structure when skilled players are so preprogrammed to take the point shot despite having nothing to shoot at and despite knowing the shot would only likely result in a change of possession?

I was exhausted watching this throughout the game. I swear to you that if the Devils’ young defense did not give us the turnovers and counter attack opportunities, we would have not only been shut out tonight but I doubt we would have reached 15 shots on goal. For those who attended Frozen Fury, think a replay of that game.

What I don’t want to see is a game that goes to the wire. That is where players like Parise, Elias and Koval$uck thrive.

Exactly what concerned me occurred. In retrospect, I should be glad we got a point. No way that happens without Jonathan Quick’s stellar play in the three periods and overtime.

Tonight’s match will be a fair barometer for how far the LA Kings have come. Few are as vocal against Terry Murray’s offensive structure as I am but I have seen flashes this season (from the players, not the coaching) that lead me to believe we may have the skill set to break through the straitjacket offense.

Boys and girls, it’s too early to make predictions but I will tell you this. Three games and the preseason lead me to the following preliminary conclusions, all of which I hope to see changed:

1. Terry Murray hasn’t and will not evolve his offensive structure. On set plays, a highly skilled LA Kings’ team looks incompetent, to the point that all the opposition has to do is to take away lanes and we will surrender the puck into their shins, sticks or wide of the net.

2. The powerplay is a set play structure. You enter the zone, you set up the play. There aren’t too many counter attack opportunities with the man advantage. As such, with this system, it is doomed. For all the talk about the players’ offseason conditioning and work ethic, it is our coaching staff’s lack of offseason preparation that has, to date, failed this team and our fans.

As a side note, I didn’t mention Dustin Penner in the pregame. I won’t mention him here either. I have no words for his game at this time.

On a positive note, Jonathan Quick had his best game of the season and preseason. He looked composed. He didn’t overreact to the pass or shot. If I was going to scout Quick for opposing teams, I would tell them to wait him out. Let him overreact and then find the seam for a pass or the lane for a shot. The Devils did that today. Quick was a wall for 3 periods and 5 minutes.

Let’s hear your thoughts.

Categories: L.A. Kings News

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47 replies

  1. Braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff! . . . Urp . . .

    However . . . if thou thinkst rightly of the matter we were lucky to get out of there with a point in our poff.

    I credit Quick for that.

  2. Sorry, but Quick was dropping fat rebounds up the gut from jump – worst game of the “season.” Agree on every other point…

    • no Quick No points

    • I also think Quick is a bit inconsistant.. he had the one brillent save but he also is not controling his saves very well.. too many ended up in unsafe areas and he would have to dive after them.. do not think that is the defences fault. Am I wrong that he looks a bit slower then last year?
      GO KINGS GO!!!

  3. If that was supposed to be the new and improved Penner, I’d rather see him a healthy scratch every night.

  4. I thought Quick kept them in the game. The score shoulda been about 4-2 NJ imo.

    The one thing that stuck out like a sore thumb was that this team looks identical to how it looked last year in terms of offensive performance and creativity. The jumping in of D was good but for the most part it’s that same old, uncreative, throw the puck at the net at all costs stuff that doesn’t really get you anywhere.

    After a while I wanted them firing the puck wide from the point and hopefully the coaching staff coulda recognized that the sides of the net are wide open. If the point man fires it wide (On Purpose) they can maybe play the rebound off the boards. NJ already had the lanes plugged so why keep shooting into them? It’s fucking Insane! They just do the same thing over and over and over again but expect different results. Shit I feel like this is last season all over again and I’m saying the exact same shit.

    But it’s early, I told myself I’ll give the team about 10-15 games in and see from there. As for this game same ole frustration as last year offensively. With more firepower up front we should be Way more effective.

  5. … But I thought Jonny Quick and the Kings were “lights out” in the shootout, amirite guys??? I thought Kyle Clifford was going to supplant the “easily replaceable” Wayne Simmonds, too! Jarret Stoll = “excellent” third line center, remember?!?! Hmmmm … the early returns suggest quite another possibility.

    In all seriousness, the team WAS going to take some time to gel and the Devils look really good. 1-1-1 after three games on the road, against three tough teams, is fine by me.

    And another thing – if Quick starts against Philadelphia on Saturday, I’ll be calling for the trade of Bernier for some help in the bottom six. It’s time to give up the ghost. If they don’t believe in Bernier, SET HIM FREE and get someone that they do believe in. I’m sure there are more ex-Flyers out there somewhere.

    • Bernier, Parse, Penner for Parise???

    • Unless Wayne Simmonds was going to coach the team, his absence is a non factor. This isn’t a third line or bottom six issue. This is a system wide issue. You could put an all star team out there and we wouldn’t score on a regular basis 5 on 5 or on the powerplay. We are going to see a lot of 1 and 2 goal games with this offensive system unless we are hoping to play the rest of the season against terrible defensive teams and ones who don’t know how to stay between the puck and the net or play a high zone coverage.

      • Your are right, but give us our love of Simmonds – we had precious few playoff highlights left over from the past two seasons. That “throw-in” will always make some of us hurt (reminds me of Kasper’s departure).

      • This isn’t a third line or bottom six issue.

        … All I heard from Dean’s Devotees all offseason was that Simmonds would be easily replaced, and that the bottom six would be stronger than ever – and that depth would take care of the perpetual issues up front that we’ve seen throughout Lombardi’s tenure in L.A.

        You can choose to place the blame on Murray and his system, but the fact of the matter is that the top six is pretty much exactly as advertised thus far … Kopitar is brilliant, Williams is getting it done, Gagne looks alright, Richards isn’t measuring up to his hype (as someone here predicted … hmmm) but he’s been alright too. Brown is getting off to a bit of a rough start, but that’s Dustin. Parse and Penner are still getting their feet wet. I don’t see where this is a big surprise.

        But when you look at the bottom six, it’s a completely different issue. Clifford went back to being Clifford, Lewis went back to being Lewis. Shocking, I know! Stoll is adjusting to a role with which he is unfamiliar. I warned against using worthless hacks like Moreau and Hunter in regular roles; they suck and they shouldn’t even be in the fucking lineup, but I don’t see how that’s the head coach’s fault. He’s not the director of player personnel, here.

        Anyway, it’s early. We’ll see how this shakes down, but there’s a definite weakness here, and it isn’t the head coach. Not in my view, anyway.

        Oh my God, I just defended Terry Murray. I think the nice men in the white coats need to take me away.

        • Yes, you did. I shall copy/paste for future posts.

        • JT, if you are going to make the case that the third line is the team’s biggest problem, which while not a point i agree with is a valid one to consider (not because Richards is as underwhelming as you insist or Clifford isn’t that great, but rather because we don’t have a shut down line anymore) then at least make the correct argument for the case, which is NOT the loss of Simmonds. It’s the loss of Handzus. I saw the logic in letting go of Zus for Stoll (younger, face-offs, shootouts) but ultimately Zus just brought so much to the table and no one that we have can replace him. Its almost worth sacrificing the face-offs and fuck the shootouts and age when Zus was such a huge factor in both offense (standing in the crease) and basically the entire crux of our forward defense. This is not a knock on Stoll, just that Zus is the more valuable player. I’d rather have had one more year of out Zus, traded Stoll for bottom six winger help, had Loki take over the third line in 2012 and let Richardson and Lewis battle it out for the 4th line center spot.

          Look, I miss Simmonds, but not at the expense of Richards and while we don’t have anyone to replace his exact game (well… Except for Brown) his loss doesn’t have nearly the giant impact you make it out to be. If we can’t overcome to loss of a Simmonds, well then we really never had a team worth getting excited about in the first place, with or without him. Our top six is brimming with skill and power, even if Penner is underwhelming. Their lack of production is squarely on a system that doesn’t allow them to utilize the gifts. Putting skill players under Murray and expecting them to play a skill game is like putting Tiger Woods in the boxing ring with Mike attain and expecting him to play golf.

          Although I like that you finally (and very subtly I might add, well done) have favored Williams as this team’s best forward behind Kopitar. How many arguments did we have about his importance to this team? You did a fabulous job of sidling over to the right side of that discussion. :)

          But ultimately the problem is the system. Richards is the best example of this. Brown and Kopi have always been Kings. Kopi always awesome, Brown always streaky. Williams has had ups and downs in his career and so has Gagne. Penner has had mostly downs and a few very high ups. Richards however has always been the model of consistency. His trademark is that he plays the same high intensity and high skill game day in and day out. It can’t be a fluke that he comes here and looks a bit different. Tat has to the coach and system if it continues with regularity throughout the season.

          • … Well, as for the loss of Handzus, let’s not kid ourselves here. He was in decline, and not the same player he was five years before or even the same player he was one year before. He was a valuable player, but the value was on only one side of the puck – he was no “huge” factor on offense last season, or anything of the sort. Stoll was and is more versatile, and is still in his prime – not well past it, like Michal is. At some point, the Kings knew they were going to have to say goodbye to Handzus and plug in someone else in that role, right? The sooner the better, if you ask me; Stoll is a fine candidate for the spot, but he’s going to have to grow into it, and that won’t happen overnight. This is why he will need to be re-signed, or else the Kings will have to shop for an established third line center. Loktionov won’t be able to assume that role anytime soon, and he certainly won’t even make any progress unless and until he actually gets a chance to play ahead of such Hall of Fame stalwarts such as Ethan Moreau and Trent Hunter.

            I haven’t changed to any “side” as far as Williams goes. He’s been the second-best forward on the team so far; that just is what it is. I still think he’s too reckless with the puck – and his defensive game is overrated, but overall he’s getting the job done. I don’t share your feelings about Richards being the perfect, drive to the net, Mr. Intensity player. In fact, this isn’t even about his play in the offensive zone at all, it’s about his defense, which has left a lot to be desired. So, I don’t see where the defensive-minded head coach is to blame here. I’m not saying that Richards won’t pan out; he’s a good player and he should be able to adjust. But the fact of the matter is that the team is going to need to gel, and that’s not going to happen right away – I don’t care if it’s Terry Murray or Scotty Bowman behind that bench. It will take time.

            I don’t know where you’re going with this “the loss of Simmonds doesn’t have this giant impact” or whatever. YOU and others were saying that he would be easily replaced, right? Well, hey – show me how easy it is, alright? I never said Simmonds was the Kings’ MVP, but he was and is better than what the Kings, or many of their fans, wanted to admit. And you’re going to see that this season. This isn’t about withstanding his loss, or anything like that. I’m not even interested in that. If the Kings can adjust and still achieve success, hey, that’s great. If not, they won’t. I think the World of Simmonds as a player, but I’m a Kings’ fan.

          • SJ, you chickenshit!

            On every blog where I post I bemoaned the loss of Zus and the loss of SIZE.

            Everybody bit me in the ass when I crabbed about losing Simmonds for Richards, telling me to wait and see.

            Well, now I’m telling YOU. Don’t give up the fucking ghost so fast. We’re only three games into the season.

            BeLIEVE me, I know how it is. I’m usually throwing up on my shoes by Thanksgiving. But stop analyzing our assets and liabilities until they’ve had a chance to get their dicks fully erect.

        • Furthermore, about Richards, his style and success comes from his insane drive to the net attitude. He will ALWAYS get the puck to the blue paint, but he is playing in a system that always has the forwards on the walls digging out pucks and trying to get them to the point, so when Richards does get the puck and throws it to the high scoring areas, as is his natural instinct that made him such a success in Philly (where smash mouth hockey is white on rice), there isn’t anywhere to reap the fruits of his labor.

          You know, people can call us Flyer’s West all we want, but this team doesn’t play the Philly game. Murray never made the Philly attitude or dictated it, he simply designed defense around it. With him in charge there is none of that Philly blood. Stevens could be a different story as he has actual been responsible for bringing that attitude to a team. But just like Murray couldn’t infect Philly with his Florida Panthers attitude as a defensive specialist, nor can Stevens bring the Philly attitude to Los Angeles as the same.

  6. Penner got beat to the puck on every shift. He played aggressive but when you get beat and out-hustled your movement to the puck puts you out of position because they transition out. He is not where he needs to be, which is of course at Wendy’s with a Baconator. Buuuuuurrrrrrrrn!

  7. Agree T Murray needed to go in the summer time. This game was embarassing. Bring on Ken Hitchcock

  8. Penner…the last play of last season stands as his particular monument.

    Murray – you said it. I don’t envy you the duty of repeating your analysis after each game.

    The good news – we “banked” a goal tonight. Suggest we start waiting two periods before we start scoring – see how many we’re likely to need before we waste any.

  9. I am sick of coaches named, “Murray”. No more!!

  10. I have words for Penner: Suck, Fat, Useless, Lumbering, Dumb, Aloof, Pointless
    Trade that sack immediately.

  11. I’m afraid I have to disagree with JT. It’s a scoring problem. With this Top 6, we shouldn’t be scoring 1 goal per game. Giving up 35 shots happens, especially in a wide open game, but taking only 15 with this offense in a track meet means TM has to go. Just swap him and Stevens.

  12. Bye Bye Terry Murray
    You Big Piece of Shit
    I Want to Get Rid of You
    Like a Big Juicy Zit

    ……………Oh dang, the poetry should be under a different post. Sorry!

    • If the Kings send Murray packin’
      Tell them to get rid of Penner too.
      The system aint workin right,
      Is this the best we can do?
      Let’s try a different system
      Something completely new,
      Give the fans something to cheer
      Other than a loud “boo!”
      Penner was slow,
      His performance stunk like poo
      Somebody check his skates,
      I think they were stuck in glue!

      • This is disgusting,
        I think I’ma need Tums,
        I just saw Parse, Penner and Murray
        In a “who-sucks-worse unmanly three some.

        The team played like shit,
        so that’s why the D’s won.
        On paper we look good like Obama
        but what exactly has he done.

        Penner rushes the net
        then next second the bench is where he comes.
        Not aware of the fact he played
        only seconds. God he’s dumb.

        • lol. I am assuming this is a submission for the contest? Can you even go though? Aren’t you practically in Canada?

          • I’m practically in Washington.. but close enough.
            Making it to the game would be awfully tough.
            This is not my submission, no it is not.
            I posted it on the other page, the October Ticket Contest spot.

            At this rate, I’ll be talking in rhymes all day.

    • Terry Murray’s tried his best,
      But Andy did, too.
      It makes a Kings fan wonder,
      Dave Tippett – Where are you?

      Poor Kompon’s got a screw loose,
      The power play just won’t do.
      These set plays are not working!
      Dave Tippett – Where are you?

      The defense has gotten better,
      Which Terry did improve.
      But Jack Adams isn’t knocking.
      So what else can TM do?

      So Terry, we will keep you,
      But move down a seat or two.
      We need to make some room for…
      Marc Crawford? NO, not you!!

      LA needs her Scotty Bowman.
      Is a sweater vest waiting for you?
      Robbie Ftorek is in Erie.
      Dave Tippett – Paging you…

  13. Quick has started where he left off last season……our best fuckin player…UFA in 2 years, DD making some of Quicks money…..when he tests FA and gets 5-6 mil offers, we’re back to trying to fill the Top 6 with busted up vets, hoping to prove they can reach partial totals from their best seasons.

    Brown played his best 2 shifts of the night AGAIN when he somehow ended up on the Left Wing, he’s creative and unpredictable, and thanks to Murray’s stick on the board, forehand mentality, get pucks to the net when you’re the right wing, Brown’s shot’s go blocked and into the netting 3 on 2, 3 times……

    Clifford…..Dude, where are you???? A head fake, shoulder dip or knee jerk leaves you lost and out of place EVERY shift since training camp. If you thought you were on your way to being Left side Simmonds, WTF, you look like you never played last season….Simmonds did not get burned by other 3rd or 4th line punks and rarely even the best 1st liners. You look like the fuckin’ boulder in the old Donkey Kong game, or any one of the Ghosts in Pac-Man. No Hit’s….No Shot’s!!! Your job is to separate the man from the puck, not separate yourself from the puck carrier.

    Did someone in the King’s front office, or on the King’s coaching staff say that Penner was working out all summer, and is in shape???? Well if he lost weight he must of swallowed a tape worm, and missed the games in Europe, having it removed anally. That’s your lower body injury!!!!! BUT he must also have Heart worms, because in a contract year, and his first regular season game, he gave me reason to rethink my feelings for Westgarth…..We better keep Parse around, Penner obviously feels there is an Auto-Matic price tag that comes with being the big guy in the league…..Hey, Mr. Penner, ask Steve Bernier how that worked for him…….

  14. They just got back from Europe. They are tired and disoriented. Everything will be cool soon.

    (although I hoped for a better start from Clifford. And Richards. And Penner.)

  15. … All of these comments about Penner are ridiculous. He’s played all of ONE GAME this season. He didn’t play badly in that ONE GAME, either.

    Chrissakes people, take your Ritalin.

    • I am one who is not a Penner hater.. hoping he comes around and shows the skill he has.. however he definatley is not the fasest of skaters.. but with his big body he does have a long stride to more or less compensate. I would like to see more aggression out of him…throw his body into some of his plays..
      finish his man. That will give me encouragement he is on the forward track.. Cliffy seemed a bit off to me.. hopefully he will find his game tomorrow. I do believe lines need to stay together for any kind of success.. system or no.. and thanks all you guys cause you get me to think about what I have seen and expand my analysis of it.
      GO KINGS GO!!!

  16. You fucking yellow bastards!

    It’s not even Hallowe’en yet and you jackoffs are pointing fingers, lamenting every player lost to trade or as a UFA, and threatening to take the gas pipe.

    The Kings have made me as suicidal as ANY of you shits. But, Goddamnit, it’s only been THREE GAMES.

    Give them some TIME. We’ll know when we’re ready to slash our wrists. Just not now.

  17. Anytime the Kings lose, blame it on T.E.R.R.Y.

    We got Terry’d yesterday by New Jersey. Sucks. Hopefully we get a Tippet against the Flyers next game.


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