(on getting two goals after the home scoreless streak…)
MURRAY: “And then to get the third, and not allowed. It was a high stick, though. They’re good goals. They’re the kind of goals that are in a good hockey game. The puck is in transition, there’s lots of battle, lots of compete. It was a real, good solid hockey game here tonight. Those are the kinds of goals that you’re looking for. Your top guys step up and make plays. They score. Same for them. They got a couple big plays from their top guys. So I think everybody went away pretty happy tonight.’’
(on not getting enough scoring beyond the Kopitar line…)
MURRAY: “Sure. That’s been addressed many, many times in our talks with (the media). Five-on-five scoring is something that we’ve got to get to the next level. I think we’ve got the people in place to do that. We just have to start to get it done. We’ve got some depth. We’ve got three lines that are built, right now, to be able to give us some scoring. We’ve got back-end guys, with Doughty, with Johnson, with Martinez, that can shoot the puck, get up into the play. That has to evolve. That has to come along faster. But I have a little bit of concern. We’re now into the season, into November, and we haven’t got that start that we wanted, on the scoring side.’’
You either have to chalk that up to just trying to stay positive or a coach who is so completely out of touch with his team that he is drinking from a secret stash of extra special mind numbing kool-aid.
This game should have ended 6-2 Penguins. If not for Jonathan Quick, that may have been the final score. He came up with some mind-blowing saves in the first period and in parts of the second and third.
The Pittsburgh Penguins controlled over 40 minutes of the game. Their shots came from the highest percentage shooting areas. I stopped counting after 7 on how many one time shots the Penguins attempted. They set up shots from behind the net, at will. I believe there were also two goal posts hit although I could be wrong there.
Meanwhile, if not for Anze Kopitar willing his way and putting the entire offense on his back, this could have turned into the LA Kings biggest blowout loss of the season. Don’t even get me going on how many zone entries turned into “who’s got the hot potato” and a loss of possession because the Kings had no idea how to gain and keep control of the puck and actually set up a play from (a) behind the net (b) for a cross ice pass or (c) any movement away from the perimeter. Only in bite sized flashes did we see the Kings even try to keep pressure in the offensive zone, one of which was Simon Gagne’s goal. I know they can do it. I know they have the talent for it. For goodness sake, we are built for it and, although the team, as a whole, played better tonight, our “system” does not call for that type of offense and therefore you are going to see it few times and far between games almost as if it was a happy accident. I am still amazed we were in a position to win this game. It just goes to show you how hard certain players want to turn this ship around on their own and how damn hard the Kings were trying tonight. I am proud of our boys. I am just disgusted by how we enter the zone and set up the play 5 on 5. It is designed for failure but for a defensive breakdown.
Alas, none of this matters to our plight. Terry Murray loved it. He thinks everybody went away happy tonight. Guess what, coach. Those of us who watched the game, understand the game, live and die the game, know exactly what happened tonight and you can “sell” that stoic face bullshit to the media all you want because the cold statistics show shots on goal in the same neighborhood as the Penguins but we’re not buying it. The rest of us know that the biggest positive that came out of tonight’s loss was you being one step closer to being relieved of your duties.
Regarding individual players,
1. Drew Doughty just looks awful. Out of sync with not just his own teammates but the game in general. He can’t make a pass, after 2-3 strides, he looks like he is skating by himself and there aren’t 4 teammates out there with him. He turns the puck over at the worst times and it generally results in a scoring chance against. Dean Lombardi warned about what happens when training camp is missed. Some doubted him. Some knew he was right. Doughty looks like a 5-6 D man out there.
2. Dustin Brown has returned to the player who exercises little hockey sense with the puck. He has gotten selfish again, not looking for the open man and taking bad shots from bad angles and putting them short side so the Kings don’t even get a rebound. Brownie plays his best game when he plays the role of a play maker and keeps everything else simple. You may throw vegetables at me for this one, but he and Richards have very little chemistry. I still think Brown should be on Kopitar’s right while Gagne, Richards and Williams make up the second line. Who is the first line left wing? Ready? Jarret Stoll. That’s right. Jarret Stoll. The third line center is Andrei Loktionov. Hey, you asked.
3. Dustin Penner. I tweeted to our followers that Penner is a 6’5″ vagina. Immobile and waiting for something to happen. He had 3 good shifts. He got in front of the net every once in a while. He made one awful turnover and was otherwise just hanging out…waiting…if I was holding a hot dog, I would have thrown it.
4. Although I didn’t like that first goal, Jonathan Quick was otherwise incredible tonight. If we have to rely on Quickie to play lights out and steal games just to have a chance to win, I’ll be writing about our new head coach by January. I want to see Bernier in the next game.
We’ve lost 4 straight. Is that seat beneath you getting warmer, Terry? Or are you really going away happy tonight?