We’re Back To Talking About The Two-Line Pass?

So you’ve probably read Lombardi’s interview with Hammond from today. You’ve already read Bobby get up in arms about his hedging on the answer “no” to the question of whether his players have tuned out his coach.

What he didn’t mention was something Lombardi harped on throughout the interview – the red line.

“is that when you make changes to the rules of the game, they don’t manifest themselves right away. I think we’re all looking at, with the red line taken out, the biggest thing you’re seeing is more — like San Jose last night, particularly when they got the lead — with five guys standing from the red line back…

This kind of started with Tampa Bay.”

OK… so what are we saying here, that only now coaches are starting to adjust to a rule change that was made 6 years ago? I’m fairly certain that most coaches adjusted a long time ago… he is clearly saying how the Sharks have adjusted in his statement. Who hasn’t adjusted? Us, apparently. Did the Diplodicus evolve with a shorter neck once the trees became shorter, or did he just go extinct?

Let’s see another:

“Another example, too, is, remember when everybody said taking out the red line was going to open things up? Well, when you see three guys standing behind the red line, that’s probably not the case. And you’re seeing, also, that a lot of the plays are, throw it up to the winger and he deflects it in. Bob Gainey calls it ping-pong. Well, that has changed. I certainly know the coaches are working on it, but it still comes down to, you’ve got to play hard. Are there tweaks within that? Yeah, I think they are working on that within the context of identifying how the game has changed. And you’re right. So much emphasis was on the defense. Now, adding to your game without changing that part, that’s a process.”

OK now this is just too good to pass up. Eliminating the two line pass DID open things up. There isn’t a man alive who thinks the game was more offensively invigorated before the lockout. Is it a coincidence that most of us harp on Murray for being a “pre-lockout” coach, and today we get this hogwash about how it’s still a ‘process’ to adjust to a rule change made during the lockout? Am I fucking crazy or is this some major damage control on Dean’s part? I think it is and it rings as hollow as the bones of Murray’s prehistoric avian cohorts.

Lombardi just flat out admitted that Murray is working on how the game has changed. He is a little late to the party. 6 years late. Don’t give me this shit about how the game didn’t really open up, that’s a pathetic excuse for a coach who simply wasn’t able to use the fact that the game has opened up to his advantage. The best possible thing we can take away from this is to say that Lombardi thinks it took Murray all this time to get defense down in the ‘new’ NHL and only now is he able to stop and think about adapting his offense.

This quote makes me really angry. It’s the ‘patience’ mantra in a different package. You know what I think about patience?

When you want paint to dry, you turn your back on it.

Categories: L.A. Kings News

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25 replies

  1. wow this is surprising. basically lombardi admitting that murray is a fossel. a relic of pre-lockout nhl. maybe soon hell turn on murray the way the rest of the fans have who truely watch how this teams offense has been structured. the other night at staples center against the pens me and a friend of mine laughed at times not knowing why some of the players were doing certain things and we just laughed when we would say “well hes following the system”

  2. To me it sounds like Murray’s already half way out. He was brought in here to gain that “defensive identity” and now they have it. But now they need that “offensive identity” which Murray is trying to get but he’s having a helluva time doing it. Never really seeing that part of his system, I don’t see it ever happening with this guy.

    So with the defensive part already in place and TM isn’t cutting it on the offensive part, logically there’s only one thing left to do. I’m taking that 20 game mark as something to really look at closely with the coaching staff. If at that mark we are still at the bottom scoring wise, I would not be surprised if TM was shown the door.

    It really is mind boggling to me that they haven’t already adjusted to the red line yet. That it takes them this frickin long to do so. But on the other hand NHL games have been played for so long with the red line that I guess it’s hard for them to figure something out without it. I think that’s why GM’s are more apt to go with younger coaches because they do know about the red line but it’s not so ingrained in their minds and coaching systems like TM is.

  3. I felt this one was a tell “tail wags the dog” doozy:

    “The one thing, to his (Penner) credit, he’s not in elite shape but he certainly made the effort to get in average shape, and he is continuing here. I see him here, working out in the gym before practice, something that he never did before. So he is making that effort. A lot of this, now, is between his ears. Similar to a number of our players, it’s, `Just play.’ He’s an important guy, and we’re going to have to…”

    Still not in shape? Could have never guessed.

    The points being lost in this skid will come back to haunt us at the end of the season.

    • I think that being in shape is not a weight issue (as many think) but a stamina issue. It is better than it’s ever been, but compared to the rest of the league, it’s average. If he can score 30+ at less than average, he should be on a tear. Too bad he’s in a system that isn’t even average offensively.

      Different than being in a proper system offensively that lacks skill like when he was with Edmonton. With the Kings the skills are there throughout the line up, but is being used wrong (including Penner).

  4. A lot of this, now, is between his ears. Similar to a number of our players, it’s, `Just play.’

    … As I said before the game last night, it seems to me that they’re making the game more complicated than it is, and putting undue pressure on themselves to try and do too much. Or – they’re tanking games to get the head coach fired. At any rate, this is a mental issue with nearly all of the players on the team, not a “system” issue.

    As for Penner, he definitely just needs to relax. The Kings aren’t going to trade him; he isn’t going anywhere. He doesn’t need to make up for his slump in one game. Just focus on stringing together good shifts. The people who have made him the scapegoat will make him the scapegoat no matter what – they’ll never give him credit for anything he does, so it’s meaningless to even bother with that. All it would take for Penner is to have a strong finish to the regular season and a solid result in the playoffs to get everyone on his side again. If his conditioning is truly showing improvement, then he’s on the right track.

    • You really need to stop using the term scapegoat. Its incorrect in every possible way. Not one person has scapegoated him. By using that term you are only showing us that you don’t really know what the term scapegoat means.

      Harping on him incessantly is not scapegoating. Whipping boy? Sure, that’s more adequate a term, but by the definition of scapegoat, it doesn’t apply nor is anyone treating him in a way that makes it apply.

      What should we give credit for exactly? Getting a few shots on goal? This is not the barometer for praise? Until he scores a goal or does something that leads to one, nothing he does is good enough, end of story.

      • You really need to stop using the term scapegoat. Its incorrect in every possible way. Not one person has scapegoated him.

        … No one player on the team gets singled out for the Kings’ losses/poor play more than Penner. That’s scapegoating, Jacob. Don’t insult my intelligence, OK? Sure, he’s a whipping boy, too. Not saying he isn’t. But if the Kings disappoint this season, if they somehow miss the playoffs or don’t attain the seed that people expected for them, Penner will be the one singled out by the vast majority of people as the player most responsible. Again, scapegoating.

        As for your “little things” bit, I think your idea of “little things” is different than mine, and I’ll leave it at that. I won’t interrupt yet another love song you’ve written to Mike Richards. I think you might have to fight Pierre McGuire for Mike’s hand in marriage, though. :)

        • My definition is scapegoating is not simply whoever recieves the most blame. Scapegoating to me is when you put other people’s problems on the shoulders on one person. No one puts Murray’s system problems on Penner. No one puts Doughty’s problem on Penner. No one puts overall shit games like against New Jersey and Edmonton on Penner. They put Penner’s play on Penner.

          By saying that he is a scapegoat because no one player gets singled out more is neither here nor there. Penner even gets singled out in wins when he plays like shit, which is often. By your definition there is ALWAYS a scapegoat, because whoever people complaiun about the loudest is automatically the scapegoat, when to be a scapegoat the volume or veracity with which one is complained about isn’t the issue, its what they are being blamed for in the first place.

          When someone says “We wouldn’t be losing all these games if not for Penner” then you can call him a scapegoat. Until then, he is just a playing who is under performing and being ragged on accordingly.

      • Main Entry:scape*goat

        : one that bears the blame for others

        From Webster’s Dictionary

    • Also, I had to bring this up JT, even though it goes with other comments of yours from the past couple of days.

      You have recently said the Kings need to just do all the “little things” right. Immediately it popped it to my head that you had suddenly flipped opinions.

      Exhibit A from yesterday re: the Sharks game (this is a quote of yours):

      “Personally, I don’t think the Kings’ situation tonight is all too complicated. They just need to relax. Quit trying to do too much, stay poised, don’t spend too much time in the box. Focus on the little things – solid shifts, solid breakouts, solid coverage in the defensive zone, solid possession in the offensive zone. Quit making the game more difficult than it is. ”

      Exhibit B: Let’s go back a bit to 10/28, when you got upset with Bobby saying Richards does all the little things so well (again, quoting you):

      “Nice to see the “little things” cliche thrown out there, which is code for “I can freely praise this guy for every single game no matter if he did anything good or not, and if someone questions me on it, I can just respond ‘hurr well maybe you need to watch the games’”. Always a neat little touch”

      So when others point out the little things a player does, you disregard it as bullshit praising, yet when the team starts to suck, suddenly the ‘little things’ become the key to the game?

      This is exactly why we all like Richards so much. Because he does do those little things consistently and reliably that you just yesterday said are the key to winning a game.

      Sorry if it seems like I’m beating up on you, but when you made that comment yesterday, it stuck in my craw :)

  5. No offense and excuse my language, but I’m tired of all the fucking excuses! Year after year, excuse after excuse from management to coaches to players. Can we please pull our heads out and take responsibility for our individual failures. I resent excuses!

    By the way, I’ve been hard on Kopitar the last couple years because in my opinion he was vastly under performing compared to his skill-set. He has been outstanding this season so far. I am proud of the mental progress he has made compared to previous years. Oh, ya, Jack, you are also making me proud, finally! Keep up the good work, boys.

    On to victory!

    • Kopitar has been a true superstar. He is the only one who can consistently find success because he is the only one on that talent level. Doughty SHOULD be there too and perhaps after a few more seasons he will be able to avoid prolonged slumps like this.

      • He will be there once the season gets going. Wether you blame him, or DL, he missed camp, came on during a horrendus road trip, and got injured. A month from now, none of those issues will matter, but right now they do.

        You can complain (not that you are) till he does something, but realisticly it will take a bit, so complaining is nonproductive.

        • Being nonproductive? Am I capable as a fan of doing something productive?

          I know the reasons that Doughty is having a rough time out there, but with guys who are supposed to be superstars, they are automatically afforded less slack.

          • I hear ya. A lot of people don’t realize the difference though. They just see him struggling, and believe with every inch of their being that DD has topped off.

            Just tryin not to give them anything to hang their hat on. ;)

  6. Barry Trotz said he learned a lot from TM and was a “” terrific coach”.

  7. Forget blaming Murray, we see what the Kings can do when Doughty and Penner show up and play well.
    The coaching is fine, I fairly certain.

  8. I’ve rarely been bothered by a DL interview. This time I was bothered and not even for the same reason as indicated by Bobby (though that’s valid too). What bugged me was…… he is speaking w other GM’s and lots of people are complaining about difficulty scoring? What?!!

    Mate, your team is 27th out of 30 teams in scoring. 27TH. Right there with the NY Islanders who in reality seem to be a more explosive team w more speed than the Kings. How about concentrating on your own teams problems and owning up to the fact that …… for whatever reason, talent, speed, coaching, who knows what… the team is Not doing well offensively And thats now been a problem for three years running.

    • Sorry, gotta get this off my chest….. as if it’s sort of understandable and ok that they can’t manage to score more than two goals a game, because, after all everyone else is having problems too. I live back east and watch Versus OT and see clearly that not everyone at all is having problems scoring. Manifestly not true.

  9. Im the man alive guys. Well, I dont really remember specifically how it was before the lockout, but I know for a fact that the level of defensive hockey being played today is extremely high, probably the highest ever. Everything, systems, tactics, gap control, trapping, no one ever seems to turn it over high anymore. Coaches are aware of all these things. Every game is all defense. You cant even score anymore unless its a 3rd chance rebound. When was the last highlight reel goal scored? It seems like a lifetime ago Ovechkin made a miraculous play every week. When was the last time??

    The game is terrible now. Its slow and plodding. I know the company line is that its never been better, but thats just not true. How soon we forget. Maybe the game has never been played at such a high level defensively, but in terms of speed and skill and excitement, scoring chances, the game is awful. Its a chore just getting the puck into the zone. Its hard to make three passes in a row. You cant skate anywhere without being hounded by a backchecker and defenseman at the same time.

    So I have to disagree here. I think people need a perspective change, instead of just assuming because physical fitness is always evolving that what were seeing is the latest and greatest, actually watch some neutral games without the team you love and ask yourself how much exciting stuff youre actually seeing, if you can actually sit through a hockey game without your teams in it. And Im talking about 5on5. Powerplays will always be interesting because there is room. But 5on5, nothing happens. Im telling you, you may think the game is opened up, but its not. It was at the beginning after the lockout, but the game has evolved back in the other direction and now its really slow.

    • Oh you poor poor thing. If you don’t remember before the lockout, you don’t remember the era of clutching and grabbing. Where the whistle blew every minute to stop the play because the puck was stuck along the boards, 4 players just pinning each other down. Where there was no one to pass to because you could interfere with anyone. When to draw a hooking penalty, you had to literally hook him down to the ice, otherwise you could stick check the hands of any player with impunity.

      When you’re first sentence is “I dont really remember specifically how it was before the lockout”, forgive me for not taking your opinion comparing the game now to the game before the lockout seriously.


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