The Los Angeles Kings cannot score more than a couple of goals per game, if that. Although none of the L.A. Kings’ employees and no one within the media, other than the always courageous and candid Helene Elliott, want to talk about Terry Murray’s continued failures as a coach and ask the tough questions, we have. With the ever evolving heart and soul of the team, Mike Richards, out with a concussion and in the wake of a bad game against Montreal and Quick saving our ass in the previous two, the Kings are poised to either break through or break down.

The Anaheim Ducks fired Randy Carlyle after a 4-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens, only to drop the next two games and blow the lead against the Philadelphia Flyers (4-3 in OT) and Minnesota Wild (5-3). The Ducks had no problems scoring goals in the past three games but, boy howdy, can they give them up in bunches. Their defense is atrocious and they fired the wrong coach. Whether they hired the right one remains to be seen.

Thus, there you have it.

The L.A. Kings cannot score goals.

The Anaheim Ducks can’t stop goals from being scored.

The L.A. Kings are struggling because of their anemic offense and primarily the relic behind the bench.

The Anaheim Ducks have lost two straight because their defense resembles something that goes well, melted, in a French Onion soup.

What gives?

“I think there’s going to be a lot of hatred on both sides. When I was part of the Kings’ organization, they certainly didn’t like the Ducks,” said Boudreau, the newly minted Ducks coach who coached in the Kings’ minor league system for six years, first at Lowell, Mass., and then Manchester, N.H.

“Now that I’m here, I certainly don’t like the Kings.”

That is exactly right. Hatred. If the L.A. Kings manage to hate the Ducks and want this game more than them, we can win despite our coach, despite our system and despite missing Mike Richards and Willie Mitchell. It’s all about rising to the occasion and channeling some good old-fashioned anger and intensity. If they march to Terry’s one beat, single tone drum, especially with Trent Hunter, Ethan Moreau and Kevin Westgarth as three of our four right wings, Jesus, this could get ugly. The Ducks are coming in pissed off and motivated. I am sure of it. The game can be a turning point for either team or a blood bath.

Is Helene right?

The season’s coaching carnage count is four, starting with Davis Payne’s firing in St. Louis on Nov. 6 in favor of Ken Hitchcock. The number is sure to increase: Columbus’ Scott Arniel has survived a swirl of rumors, and Montreal’s Jacques Martin faces intense criticism daily. Terry Murray did a fine job installing a strong defensive system when the Kings needed a foundation, but they lack creativity and struggle to score. He might have taken this team as far as he can go — but not as far as it should go.

Yes.

So are we.

We have said it from day 1. If we win this season, we win despite Terry Murray, not because of him. Add to that equation Jonathans Quick & Bernier and you have the foundation for our hopes and prayers going forward.

This is your open forum.