L.A. Kings vs. Anaheim Ducks Open Forum: The Perfect Storm

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.



Categories: L.A. Kings News

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79 replies

  1. We have not lost our last 2 straight. We beat Florida, remember? Big telling game tonight for both teams.

  2. Murray should call a timeout before the drop of the first puck and yell at his team.

    That should shock them into a good 1st period effort.

  3. It’s snowing in here. Also, this is an interesting read from Brownie about how the system has him not hitting (read between the lines and see producing) as much as previous years: http://www.mayorsmanor.com/2011/12/dustin-brown-explains-why-his-hit.html

  4. … I thought the Kings were robbed against Montreal. Price was terrific.

    Now, the Kings will likely go against Hiller, who is struggling. I hope they can continue his struggles.

    The Kings have Minnesota and Dallas, two more suspect defenses, at home after tonight. These three games will tell a big tale about where this team’s offense is headed.

    There’s a tough month of December ahead for this team. They have to go out on the road and play Boston. San Jose. Chicago. Detroit.

    Those of us who are longtime fans of the Kings can recount season after season of December swoons. This is a critical time.

    • December had sucked something horrible. But Minnesota with a suspect defense? They have been living and winning off their defense.

      • But Minnesota with a suspect defense? They have been living and winning off their defense.

        … They’re doing it with goaltending, not defense. Two goalies playing over their heads. I don’t buy it. They’re ripe for the picking.

        • Huh? Why are the goalies in Minnesota playing over thier heads and Quick i just a result of the Kings defense? Quick has a higher save percentage than both Minnesota goalies.

          Minnesota is giving up 0.8 more shots per game than the Kings.

          If Minnesota are winning on the backs of their goalies, then you need to give more credit to Quick for the Kings “defense”.

          Some interesting facts:

          Minnesota is #1 in the NHL when giving up the first goal at 0.647% (11 wins). Kings are 23rd at 0.273% (3 wins). Minnesota also has 3 wins when trailing after 2 periods, 2nd at 0.300%. Kings have 0 wins and are at tied for 25th.

          • Huh? Why are the goalies in Minnesota playing over thier heads and Quick i just a result of the Kings defense?

            … I think Quick is playing over his head, too. The difference is that Quick is playing behind a better defense than Minnesota’s goalies are. I’ve never said the Kings’ defense deserves 100% of the credit for Quick’s numbers, but I do think they deserve more credit than what you and most other people want to give them.

            Minnesota is giving up 0.8 more shots per game than the Kings.

            … At 5-on-5, Minnesota allows 30.4 shots per 60 minutes. The Kings allow 28.9.

            If Minnesota are winning on the backs of their goalies, then you need to give more credit to Quick for the Kings “defense”.

            … I have given Quick more credit this season than I have in any other. And why is the word defense in quotes? Are you implying the Kings don’t play defense, or not?

            Minnesota is #1 in the NHL when giving up the first goal at 0.647% (11 wins). Kings are 23rd at 0.273% (3 wins). Minnesota also has 3 wins when trailing after 2 periods, 2nd at 0.300%. Kings have 0 wins and are at tied for 25th.

            … You’re right, we should throw out small sample sizes of meaningless situations and act as if they matter. That stuff might fly over there at LGK Lite, though. They’ll eat it up.

          • How’s this for a small sample size:

            Since Murray was hired by the Kings, the Kings are 29th in 5-on-5 goals.

            They are currently 30th in 5-on-5 goals.

            According to you, past performance = future performance. The Kings are exactly where they should be right now. Shooting percentage doesn’t mean as much as you think, not every shot is created equal.

          • How’s this for a small sample size:

            Since Murray was hired by the Kings, the Kings are 29th in 5-on-5 goals.

            … What’s your source for this? And it’s a nice touch that you include 08-09 in your numbers, when the Kings were oh-so-talented up front; but I guess that fits the agenda.

            Shooting percentage doesn’t mean as much as you think

            … Yes, it does.

  5. Hate to say it but I think tonight will be Anaheim’s breakout game, the one they look back to at the end of the season when they make the playoffs and we don’t.

  6. I am taking my 7 year old son to the game tonight. I have already warned him the Kings might lose this one and he should have the home phone number memorized in case Dad is “asked” to come with the nice police officer to explain why he had to beat the snot out of the poor, misinformed Ducks fan. Anyone else going into the enemy’s house tonight?

  7. Last season, during the race for a playoff spot, minus Kopitar and Williams.
    COL lost Kopitar Kings 4 COL 1
    EDM Kings 2 EDM 0
    VAN Kings 1 VAN 3
    DAL Kings 3 DAL 1
    SJS Kings 1 SJS 6
    PHX Kings 2 PHX 2 KING W SHO
    ANA Kings 1 ANA 2
    ANA Kings 1 ANA 3

    I think this pretty much proves that under TM since the 2009/2010 season, nothing has changed, while also getting worse in almost every category. This season to date the goaltending has prevented the GAA for the team, and also masking the defense, by that same GAA.

    How the hell can Lombardi allow this to continue? He has made trades, signed free agents, and still the 5 v 5 is horrible, and PP has just gone back to the Jamie Kompon pass the puck around, like they were in a 4 corner defense, just killing time passing the puck around.

    Teams know that they need to neutralize the backdoor play on the PP and the Kings are pretty much toast.

    http://frozenroyalty.net/2011/08/29/terry-murray-dishes-on-2010-11-la-kings-offensive-zone-power-play-struggles/

  8. One more thing which questioned the players, perhaps bringing up some AHL guys.

    The Kings have nobody in terms of forwards. Sure there might be a few guys that might help, its not likely,

    One thing I can say is Lombardi seems to do well with 2nd round picks.

    I still don’t understand why he passed on Etem for a goalie. Etem is tearing up the WHL. All the rankings had him close to a top 10 with only his skating being the his only real issue. Like they say you can teach skating, but you can’t teach offensive instincts.

    Jordan Nolan ehhh, sure bring him up see if he can thrive, but Murray will bury him on the 3rd or 4th line.

    Cliche another option, but he would have to be put on a wing,

    Maybe a Cliche/Loktionov/Gagne line could help. Wait, TM wouldn’t use a line like this.

    Dwight King in 10 games last season did nothing.

    Currently Loktionov has been pretty quiet. Maybe the reason Loktionov isn’t really doing much is because he is usually used on the 3rd line. He does get some PP time, but hasn’t done much. 9 games 2 assists -1 rating.

    The prospects in juniors Toffoli/Weal not sure Lombardi will use them next season. Toffoli has impressed, but he would really need to have a camp, which will allow him to start with the big boys.

    Currently he is tearing up the OHL again.

  9. … Hahahahaha what a huge crowd tonight. Well done, Anaheim.

  10. … Are you kidding me, Quick?!?!?!

    If Bernier pulled that shit, he wouldn’t ever see another game with the Kings.

    • I take it Quick gave up a softie?

      • I take it Quick gave up a softie?

        … Nah, he should have had an assist on the goal, though.

        And now it’s 2-0, because Clifford didn’t gain the red line and the Kings iced the puck and couldn’t change.

        These are not system flaws, here. It’s just bad and unlucky play.

        • Well then… our quota won’t be able to recover from this one! I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen Penner move like that though.

        • Well obviously I’m not watching but Quick can’t be expected to never give up a bad goal. Shame it was so early on. It doesn’t help a team who struggles on offense to get behind the ball early. At some point though this team needs to win games with actual goal support.

  11. Jim Fox just said ” I asked Terry Murray and he said no one is handcuffed offensively.” Really Terry? Really? Then why does your ‘”offense”, for lack of a better word, completely omit the high and low slot, and forbid lateral passes through said areas? Why is there ZERO movement through that area? If not handcuffed then why are we DEAD LAST 5 on 5? Please FIRE TERRY MURRAY!!!!!!!!!

  12. 1 -0 = TO MUCH FOR TM’s SYSTEM TO OVERCOME. EVEN W/ 55min LEFT TO PLAY!

  13. “… What’s your source for this? And it’s a nice touch that you include 08-09 in your numbers, when the Kings were oh-so-talented up front; but I guess that fits the agenda.”

    Uhh, NHL.com. Total goals 5-on-5. Added up for the past 4 seasons.

    If you are using players career shooting percentages, shouldn’t we include all of Murray’s seasons?

    The Kings are currently 30th in 5-on-5 goals, should we throw these numbers out too?

    In total goals they are 26th since Murray was hired and are currently 29th. They haven’t really dropped as much as you make it seem with their low shooting percentages.

    It will take some time, but I will see what the shooting percentage is for all teams since Murray was hired to see if there is any corelation to playoff success (NHL.com doesn’t have total shots easily available). I’ve already seen that offense and 5-on-5 scoring is a huge indicator of playoff success.

  14. Who the FUCK is this fan pro-TM plant being interviewed at the Hooters?? We need to get Surly and Scribe up on one of those silly fan interviews to give a piece of their minds.

    • Yah… I was wondering about that one. Really?! You chose the 1 fan who thinks that and would explicitly say those exact words. Bullshit.

  15. Since Murray was hired, the Kings are 21st in shooting percentage. NHL.com doesn’t breakdown shots 5-on-5, so these are total shooting percentages.

    The last 3 Stanley Cup Champs were ranked as follows:

    Boston – 16th (Kings were 20th)
    Chicago – 10th (Kings were 5th)
    Pittsburgh – 3rd (Kings 27th)

    Right now the Kings are 29th.

    Last year, Anaheim was 1st, Dallas was 4th and Calgary was 5th. Wow, shooting percentage really does show you the elite teams. Boston was 16th, Pittsburgh was 21st and SJ was 23rd.

    Detroit is considered a strong team and they are currently 21st. The last 3 seasons they finished: 10th, 28th & 10th.

    Seems like a pretty random stat to hang your hat on.

    • Seems like a pretty random stat to hang your hat on.

      … It’s the reason why the Kings haven’t scored goals this season. There’s nothing random about it.

      Your issue is that the Kings can’t score because of Terry Murray. I’m telling you that Terry Murray is not the one who is responsible for the team not scoring goals when they DO shoot.

      The Kings have the second-lowest shooting percentage at 5-on-5 this season. This is what is killing them. You’re telling me the numbers of other teams in past seasons, like that even matters. It doesn’t.

      But, whatever, you win. Have fun blaming Murray for every flaw the team has. Apparently, I could explain this to you for an hour and you just wouldn’t understand. I’m sad that’s the case, but I gotta move on.

      • JT, what you’re shooting percentage stat does not consider is quality of shots or how those shots happen, which is important. Of course the players sniping more will improve the offense. However we aren’t loaded with snipers, and a big part of scoring goals is how you move the puck to get your shots.

        The best way to score a goal is to get the goalie moving laterally. We don’t do that. Our system is low to high and hope for tips and rebounds. I believe our shooting percentage is low for two reasons… 1) players aren’t shooting that well, we aren’t picking corners and I think we also have a problem with ignoring the 5-hole. We don’t shoot at the 5-hole nearly enough. 2) The offensive system doesn’t open up lanes for players to get quality shots in prime areas without a guy draped all over their back or a body in front of their sticks.

        You know what else would help the shooting %? Being able to set up a play where the goalie has to move and more of the net becomes exposed. But things like the low-to-high system, along with guys like Doughty not firing the puck quickly enough (stop with the big wind up already!), is allowing the opposing goalies and defense to be in set positions when our shots get off. So it doesn’t matter how many pucks you throw at the net, when you allow the defense to clog up your passing lanes and the goalie have time to get set, your shooting % is going to go down. Then again, the few times we have had open nets available we missed the fucking net… *cough* Clifford *cough* Hunter.

        I don’t think its fair to just assume the stat will even out by the magic of luck or history of the players. The team is not generating offense properly, they are not opening up good passing lanes and they are not pressuring the defense for long periods of possession thus winding down the other team and forcing them into making mistakes. These things are killing our offense before shooting percentage even becomes a concern.

      • I’ve never said that Murray is the reason for all of the flaws the Kings have. Murray is a teaching coach and he has stressed defense for 4 seasons. The Kings need more balance to their game and Murray hasn’t shown the ability to get this team there. You seem to think that the Kings just need to be better shooters and I think the Kings need to open up the system.

        You are the one blaming all of the flaws on the Kings shooting percentage. In your mind, what is Murray’s job? Does he have any responsibility to improve the on ice success of his team?

        Not all shots are equal. Do defensemen have low shooting percentages because they suck at shooting? Or maybe it is because most of their shots are low percentage shots to generate rebounds? Murray wants all of the Kings players to take these low percentage shots and hope for rebounds. The problem the Kings have is the amount of shots they have blocked. This is why their shot totals are low and perimeter shots are why they have a low shooting percentage.

        Why not open up the game and not play such a heavily structured system? If the defense falls apart and the offense doesn’t improve, then make roster moves and go back to the old system. We know the current system works defensively and doesn’t work offensively. It’s time for Murray to adapt.

  16. PLEASE DEANO, PLEASE FIRE MURRAY. WE’VE GONE AS FAR AS HE CAN TAKE THIS TEAM. SOON, YOU WILL. BE RESPONSIBLE FOR MURRAY’S INEPTITUDE. I, FOR ONE DON’T WANT YOU TO BE FIRED, DEANO. WE’VE NEVER HAD A GM WHO HAS BUILT FOR THE FUTURE. BUT, YOUR ADS PROCLAIM THE FUTURE IS NOW. IF SO, GIVE THIS TEAM A COACH WHO BELIEVES IN THE OFFENSIVE TALENT YOU, YOU, HAVE ASSEMBLED. PLEASE DON’T ALLOW MURRAY TO RUIN IT FOR YOU, ALONG WITH THE YOUNG UP AND COMING TALENT. JUST F’I

  17. Just f’ing ask yourself, Deano, why so many forwards prosper when they leave TM, and why successful forwards tank it when coming here and exposed to TM!!!! DAMNIT, FIRE HIM NOW!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. I just wanna say I made a comment a couple weeks back saying something like Trent Hunter is too good of a hockey player to not help this team”.

    It looks like I was flat out wrong. I know it’s early, but this guys been absolutely horrendous on every shift since I said that.

    • Hey I’m with ya. I thought Hunter would be able to do something for this team, but this is also when I thought he was going to be a 4th line winger and not seeing PP time. I was wrong. He needs to go.

      • I thought adding Richards and Gagne would improve the Kings offense too. Guess we were wrong about a lot of things. ;)

  19. Surly, Scribe, time for another undercover mission to question DL. And don’t let him go until he signs TM’s pinkslip.

  20. … Penner has been a man on a mission in this game. THAT’s the player I know.

    • That’s great to hear. I won’t hold my breath or get too excited until I can see Penner play with intensity two games in a row…

      How’s Loki looking?

      • How’s Loki looking?

        … Not bad, but not great. He had a bouncing puck right in front of the net, a fine chance, but couldn’t lift the puck enough. It was a tough break. He looks like his confidence isn’t all there yet.

      • Loktionov is playing himself back to Manchester.

        Penner had a beast shift and a perfect cross ice pass to Voynov jumping into the scoring zone for the Kings only goal.

    • …and then Penner gives a neutral zone turnover for a 2v2 and takes a penalty.

  21. … OK, for those of you who say Murray doesn’t allow cross passes, doesn’t allow the Kings to get the goalie moving laterally – watch that power play. They did EVERYTHING they needed to do. But, shots were shanked; by good shooters, no less. I’m sure Murray’s system calls for those type of shanked shots.

    I’m quoting John Tortorella here when I say “I wish some of you would watch the damn game before you make your comments and write your stories.”

    • You are taking a single PP as evidence? Holy shit, talk about small sample sizes.

      I don’t remember anyone saying that Murray doesn’t allow cross ice passes. But the chances are severely limited due to the way Murray wants his team to setup defensively.

      Voynov’s goal is a perfect example of a great hockey play. How many times a game do the Kings actually try that play? Once or twice? It’s not like it is forbidden, but the opportunities are limited. The Kings should be trying that play 10 times per game. Maybe it works only 5% of the time, but that would be 0.5 goals per game if the Kings try it 10 times per game. If you only try it twice a game, that would be 0.1 per game of additional offense.

      It’s not that the Kings don’t ever attack the middle, it is just not the priority. Defense is the priority in all three zones.

    • We aren’t talking about the PP. we are talking 5 on 5. I said the Kings need to shoot better. Sydor said its not just the system. You are the one Insisting it is one thing and one thing only. The Kigs shooting better Will help, of course, but it doesn’t put them where they need to be in terms of 5-on-5 offense. You proved that with your article. The Kings shooting better only get us go far. A more effective offensive system takes us the rest of the way. The Kings shooting percentage was better in years past. Where did that get us? Stil in the bottom half of the league in 5-on-5 offense, that’s where.

  22. … Holy shit – A GOOD BREAK for the Kings!

    Unbelievable.

  23. Hey look, the Kings attack the middle and score again. Sure it took a crazy bounce off the glass, but both Kings attacked the middle.

    2-2 in the third.

    More middle drive needed.

  24. … A BEAUTIFUL pass by Doughty, and Stoll gets stopped on a breakaway by a beautiful save.

    And so it goes for the Kings. It’s the system!

    • Being better on the breakaway would certainly be another little thing that would help things, but that still doesn’t make up for the gaping hole in the 5v5 system.

      Anyone else notice there seems to be some acknowledgement of inability to make good zone entries so they are now shooting excessively from the blue line to get offensive zone face offs?

    • Hyperactive? No

      Hypotension? Nah.

      Hyperdrive? No, no.

      Bore. Bone. Bole.

      I dunno

  25. … The Kings have really pulled themselves together from their awful start to this one.

  26. … Are you kidding me? What a way to give up a goal.

    Unbelievable.

    • I feel terrible saying this, but for the first time in my life, I found myself pulling for the Kings to lose. It wasn’t even an intentional thing, but when the Kings scored to make it 2-1, I wasn’t that happy, and I couldn’t figure out why. Then I realized its because continued mediocrity will keep TM around, at least until the offseason.

      Regardless how you feel about TM, there is no question that this team needs a new face behind the bench to bring a new attitude to the team. This current team, with this current coach, will be the same thing it has been the last 2 years: 6-7 seed, lose in the first round in 6.

      • Don’t feel bad, while I could never bring myself to actively root against them, if this team isn’t going to be a serious contender they may as well lose a bunch of games so maybe we can get some changes behind the bench or in the front office.

        I don’t think Murray makes it out of this month unless things take a major turn, the schedule is brutal. This season is starting to remind me of 05-06, there were expectations and the team collapsed after a good start, that season they couldn’t keep the puck out of the net because the goaltending was bad, this season it’s the exact opposite, can’t put pucks in the net. We know what happened during and then after that season.

        Hate to be a downer, but I just don’t think this team has that “it” factor that the good teams have, there is just something very wrong with the roster.

  27. I’m sorry……but I hope the Kings lose eno ugh to get TM fired. I love the Kings, and I love DL. We’ve never had a gm his equal. I have watched the Kings since ’79. TM must go in order for this, the most talented Kings team in history, to reach it’s potential. If it takes a losing streak now to salvage the season and DL’s job……SO BE IT. If anyone wants to go back to Sam McMaster, Dave Taylor, Rogie etal

  28. If this sounds bad… I don’t care. I hope the Kings lose just enough that TM is fired. If TM costs DL his job, you will all be sorry. Does anyone remember Sam McMaster, Rogie, or Dave Taylor at the GM position? I for one never want to go back to a GM who’ll trade an in his prime Alex Zhitnik for an over the hill Grant Fuhr. PLEASE DL, FIRE TM AND SAVE YOUR JOB. LET THIS TEAM REACH ITS POTENTIAL. TM CAN’T TAKE US TO THE CUP!!!!!!!!

    • Let’s cherry pick bad trades and pretend the guy in charge hasn’t made his fair share of blunders.

      Crap on DT all you want, and yes he was miserable towards the end. But the Kings 2001 team was more balanced and better overall than this current team.

  29. Dude- How long have you been doing this online thing? White type on dark background hurts your eyes, dude. Can’t read your shit anymore. Wise up dude.

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