We send in one forward on the forecheck while the F2 stays back and the F3 is playing D. But it’s not the system.
We make little effort to actually out-man (2 on 1, 3 on 2) the defenders along the boards so we can recover pucks. Instead, we hang back and approach the puck if we are fortunate enough to have our often lone forechecker dig it out. But it’s not the system.
Our primary, and often exclusive, attack 5 on 5 and on the powerplay is to get the puck from low to high along the half-boards and fire from the point, despite not having lanes, despite the high pressure (pressure at the points) of the defensemen and regardless of the fact that many of the shots are getting blocked or failing to get to the net. But it’s not the system.
On transition, 2 on 2, we don’t hold and carry the puck into zone most of the time, instead opting for a dump in. But it’s not the system.
On transition, when we do actually carry the puck in, the F3 does not aggressively provide immediate support, receive the puck as the trailer, drive toward the net, nor does the D1 jump into the play late, losing the opportunity for a potentially outnumbered and then subsequently sustained attack. But it’s not the system.
Forwards rarely set up below the top of the circle and between the dots for a one timer even though the most fundamental offensive hockey tactic dictates that forcing the goaltender to move lateral offers one of the best opportunities to score goals. But it’s not the system.
We refuse to set up for this one timer on any consistent basis, instead opting for the low to high as the default, despite having shooters like Gagne, Richards, Williams, Kopitar and Stoll. But again, it’s not the system.
Zero adjustments are made to our forecheck when we are trailing in a game in an effort to activate the F3 and D1 and, late in the game if we are trailing, even the D2. 0-0, down 2-1, 3-1 or worse, Terry Murray just wants more “compete” (as apparently a noun) without unleashing the forwards and D to actually try to win the damn game. That can’t be the system.
Andrei Loktionov, a creative forward with a knack to get open and who could help our powerplay, gets no powerplay time. Instead, we have players like Trent Hunter take his spot. But, come on, it’s neither the coach nor the system.
Terry Murray continues to play Hunter, Moreau and Westgarth even though they provide no offensive upside during a time the team is badly struggling to score goals. That is not the coach nor the system.
Offense has been shut down in the NHL. Nobody is scoring more than 1 to 2 goals per game. The damn trap or 1-3-1 has been all the rage. It’s 2-1 and 1-0 final scores all the way around the league. This is the new new NHL. Philadelphia (3.58), Boston (3.31), Vancouver (3.30), Chicago (3.21), Washington (3.07), Toronto (3.07), Pittsburgh (2.96), Detroit (2.92), New York Rangers (2.92), Florida (2.85), for goodness sake, Winnipeg (2.82) and all the other teams (all 29 of them) who lead the L.A. Kings in goals per game never happened. They are just a figment of your imagination…because it’s not the system.
For Terry Murray’s tenure, offensively gifted players were relegated to third line duties to play a checking and shut-down game against the opposing team’s top lines. When those same forwards had a significant drop in offensive production as a result, he called them out for it. He wanted “more” without further explanation as to how they could possibly give more in light of their designated role. He is doing it again this season. But it’s not Terry Murray and sure as hell is not the system.
Dustin Penner, upon his trade, came to the L.A. Kings with 21 goals and 18 assists in 62 games. Within 24 hours, he became fat, lazy, and offensively unproductive. Since the trade and in 35 games combined last season and this one, he has 3 goals and 7 assists. No way that is the system.
You know what they did with the L.A. Kings. You know what they have done since leaving. But forget the past. I am sure much has changed and luck has ran out. This season, Matt Moulson has 14 goals, 7 assists and 21 points. Teddy Purcell has 5 goals, 10 assists for 15 points. Even poor Alexei Ponikarovsky who only managed 5 goals and 10 assists last season with the Kings already has 6 goals and 4 assists with the Canes. There are more. The examples continue to pile up over the years. The indisputable evidence players who do not succeed offensively here under Terry Murray thrive elsewhere must be complete coincidence. It cannot be the system.
This is the most offensive talent Terry Murray has ever had as an L.A. Kings coach. Yet, the Kings are at the bottom of the league in offense, just as they have continued to struggle to score goals throughout his tenure. How can that possibly be the system, right?
John Adams said, “facts are stubborn things.”
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