Wild Beat Kings 4-2: The Restoring Sanity Post Game Edition

I left Staples, bid Surly farewell, came home, kissed my wife, checked on my daughter sleeping soundly and everything became right in the world again. I then sat behind the computer to type.

Wherever your place of peace happens to be, go there.

Being angry at tonight’s loss is a waste of your time and energy.

Jonathan Quick played a poor game in the sense that he looked human. I know he wants that 4th goal back…perhaps even the 1st.

We threw a lot of shots on net from the point, many went wide because we had no lane, those that made their way to Hackett (it feels weird typing that name after all these years) were either easy stops or the Wild were ready to clear the rebounds. That happens when you take low percentage shots and your offensive system is based on a hope and prayer. I am not taking too much away from Matt Hackett. He played well and he got plenty of offensive support. A novel concept.

Forecheck? What forecheck? I specifically focused on the forecheck throughout the game. Recall Terry Murray telling you about how the Kings have gotten more aggressive on the forecheck and have made adjustments from last season? Remember when I told you that was bullshit? Tonight was Exhibit A.

Surly sat next to me most of the game and I pointed (literally) it out to him as it was happening. He knew it and I didn’t have to say a thing. Disregarding the dump ins for line changes (those don’t count because there is no intent to recover the puck), on set zone entries where the puck was dumped, F1 forechecked and was often outnumbered (except in the third), F2 stayed back unless F1 recovered the puck (which rarely happened). F3 played defense (high slot or boards). D1 and D2 might as well have both been D2.

Guess how many times during the entire game the L.A. Kings actually sent the F2 in simultaneously with the forecheck? Three times. The entire game. Pathetic? Pathetic. Incidentally, two of those three resulted in good scoring chances. Still though, down 2 goals and then 3 and you don’t activate the F2 and F3 along with the D1 unless you recover the puck? Not wow. Terry Murray hockey.

How many times did the Kings attempt a lateral pass for a one timer below the top of the circle and between the dots? Once. Meanwhile, did you notice the Minnesota Wild’s offense included a significant amount of one time attempts when they had sustained pressure and puck possession? I was actually a little surprised to see it and, truth be told, impressed. Regarding the lone one from the Kings, I think it was Johnson from the point with a long diagonal pass to Kopitar but I am not certain about Johnson. Kopi took a nice shot and Hackett made a good glove save. Once. If there was another, I didn’t see it. What I saw more times than I cared to count was the Kings FORCED, absolutely and brutally fucking forced the pass along the boards and to the point for the hail mary shots to the net. Maddening? No. Terry Murray hockey.

When Minnesota went into a prevent defense, a complete collapse down low in the third period, the Kings were finally able to generate sustained pressure but, in the end, the shots were not that difficult to stop because they consistency, no, incessantly came from the low to high and the point. Predictable? Terry Murray hockey.

Terry really should take solace in the fact the team played his hockey, what he preaches, to a tee tonight. He cannot possibly be disappointed in any of the forwards or D. Yeah, he can blame Jonathan Quick. Quick didn’t steal one for him. But, shot mentality was in full effect even though scoring opportunities were not…in Murray land, that is irrelevant.

Side note, Trent Hunter is a brutal hockey player to watch. I know he scored a goal and the expression about sunshine and a dog’s ass comes to mind but for him to take a roster spot from Brad Richardson is embarrassing. Of course, with that goal, Murray may elevate him to the second line.

I will also let you in on a hunch that I want you to take with a grain of salt. As exhausted as I was watching that abortion before the third period, when Minnesota decided to stop skating past their own blue line, I got a sense that Terry Murray’s days became numbered tonight for the first time…after the interview with Lombardi, then Murray, then the players, tonight’s perfect example of why Terry Murray’s system is a resounding failure even when played to near perfection, may have actually reverberated through Lombardi, Leiweke and those in positions of power. Hell, that’s probably crazy talk and I am sure I am wrong.

Regardless, the advice I give you, my fellow maniacs, is to not torture yourself over this loss. You are a Kings fans first and foremost. I still want to believe Murray will turn this (and himself) around, that he has it within his acumen to evolve but, if he does not and he refuses to do so in the face of his impending doom, I just hope Dean Lombardi is smart enough not to wait until the Kings miss the playoffs to pull the trigger…if he does, he may find himself following Murray out the door.

Now, if you will excuse me, I am going to kiss my beautiful sleeping daughter good night.

Go to your happy place.

GO KINGS!



Categories: L.A. Kings News

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62 replies

  1. Just a quick show of hands, how many of you have been yelled at by your wives in the last month for your bad attitude after a game like this? This team is breaking up more marriages than Ashley Madison.

    Getting off the Murray train for a second–
    A couple of troubling things really crystallized for me tonight. Guys are not finishing their checks and the battles in front of our own net were pathetic tonight. In short, our guys are not killing themselves to make things happen. Like it or not, they are stuck with Murray for now and have to find it in themselves to wreck shit. Quick, Kopitar and Mike Richards are the only guys that are continually leaving everything on the ice, and even those guys are going to get exhausted eventually and have a bad night(not that Quick had a bad night, but obviously he wasn’t as sharp as he normally is). The lackadaisical Penner intensity we’ve complained about is spreading to a whole lot of other guys.

    Yes, Murray’s offense plan is not working, but there’s an attitude of “I will do whatever it takes to win” that our team does not have. We may have a general sending troops into certain death, but shit, some of these guys are holding their rifle backwards.

    “Wherever your place of peace happens to be, go there.”– I’ll be watching game 7 against the Maple Leafs on loop until the sun comes up.

    • Voynov and Brown are doing what they can. That still leaves plenty.

      • I’ll give you Voynov. He’s trying to earn a roster spot and is earning it big time. He makes mistakes in coverage and some bad clear attempts but that’s gonna happen when you are going 100%every shift. Brown, tonight he was hitting and the team that forechecks the hardest will force quick choices and bad passes and win the game– but he has not done that every night and your captain needs to. Love the guy but he more than anyone has to leave a pint of blood on the bench night in and night out.

    • I had a flashback to last seasons game 6 against San Jose, when the Kings got that 5 minute PP. Even though it was about
      3 1/2 minutes after the 4v4 was over, ZERO shots.
      If this isn’t grounds for excising that cancer Jamie Tampon I don’t know what else.

      We now have a new definition for PMS.

      PATHETIC MURRAY SYSTEM

  2. I noticed in the 3rd when Dustin Brown was entering the zone, right at the blue line, he reeled back for a shot (dump in) and the D backed off a bit, he actually faked and entered the zone to get pressure to the front of the net. I noticed it, because it looked so freaking strange. That never happens. The Kings entered the zone WITH the puck and put pressure right to the FRONT of the net. Cah-razy.

    One thing I have noticed that I think gets overshadowed in the Terry Murray System talk is what this kind of system does to the players. It seems to me the Kings “come out flat” a whole lot, or at least thats what people are always saying. But I think it could be that “playing flat” is indicative of this kind of hockey. No speed, no pressure on opposing D, no play in front, no creativity, etc. Of course they look “flat”!! They play with their backs to the center of the ice with their noses pressed against the boards. And when they finally do get a shot off, its from Inglewood or Westchester and hits the boards or gets deflected up and out.

  3. got home after leaving staples and kissed my gf now laying in bed next to her. so im in my happy place

  4. There isn’t much sense in beating ourselves up over any of this – when so much is going wrong that it is hard to know where to start, it is a good bet that the coach has lost the team. Even if that weren’t the case, your last article provided a specific list of problems with Coach Murray’s system on a good day – such as our postseason losses to SJ last year (our recent victory over SJ looked like our postseason win last year – both good and bad). Problems whose results we have been watching for some time.

    The trade for Richards and signing of Gagne were genuine statements of the organization’s intention to compete for the Cup, but that is not the same as saying that the team is a Contender now. Still, we might have expected improvement…
    and scoring less than Columbus, of all teams, makes it pretty tough to ignore the team’s underperformance.

    More pieces are likely needed (a right wing for Kopitar’s line…), but until the team plays something like close to what it can, it will be hard to say what/who is needed.

    It’s a shame to see such promise descend into such pointless incoherence. I do hope that, at the least, we will get a clear look at what this current team can do so as to see what still is needed.

    • I would add that when the team is in such disarray, decisions regarding our expiring contracts become muddled – a consequence of the difficulty in evaluating players. Bad decisions come out of that (“They paid that stiff WHAT?” and: “The idiots just…let him go???”). This is especially true of support players, who are vital to a Cup run but not themselves leaders – as the team goes, so go they (Williams, Stoll, Richardson…). Players like Kopitar, Richards, Quick, Brown are more easily evaluated under any conditions. A mistake or two here could set back the team’s movement/program. This matters – time is on our side only relative to specific teams – but look up and, all of a sudden, you see Nash., Phx. and now Minn. and St. Louis.

  5. Ignoring the Terry Murray system for a moment, aren’t the players regularly not getting their passes off fast enough? There seems to always be at *least* a half second of hesitation that shouldn’t be there before almost every pass, and this problem is pervasive through the whole team, every game. Or would someone like to explain to me how the system is creating this problem?

    • Exactly…have yet to not see the defense hesitate before shooting…which usually results in inaccurate cross ice passes that need to be gathered rather then one timed.

      If I were Murray I’d be drilling these guys on seesawing to open cross ice lanes on the PP making the practice passing…yeah, I know, sounds stupid-simple but this team really sucks at this aspect of games

      • It’s not just the defense hesitating on shooting. After watching the lone cross ice pass to Kopitar, I couldn’t figure out how he didn’t score. It was obvious they had Hackett out of place and the shot was on target. On the reply Kopitar puts and extra stick-handle on it and allows Hackett to get across. Cross ice passes don’t do any good if you hesitate on the shot.

  6. I was listening to the game on the radio on the way home. Nick Nickson was saying “there’s just no intensity. they’ve got nothing going”. When I got home I turned on my TV and Jim Fox was saying, “There’s no no emotion at all”.

    If THEY are seeing it, and WE are seeing it, you have to know that perched in the corner of the arena, Tim Leiweke is seeing it.

    Up in the rafters, Lombardi and Hextall are seeing it.

    They’ve turned the coach out. The Wasy Washington did, the way St Louis did, the way Anaheim did. “Tuned Out” Murray has got to go. Period.

  7. Honestly I’m tired of the losing the team is better then that I’m sick of having a loss going home to work or down the street and seeing the BS poster of the time is now with TM coaching that time is never gonna come we have great players that can score but the fucking system just isn’t working when is TM gonna pull his head put of his ass and realize it

  8. Surly, Scribe: why wont murray just play 3 d-men? F3=D3, no? F2 therefore=D4!

  9. I’m pretty damn sure i cracked murray’s code!

  10. There is finally a POSITIVE in all this. Everyone is PISSED! Bob Miller, Jim Fox and Nick Nickson included. Nick sounded almost down when I was listening to him. When fans and employees are this angry something is gonna give. So have faith. Murray will lose his job. Or the players will be inspired in spite of him… or we get a good draft pick(but suffer another year). The only question is, “Dean which one is it going to be.”

  11. I”m glad you were able to get back to the better things in life than kings “hockey”. I myself selected tonight as a night off from the game, as I went to a gig in LA where I chatted up a beautiful girl, and she didn’t put out…so much for my night off from Kings hockey.

    Sounds like it was a rough one tonight, much like the consensus, I don’t see things better until we free ourselves from Murray, and his shameful offense.

    Another great post. Keep up the good work.

  12. What I see is a team that is busting their ass on offense but not being rewarded for it. The only saving grace that Murray can have right now is having Richards and Mitchell injured. I hope they get back soon and we continue to stink up the place because then what will be Murrays excuse: no Smyth, Simmonds or Poni?

  13. Great blog guys. But did you hear Ken Hitchcock’s quotes recently about offense? I believe it was something like “NESN.” What he tells is players is “NESN.” (Or maybe its’ NEWSN). North east (or west maybe) south north. Apparently he learned this watching all the junior games scouting for the Jackets, talking to the young coaches. It’s what most teams are basing their offense around.

    And its a lot of the same as Murray.

    What it means, going from memory, this:

    North: you dump the puck in.

    East/West: You cycle it up along the boards, or down the boards (basically, along the boards).

    South: you kick the puck south, back up to the point.

    North: The shot comes north, or to the net, from the defense.

    Dump in, retrieve, cycle, kick to defense, shoot it at the net.

    Sound familiar? That’s Ken Hitchcock, thriving with the Blues, saying what you have to do to create offense today.

    Someone I “know” actually blogged about that, why offenses are basing their offenses off dump and chase and cycling a lot now. The reason is because its hard for anyone to score off the rush anymore consistently, because the neutral zone is shut down. The Sharks have this same problem. Dan Boyle just talked about this too. http://blogs.mercurynews.com/sharks/2011/11/27/dan-boyle-“the-game’s-changed-the-neutral-zone-is-pretty-much-eliminated-which-is-where-i-get-a-lot-of-my-offense/

    Most teams have trouble creating offense off the rush now.

    • Yet all 29 teams have scored more than the Kings. This is the weakest excuse I have heard anyone hang their hat on.

      Scoring is down league wide, that doesn’t mean you can be 30th in the league and then complain that scoring is down. How can all 29 teams, regardless of talent level, score more than the Kings? Since Murray has been coach of the Kings, 25 teams have scored more than the Kings.

      Teams that adapt to the situation, score and win. Teams that complain about it do not.

  14. I went to bed at the end of the 2nd period and got a good nights sleep.

    Being in MST the games start at 8:30pm here and for the 1st time in 3 years I decided to get 6 hours of sleep instead of 5 on a game night.

    I did have a short moment when I woke up thinking ‘I really hope I end up regretting missing the 3rd period’ but then I looked at my phone, did a silent ‘woot’ for Penner and came to work.

  15. I did the same thing, Anjin. I’m in CST so games are at 9:30 for me. Luckily, watching the Kings lately has become so damn boring it actually helps me get ready for bed.

  16. Perfect summary. Hunter on the power plays…again? Madness. Inability to pass accurately to set one time shots…over and over. Massive defensive gaps…two goals. Keeping Quick in when Bernier could have picked up minutes…whose in charge?

    I’ve also kept track of close in shots (0-15′) and dump/recovery plays. Here’s how I saw last night by period:

    Kings
    1 (5-5)
    0
    2 (5-5, goal; 5-5 goal)
    Wild
    4 (3 5-5, goal; 1 PP)
    1 (5-5, goal)
    2

    Dumps-Recovery
    Kings
    4-0, 4-2, 1-0
    Wild
    5-4, 2-1, 1-0

    • Note that I only count close in shots/deflections that are on goal requiring a save…

      I also saw in this game a team that is not designed for the system imposed upon it, a power play that could be so much better with a proper coach and a head coach whose has chosen to hitch his tenure to a player named Hunter.

      At least Penner has come around. He may prove to be the teams salvation. He has personal motivation to carry him through the mud that seems to be marking the end of this phase.

      • This seems like a great way to break the game down. I might be a little hungover, no offense, could you break down your #’s with a bit more explanation? Again, sorry, am a little dumb this morning.

        • I started out ready to comment negatively on how the teams play has now lead fans to having to drink themselves to sleep, then remembered that I ate my feelings in a post game binge like a seventeen year old girl with bad skin…. I guess we all need our vices to distract us from our pain.

          My wife is now reminding me that hockey was suppose to be my vice, so my vice now needs a vice.

        • I watch the game as a whole but look closely at two areas; specifically, play around the offensive net and the dump/retrieve.

          This year most scoring takes place within 8-12′ of the net. I look from approx. the hash marks angling out to each side of the net approx 8′. I count deflections and shots if they require a save (ie a deflection that is blocked or wide does not count).

          I break the shots down by PP, short handed and 5 on 5 attempts.

          Kings
          1 (5-5)
          0
          2 (5-5, goal; 5-5 goal)

          —-Translates:
          1P 1 5 on 5 close in shot, no goals result
          2P 0 No close in shots
          3P 2 5 on 5 close in shots, both result in goals.

          Wild
          4 (3 5-5, goal; 1 PP)
          1 (5-5, goal)
          2 (5-5)

          —-Translates
          1P 4 close shots, 3 5 on 5 for 1 goal, 1 on the PP.
          2P 1 5 on 5 close in shot.
          3P 2 5 on 5 close in shot.

          So far of the 16 games I have kept track of the Kings have lost all except one when out shot from “in close”. The exception was Montreal in which the Kings held a wide margin.

          Dumps-Recovery* (by period)
          Kings
          4-0, 4-2, 1-0 (4 dump ins, none recovered, etc)
          Wild
          5-4, 2-1, 1-0 (5 dump ins, 4 recovered)

          *Counting only what I believe to be designed dump and chase plays, not errant passes etc.

  17. Jonathan Quick played a poor game in the sense that he looked human. I know he wants that 4th goal back…perhaps even the 1st.

    … He let in three soft goals last night. The wraparound, where he lost track of the puck and wasn’t ready. The Powe goal, where he got happy feet and left the crease completely by over-committing after he had the puck all but covered and proceeded to inexplicably lose it. Finally, the Almond goal – shot from above the circles that just plain beat him – the back-breaker of the game.

    Yeah, he can blame Jonathan Quick. Quick didn’t steal one for him.

    … He sure did. Like he did in the Ducks game, Quick stole defeat from the jaws of victory.

    We threw a lot of shots on net from the point, many went wide because we had no lane, those that made their way to Hackett (it feels weird typing that name after all these years) were either easy stops or the Wild were ready to clear the rebounds

    … Easy stops??? Were you seriously watching the same game I was watching? None of Hackett’s stops were spectacular, but many of them were very good. He played a tremendous overall game. If Quick had the game Hackett had last night, you and most of the people here would be kissing his ass, telling everyone who will listen that he “stole” the game, etc. Give me a fucking break.

    I’m just waiting for someone to tell me that Minnesota had better scoring chances (and more scoring chances) than the Kings last night, so I can laugh. I could use a little comedy today. Tell me that the Kings didn’t absolutely dominate that game. It’ll be priceless.

    But, you know what? Fuck it. Don’t believe me – just take a look at where the shots came from in the game. The myopia has truly set in at this point, I guess. Suppose it’s hard to watch a game objectively when one is constantly thinking “the coach needs to be fired the coach needs to be fired the coach needs to be fired”.

    The Kings missed the net a lot last night because they’re trying to be too perfect with their shots. The Kings are overpassing in the offensive zone because they’re trying too hard to set up the perfect play. Why are they doing these things? Because they are having a terrible time putting the puck in the net. They are aware of it, and want to change it. The coaching staff is aware of it, and they want to change it. Everything went right last night for the Kings, except that they again struggled to put the puck in the net and their goalie laid an egg. And that’s what beat them.

    Every game, it’s seemingly a different aspect of the team that’s letting them down. And, that’s the sign of a struggling team. Beyond that, the Kings can’t rely on anything offensively from their bottom six, so all the pressure gets built up on the top six. And those top six are feeling that pressure. Almost all of the other teams have better role players than the Kings do. Almost every team can count on their bottom six to chip in with some goals here and there – except the Kings. And that’s not a “system” issue, at all. It’s a “let’s bring in dumpster dives and form entire lines with them” issue.

    Side note, Trent Hunter is a brutal hockey player to watch. I know he scored a goal and the expression about sunshine and a dog’s ass comes to mind but for him to take a roster spot from Brad Richardson is embarrassing.

    … I’m glad you’ve caught on to this.

    I still want to believe Murray will turn this (and himself) around

    … No you don’t – at all. You’ve made your feelings known, day after day. At least come correct. The hell you want Murray to turn things around. You want him fired. In your mind, he’s already fired.

    And you know what? I don’t object to it. I’m just sick of hearing all of the wrong reasons for it. At this point, it looks more and more like it’s a case of firing the head coach to keep the people entertained – they want something different, just because it’s different. People are bitching about the offense. If the Kings scored more, they’d be bitching about the defense. There are people who came into this season thinking this was the perfect team. They bought into all the hype. Well, you know what? It’s not the perfect team. It’s an overrated, imbalanced team with a terrible, negative atmosphere surrounding it. It was fun to root for this team for the most part of the last couple seasons. Now, it’s like fighting a tide of shit – a bunch of negative people who want the team to win their way or not win at all.

    So, have fun with it. You’ll “win”, I guess. The coach might be fired soon. Personally, I couldn’t care if he stays or goes. The team, as it is playing right now, wouldn’t win for ANY coach. And, there are a number of reasons surrounding this struggle that have absolutely nothing to do with the coaching staff.

    • Win our way of not at all?

      What in the fuck are you talking about JT? The team wins an people stop bitching. You give off the sense that the fans bad attitude came first and the team struggling was the result of that.

      This coming from a guy who the other day said the Kings are his cross to bear. You flat out don’t believe this team will ever do well. Believing that your fandom is penance… It doesn’t get more negative than that Mr Kettle.

      • What in the fuck are you talking about JT? The team wins an people stop bitching.

        … What do you mean, what am I talking about? If the team beats Anaheim 1-0 (which is the score if not for the bad bounces and goalie gaffes) and they beat Minnesota 2-1 (which is the score if not for the soft goals), they win the last two games. And most of what I and you would have read in response would have been “well I guess that SOB gets to coach a few more games” and “heyy there’s the quota again hurr”. Please tell me that wouldn’t be the case.

        This coming from a guy who the other day said the Kings are his cross to bear.

        … Based on how they have played in the time I’ve been a fan, it most certainly has been a cross to bear. Sure, they’ve had some gems from time to time, but the penance is having to slog through all the turds to get to those gems. That’s just a fact.

    • You are reducing the team’s failings to a series of coincidental individual failings combined with the assertion that many of the players have been overrated. But this is not, like baseball, a sport whose sum is barely more than that of its individual performances. It is deeply cooperative. And while I agree that it was a team unlikely to become a genuine contender this season, as constituted, we have not greatly overrated half the players on the team to the point that what we are seeing is what we should have expected. No forcheck to speak of is not a series of individual failings, for example. It is organization. To put it kindly, the league has caught up to our predictability, and we are not so gifted as to be able to skate past that w/o adjusting. That is not the same as saying we can do no better.

      • To put it kindly, the league has caught up to our predictability

        … If that were the case, other coaches wouldn’t run the exact same offensive principles that Murray has in his gameplan. Other teams have success with it. Why don’t the Kings have success with it this season? Because they’re not executing it properly. Because they’re not executing fundamentals. Many people love to talk about desire, heart, attitude, etc. But it all comes down to execution. The winning teams, the elite teams – they stress execution more than anything else. They stress the basics. They stress intelligence and mental toughness, even over physical toughness.

        The Kings, frankly, do a lot of dumb things out there individually, and that takes a little at a time away from the collective effort. They have to work smarter, not harder. The Kings don’t have to push a boulder up a hill and exert themselves beyond reason for 60 minutes just to win a game. Look at Minnesota. Do they over-exert themselves physically? No. They just play smart, well-executed hockey. Each of their lines goes about their shifts in the same way. They got outplayed by the Kings, and it stands to reason that they did because the Kings are a more talented team – but the Wild took what the Kings gave them. The Kings, as they did against the Ducks and as they did against the Canadiens, beat themselves. It has nothing to do with a system. The Kings are not running the system right. They know what the right things are to do, but are (for whatever reason) not doing those things.

        EVERY team is somewhat predictable as to what they’re trying to do offensively. That’s the beautiful thing about the best teams, the Champion teams. They can run something even though their opponent knows exactly what they’re trying to do. But, they still succeed because they relentlessly do things right.

        • I’m curious what teams you think play our offensive system?

          Our offensive system boils down to, 1 man forecheck, get the puck on the boards, throw it to the point, shoot or throw it back down low and repeat.

          I don’t see many teams do this. Hell, it’s even new for Murray. We didn’t run this same system last year.

          As to your point about execution, I agree, and I have a hypothesis.

          Murray stresses play without the puck more often in quotes than he does play with the puck. I have a feeling the emphasis in practice is more often what top do to react to other people having the puck than it is what to do with the puck. I’m sure he does practice play with the puck, but I have a sneaking suspicion its not the priority.

          I’m fairly certain that Murray’s philosophy is that if you play well without the puck, the rest kind of takes care of itself.

          The Kings have ALWAYS had trouble passing under Murray. We have only seen small respites from the terrible passing, the little 8-12 foot passes being a little behind or ahead of the man, which is an exponential problem. If the Kings have struggled with passing for 3+ years under Murray, then it stands to reason it is because he doesn’t have them practice passing either well enough or in the right way. Team’s like Detroit clearly make passing a top priority.

          The Kings’ priority is to cut out opportunities the other team has when they have the puck, as opposed to keeping the puck once they have it.

          Of course these are my suspicions based off a combination of observation, intuition and deductive reasoning.

          Even if the Kings’ system does work, its not working now, whether because of fundamental, flaws or player execution, its not working and of that there can be no debate. THAT is a fact. Whatever the Kings are doing, and whatever the reason for it, is simply not working. If it was they’d be winning more often. And whether the issue is the player’s not executing the coaches system or the coaches system being flawed itself, the solution to either is also the same. New coach.

          Even the best of coaches (with very few exceptions) with the best of systems eventually loses their players. Murray has lost his. The ONLY thing left is for them to publicly turn him out, which I don’t think we are too far away from. I just hope Lombardi makes a decision before that happens.

          • Disagree. Not ready to say Murray has lost the room. I see a team busting its ass out there. That isn’t indicative of losing the room or tuning him out.

          • That is what makes it even scarier. The Kings are doing what Murray wants, they are 30th in the NHL and Murray still thinks his system works. Murray even pulled the “youth” card again with the Kings. The excuses that Dean and Murray use is the most frustrating part. Murray was actually proud that the Kings had given up 4 fewer goals at the 27 game point and no one brought up the fact that the Kings had scored 11 fewer goals. That’s a -7 differential. That’s not a positive.

          • I didn’t mean they aren’t playing hard. I mean he is able to get these guys to play his system properly together as a unit. Each player still cares, each player still plays hard for himself and for eachother. He has lost the room in the sense that he isn’t getting through to the players as a leader anymore, and the proof of that is in the lack of cohesion on the ice.

            It has nothing to do with effort.

          • That is not losing the room. Losing the room is the players are not doing what their coach wants. What you describe is the opposite of that – the players are like good soldiers – they are trying to take that hill, despite its futility…anyone else suddenly crave a hamburger?

          • Sydor, that’s because Murray and Lombardi are shifting the discussion away from their faults and towards their strengths. Why talk about the offense when you can say “but hey! the defense”

          • O.K. – I’ll half-buy. But then, the lapses in intensity – some interestingly extended – suggest a sense of futility about the enterprise as presently constituted. Call it fatigue.
            It’s like being harangued to stop being a sinner altogether, rather than accepting what you are and avoiding the mortal ones. Its exhausting, and ultimately demoralizing. I think we’re on our way, even if as you argue we aren’t there now.

        • I half-buy what you argue – the execution is much like you say it is, and I acknowledge that this raises the question as to how much is execution and how much system. And it is an important distinction – it goes to what to “fix.” But both go back to Coach Murray. Are we simply not prepared? As has been said, it isn’t for want of sheer effort out there -even Penner is busting his hump.
          You quoted my rhetorical flourish, and made a good point about consistency of approach, but that still leaves us with what our approach is (e.g. no real forecheck) and why, despite our hard work, we get poor results. As you say, consistency and execution are required and lacking, but why is this so? If the players still respect and follow Coach Murray, then either they have fallen off (and were in some cases overrated, notwhithstanding their past performances here) or there is a very serious ingredient missing in the overall approach.
          You point to how hard we work to get our results, and I agree. Playing SJ last year was like trying to grip a ball – you get tired and let up and they score. When we did it right, we thrashed them for stretches. But if it isn’t sustainable, then we must be pursuing the wrong strategy.

          • Your last sentence is key.

            For the Kings system to work it must be executed perfectly. A small mistake and it all falls apart hellishly fast.

            I would prefer a system with some failsafes than one that requires perfection at all times. Perfection is to be strived or and demanded, not honestly expected at all times and certainly not to be necessary for success.

            This is why some games end up 6-5, because things don’t go perfectly for either team but regardless of that they keep piling it on an powering through to win despite mistakes that are made.

            One bad goal against ad we are totally fucked. That’s not how to win hockey games throughout a season or in the playoffs. Success is as much about recovering from mistakes as it is about not making them in the first place.

          • I particularly dislike seeing our goaltenders put through that. JQ has one bad night and stares at the ice like he let us all down.

            Your point about recovering from mistakes is well taken.

          • Perfection I suppose is one way of looking at it – I think of it more as “options”. The best scoring teams have an arsenal of offensive zone options.

          • I strongly suspect this brittleness as the cause of last year’s odd up and down winning and losing streaks. If anything, this “binge and purge” cycle has speeded up. If I am right, then this is a feature of the “system”.

            An example of what you suggest as a better alternative was provided by the Richardson line in last year’s playoffs. They forechecked, they pinched the puck into the corners and killed the clock agains SJ’s top two lines, and occasionally threw it through the crease and took a poke at it – some of those going in. When they lost possession, they got back, broke up the play, pinched the puck into the corners and proceeded to kill the clock. Not easy, but simple, and forgiving. And Coach Murray treats Richardson as if he can no longer do that much. Balls. He, Clifford and Westgarth could do it, right fucking now.

          • One last thing – notice how our level of play has remained the same even after adding Richards and Gagne. Richards goes down, and we lose.
            Instead of getting better with their arrival, we incorporated their talents and adjusted downward to our previous level. That is a symptom of a closed system, internally consistent and undynamic – executed (more or less) without reference to our abilities or those of our opponents.

    • @JT, what an interesting post that was. Now, you’re telling me what I believe? I have been a fan too long and have invested too much money (something you cannot relate to as I don’t know if you have ever been a season ticket holder), emotion and in the past 2 years this website for you, or anyone, to tell me what I “believe” about the team. Fact is, I would be thrilled to see the Kings turn it around with Murray as coach – that is because I understand that turnover in any business, hockey included, causes inefficiency in the short term even under the best of circumstances.

      I want the best for our team, I want to see them win and I want to see Dustin Brown raise the Stanley Cup. So, with no respect intended, fuck you for telling me how I feel or believe about the team and questioning whether my statement about turning it around is honest or disingenious. Feel free to disagree with my assessment of Murray, the players, the game, anything else but the moment you question my veracity and integrity of statements I make, you make it personal.

      • Now, you’re telling me what I believe? I have been a fan too long and have invested too much money (something you cannot relate to as I don’t know if you have ever been a season ticket holder), emotion and in the past 2 years this website for you, or anyone, to tell me what I “believe” about the team.

        … Bobby, you’ve written a million and one words about how Murray should be fired. This is obviously what you want. I’m not telling you what you believe. You have spent months telling me what you believe. And then to go and say “well I hope he turns it around”??? No, you don’t. You want him fired. You’ve told me over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. You do not believe Murray is the right man to coach this team – not even a little bit. What’s there for him to “turn around”? Your mind is made up.

        Honestly, I didn’t mean to provoke this sort of response out of you. It’s just pretty obvious how you feel. You’ve described what you want done with the team in great detail. Unless you were just bullshitting us with all of those posts, you want to see some changes made. Why try to convince me that this isn’t truly what you want with a statement of “I would be thrilled to see the Kings turn it around with Murray”??? I’m not trying to make you out to be dishonest any more than you’re trying to take me for an idiot. It’s just bizarre to read it, that’s all.

        • That is where the disconnect occurs. You think my criticism of Murray is something I desire. It isn’t. I want him to BE the right coach. I want to see the team succeed. I want to see the team raise the Cup. Thus, I WANT to believe he can turn it around and coach this team to the Cup. In life, I am an intensely positive individual, even the rah rah type. However, from my perspective, that would require Murray to change. Can he? I don’t know. I would be surprised if he did. But I HOPE he does because that would be in the Kings’ best interest and that is all I give a damn about and the SOLE REASON this site exists.

          By all means, tell me I am full of shit in my analysis of Murray and his coaching. No worries. I will give it right back to you and we will have a productive discussion. But, don’t question my loyalty to the team by questioning whether I am being honest about what I want for the team especially when you and I damn well know Terry Murray is an important part (read: in a position of power) of this organization.

  18. I’ve been a Kings fan for a long time now and I don’t think I’ve ever been as frustrated with them as I am right now (hence my first ever post here). I don’t know what’s wrong with their offense (is it the system, is it the players, is it just lousy luck), but nowadays, I no longer expect them to get a third goal. That’s just sad with guys like Kopitar, Richards, Brown, Gagne, Williams, Doughty, Johnson and Penner on the team.

    I feel for both goalies as they need to perform like last season’s Tim Thomas in order to get a win since letting in a second goal pretty much means a loss.

    I hope they figure something out soon because there is no chance of them making the playoffs if they keep scoring 2 a game. They’ll be lucky to stay ahead of the Blue Jackets at this rate.

  19. Call me a hopeless romantic, and maybe it was the uplifting attempt at spin in the post that started this thread, but did anyone else go to bed pissed and wake up feeling more positive? Hear me out, wether you believe this is TM’s fault or player fault it feels like the tunnel has gotten as dark as it can(with this level of talent) and it resembles the rock bottom junkies talk about hitting. Metaphorically of course, I don’t mean to suggest our top six woke up with cocks in their mouth trying to score themselves a goal fix off some OHLer– feeling like Ive gone too far again… And yes, I am a blinded optimist, but I do believe in these guys and know they can pull out of this. They have looked fantastic at times this season so we all know they have it in them.

  20. I feel my heart, liver, lungs, balls — all my tissue being jammed into a meat grinder, piece by piece, starting with my dick.

    This shit must cease!

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