I’m In A Bad Mood And It’s Mostly Surly’s Fault…

I went to bed in a bad mood. I woke up in a bad mood. I went to work and came home…in the same mood. Simon Gagne is out with his 23rd concussion. Maybe it’s his fourth or his second with two previous aggravations compiled on the first. Whatever. He’s had a shit load of concussions since 2007. He is out indefinitely, we are not hearing mother sutting jack about his status (which is nearly always very bad news) and, at a time when the L.A. Kings have turned the corner, fired Murray and are playing an up tempo style that attacks the net and the middle of the ice, we need his sniping skills more than ever.

From Surly back on July 3 about Simon Gagne’s history of injuries:

If it weren’t for Simon Gagne’s long and storied history of injuries, Scribe would be joining my cow in it’s journey over the moon instead of simmering slowly like a kabob about to burn on the spit. Simon’s propensity for frailty is certainly nothing to ignore, but let us examine exactly what these injuries were. As we know, there are several types of injury prone players. You have your unfortunates, like our own Justin Williams, who seems to have a knack for accumulating every type of injury possible. You’ve got your naggers, such as Adam Deadmarsh who had as much trouble passing up a good concussion like an alcoholic trying to avoid happy hour. Then you’ve got your wear and tearers, a la Ryan Smyth who play a style of game that will inevitably lead to a series of injuries lest they replace their bones with titanium and their muscles with rubber. So where does the Kings’ prize of 2011 free agency fall?

After giving us the long list of Gagne’s injuries, Surly offered:

The one that jumps out is the concussion. In the 2007-2008 season, Gagne missed a total of 57 games due to a concussion and it’s symptoms (dizziness), as well as all 17 playoff games the Flyers played. He had one concussion earlier in his career, in 2003. Concussions are worrisome, however two concussions separated by 4 years is hardly a reason to suspect Gagne will suffer the same fate as Adam Deadmarsh.

He ended his article with:

Ultimately it seems that Gagne has had two major injuries in his career. The hernia in 09-10 and the concussion in 07-08. Neither have cropped up as problems since. In my estimation, what we have here is another in the mold of Justin Williams. A guy who has been playing for a long time and as a result of being unlucky, has sustained his share of minor injuries and a couple of really bad ones. This is not a case of the Deadmash’s, this is not Gaborik symptom, the Flyer we signed is not Eric Lindros.

If Gagne does sustain injury in the upcoming season, though no one will be surprised, it likely will be out of left field as opposed to the old ‘well no shit, it was only a matter of time before that happened’. My guess? He played 68-75 games.

So King fans, does this make you feel better or worse? Bobby, have I eased or added to your woes?

Since he asked, I answered his question in the comment section of that article with:

I was busy fixing your typos, what is the question again? Oh, injuries, that’s right. Do I feel better? Well, the vodka on rocks, twist of lime, 3 speared olives, while figuring out the best transitional sequence of a critical scene in the second to last chapter did make me feel much better. As for Gagne, I dig your positive vibe. You’ve been waiting for this cerebral lay with Simone for a while and I am happy you got it. That, by itself, is enough for me to feel good about the trade. As for my symbolic cow, she, like my waitress, remains of a Hindu faith and she, like me, isn’t quite ready for a Telos style lunar leap. I stare at an empty glass. “Waitress!”

I am guessing I was drunk when I wrote that…I believe that because that is typically how I write when I am drunk. Regardless, and the point was, I was happy that Surly was happy. I didn’t doubt Simon Gagne’s skill set. I doubted he would remain healthy. The concussion worried me the most.


Or, better stated, fuck.

Bad luck? Our reader JT just tripped over himself to write, “there is no such thing as luck in this context, this is Dean Lombardi’s fault!” He may be right. The point is this. Our left wing sniper, top six left wing sniper, two years and seven million dollars for a $3.5 million dollar per season cap hit top six left wing sniper is out with yet another concussion. This sucks on several grounds:

1. We lose his scoring which I believe would have gotten back on track given the L.A. Kings’ current offensive attack; and

2. We are stuck with his cap hit. Even if he goes on long time I.R., Dean Lombardi’s options for a trade are limited because he can’t be sure that Gagne is done for the season and, even if he is, he has to think about the contract he takes on (unless it is a rental) that may go into next season or beyond.

Where does this leave us? Me in a bad mood…and it’s 51% Surly’s fault, 48% Lombardi’s fault and 1% JT out of principle.

Categories: L.A. Kings News

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41 replies

  1. Everyone needs an asskickin now n then….

  2. Doesn’t Gagne assume any of the Scribe wrath? He’s definately at fault more than JT is. lol

    • Dominick, a late reply to your reply on the earlier thread. When I pinned DL for issues wrt forwards, yes I get your point that the system has changed.

      But look at this if you will…. Lokti has played what…. about 20 games and Cliffy and Lewis not quite half a season each as they both missed various games. Nonetheless, lets say that totals about 80 games between the three of them. Those are three young guys drafted by DL. Now the total of goals for this season is ONE!! I don’t care how bad the d system was and how much it’s turned around under Sutter. Point is, that is dispiriting. Someone HAS to start contributing offensively. I can allow for the system, that they are young, etc, but really, if you’re seeing signs of promise from them offensively (other than Lokti) than you’re seeing something I’m certainly not seeing.

      I don’t wanna write Clifford off, but seven goals last year – acceptable for a rookie, and then one this year? Are we really expecting him to turn into a consistent 20 goal scorer? Who knows…. but one goal between three young guys, neither of who can really be considered a rookie other than Lokti at this point. It’s really not very good, and a bit of a stretch to blame that on the system.

      But hey, that’s just my opinion. We’ll see. Maybe I’ll be surprised. Again I certainly don’t wanna right anyone off and hope that I’m not doing so.

      • Whoops…. I’m sure Scribe caught that one…
        Write off….. not right off…. shit. It’s fatigue.
        Anyway, you got my point.

        • On the other youngsters,
          The system was extremely defense oriented. If your not even willing to meet me there than nothing else will make any sense.

          The system under Murray was garbage offensively. I am not the only one who has this opinion. I won’t be the last.

          How many back up goalies have we seen this season? The Kings offense isn’t scaring anybody, and analysts everywhere agree.

          If the strategy has never produced scorers, and the team trades for scorers, suddenly stop scoring once they get here, and the FA signings all stop scoring once they sign, and the young players aren’t developing into scorers, and all the players on the roster are suddenly scoring under their career averages across the board, then somethings a miss.

          If you want to ignore the 1 common theme that all these players have in common, and argue away each, with 20 something reasons why 20 something guys all suck , with 20 something excuses that point to the players and not the system, then fine.

          I happen to believe that it isn’t the entire line up, but the system the entire line up plays.

          The young guys can be scorers, but they need guidence offensively because they aren’t gonna learn by someone who teaches them nothing but defense.

        • Sorry for my tone. It’s late, but I meant it with love. lol

      • If you were expecting 20 goals from Clifford than you believed the hype too. Clifford has always been (to me anyways) a 3rd or 4rth line player. That is what he was groomed as in Manchester, and that is his MO on the Kings is now. A tough player who will drop the gloves, and gives a ton of effort when motivated properly.

        His salary doesn’t even suggest that he was ever intended to be a scorer. If you expect that of him, your waisting your time. Clifford is giving the Kings their monies worth, and plays the game he’s supposed too.

        • Well technically Clifford hasn’t seen a real minute in Manchester other than spending a handful of games there after his first junior season after being drafted by the Kings ended. Also his pay is commensurate with your average non-top 10 pick rookie. It’s no higher than Simmonds’ ELC I believe.

        • Hi Dom. You know what, I don’t mind the tone. It’s fine. I Know you meant it well. And maybe I needed that tone to get thru to me what a crap offensive system was in place.
          I’ve only gone to one game at Staples as I live in NY, and I was behind the goal. The first goal I saw the Kings score was by Smyth from the goal line. Clearly you’re usually not gonna score much from there. So many shots were perimeter shots.

          I think that my point though, was a bit different but probably not stated with clarity. I do have a good feel for the game, and with my own eyes I can see that DL doesn’t have let’s say ‘an orientation’ towards players like Couture or Girous (NOT because he didn’t draft them), because he seems to like simpler north south type players. If you get Milan Lucic you’ve won the lottery. So far he hasn’t gotten lucky and drafted that type of player, as you aptly state that Clifford was groomed as a third line player. And I wonder if he’ll ever go for players who you could imagine having that ‘touch’ in the shoot out for example.

          Trust me, you and I aren’t as divergent on this as it probably seems. Only difference being that you’d be more like 65% of it being system based, and I’d be more like 65% of it being the type of players he tends to draft.

  3. at a time when the L.A. Kings have turned the corner, fired Murray and are playing an up tempo style that attacks the net and the middle of the ice

    … Hahahahahaha. Keep fighting the fight, man.

    Kings under Sutter this season: 436 minutes played, 14 goals scored, 9 goals allowed, 232 shots on goal, 200 shots on goal allowed

    Kings under Murray this season: 2013 minutes played, 70 goals scored, 79 goals allowed, 1014 shots on goal, 975 shots on goal allowed

    Kings under Sutter: 1.93 goals per 60 minutes, 1.24 goals allowed per 60 minutes
    Kings under Murray: 2.09 goals per 60 minutes, 2.35 goals allowed per 60 minutes


    They’ve turned the corner! They’re playing up-tempo! They attack the net! They attack the middle of the ice! They’ve SCORED FEWER GOALS PER 60 MINUTES THAN THEY DID WHEN THEY HAD TERRY MURRAY AS HEAD COACH.

    Where has the improvement taken place under coach Sutter? Why, on the defensive end, naturally.

    Kings under Sutter: 31.9 shots per 60, 27.5 shots allowed per 60
    Kings under Murray: 30.2 shots per 60, 29.1 shots allowed per 60

    So yeah, there’s that.

    Bad luck? Our reader JT just tripped over himself to write, “there is no such thing as luck in this context, this is Dean Lombardi’s fault!” He may be right.

    … What, you say? Injury prone players getting … injured?!?!?! Why I never

    we need his sniping skills more than ever

    … Gagne hasn’t scored since the Boer War. Remember his last goal?

    Gagne played three games under coach Sutter, about 47 minutes in all. Three shots on goal. I understand that’s a small sample size, but damn man, come on.

    • JT Stats is back! Nicely done…and you’re still wrong.

      • JT Stats is back! Nicely done…and you’re still wrong.

        … Well, now you know why my stat posting has tailed off. Who needs actual facts and results when one can just say “you’re wrong” and hey, debate over.

        You’re right, Bobby. They’re an offensive juggernaut. An offensive juggernaut that scores less than they did when they had no offense.

        Like I said, keep fighting the fight. Burn Terry Murray’s name in effigy for the rest of your life. Have fun.

        • Ah, Dutch . . .

          Your ficts and fagures always trigger a sense of uplift! (For SJ, translate “uplift” as “dick-stiffening”.)

          Who among us could fail to be sanguine about the Kings’ future?

          You’re always such a storehouse of hope.

        • Well…….. we are comparing 1 guy who had all of camp, 30 something games, and 3 other years with this team, to a guy who’s only had a month, and a handfull of games with this team.

          You don’t see better puck possession, and the shots directed at the net coming from inside the circles more? Even shots in the crease area have improved.

          You like advanced stats. How can you only find negatives.

          • Its trivially easy to pluck out stats to support a multitude of positions.

          • True dat. At which time that hockey becomes a science experiment or a celestial orbiting body I will accept statistics as absolute.

          • You don’t see better puck possession

            … Yes, I do, and have posted several times about it.

            and the shots directed at the net coming from inside the circles more? Even shots in the crease area have improved.

            … Nope, don’t see much more of that at all, actually. I think that’s just made up to fit an anti-Murray agenda.

            The thing is this – if Murray’s system can’t be blamed for the team’s struggles, then we’re forced to accept the reality that the team just isn’t as good as it was hyped up to be. And I just don’t see those who believed the hype admitting they were wrong about it. This is why the anti-system and anti-Murray stuff exists to the degree it does, if you ask me.

            You like advanced stats. How can you only find negatives.

            … Dude I’m using goals and shots. Those are advanced metrics??? I’m sorry they don’t read what you would like them to read, and I’m sorry they fly in the face of your opinion, but that’s the way it is.

          • JT,
            Look at the shot trackers for the last 5 games. Shots are definately further towards the middle. Also I’ve been keeping track of 2nd, and 3rd chance opportunities, and they are much better lately.

            It’s almost like night and day. It’s not perfect, but system changes always take time, and Sutters dealing with more than just system.

          • The advanced stats statement was referring to how your one of the few fellow posters who will search through corsi, and other stats to find answers (which is what I like about you), but very seldom do you seem encouraged by what you find.

          • Personally to my eyes they Do look better thru the neutral zone and also seem to have more pressure inside in the higher scoring areas and towards the paint. That I definitely do see.

            But ….. oh no, oh no, takes me back to my original point that there are too many forwards who don’t have that Instince in terms of where to be on the ice to Sense that there’ll be a reeb.

            Oh well, Dom we made a truce above so I’ll stay with that.

          • Give it some time. Sutters only had a handfull of time, and can’t erase 3 1/2 years of structure in 3 weeks. I think that’s what I was getting at earlier, but I went off on a tangent. lol

    • What those stats don’t say JT is why the Kings defensive numbers are better. When we mix those numbers with watching the games and how they flow under Sutter, what do we get?

      We get a team that still can’t finish, but is winning games because they are playing with the puck more. Show me the zone with control time stats. I’ll be sincerely shocked if they don’t reflect increased time spent in the offensive zone despite the minor drop in GF/60. You may call that better defense since the GF and GA/60 seem to indicate that in the bluntest sense, but I call it a result of improved offense. The best defense is a good offense and this is the style that Sutter is employing whereas Mr. Effigy was simply defense by way of defense. The offensive numbers aren’t there yet because players as individuals are still slumping. But the team’s offense can improve without the actual goals picking up right away. Offense doesn’t solely mean goals scored. Offense means attacking, it means controlling the puck and the play, and these are the things Sutter has improved.

      By your own numbers, the shots for and against numbers, the Kings are taking 1.16 shots for every 1 they allow. Under Murray they were taking 1.04 shots for every 1 they allowed. That’s better offense by way of ‘the other team can’t score if the puck is on your stick.’

      So call it defense if you want, but your stats are proving our points simply because we have a different outlook on the game. Stats or no stats this still comes down to what we see with our eyes and where you aren’t seeing improvement in the offensive attack, Bobby and I are.

      That a direct and specific enough argument for you?

      • “The offensive numbers aren’t there yet because players as individuals are still slumping”

        After 37 games its more then a slump…its chemistry. But what I don’t get is this, sure the team “looks” better…after all the cycle returned, but the real problem has never changed…the power play…and cycling or playing with meaningless numbers amounting to perhaps 3 extra perimeter shots per game in the past seven games isn’t going to fix it.

        Without a power play we are screwed

        Fix the friggin’ power play and we have a hell of a team.

        • Very true, though we have seen better chemistry between many of these players before. As to the power play, you are absolutely right. So far Sutter has said all the right things about the power play, but we’ve haven’t seen those words translated to action and change on the ice.

          With Sutter taking control of the PP in practice it’s getting harder to blame Kompon, though I still want him gone. Perhaps this is one f those cases Lombardi spoke of in his quotes from Hammonds’ Sutter article from yesterday where he states Sutter will fall on a grenade for his group to insulate them. Now that Sutter has some opportunity for real practice the leeway for improving the power play is cut drastically short. We need those results, badly.

          • I completely see your point, the timing of the change has not allowed much practice time…

            One thing caught me by surprise. Were I in charge I darn well would not have given a bunch of struggling well compensated athletes a day off this week — even with the recent road trip and holiday.

            This is not meant to be punitive, rather the team and staff should have been excited and jumped on the chance at an extra day to perfect a power play before returning to action.

            Getting it right on the power play –right now– is too important…its late in the day. Plenty time next month for a day or two away from the rink.

      • I’ll be sincerely shocked if they don’t reflect increased time spent in the offensive zone despite the minor drop in GF/60. You may call that better defense since the GF and GA/60 seem to indicate that in the bluntest sense, but I call it a result of improved offense.

        … Actually, I think the Kings’ defense has been improved over what it was, and I do agree to a certain extent that they’ve increased their possession time in the offensive zone. I’ve said as much. They are executing better than they were. So, I think it’s a combination of both.

        My post simply addressed the silly notion that the Kings are somehow an up-tempo, attack the middle of the ice, offensive juggernaut … which they simply are not. The only area I see improvement in offense is with puck possession, and they should have been doing this shit before Murray got fired, but for one reason or ten they didn’t.

        • But the only one who has that notion of a juggernaught is you. We have said offense has improved and you hyperbolized that out to up tempo juggernaught. We said better and you have argue against great.

          • the L.A. Kings have turned the corner, fired Murray and are playing an up tempo style that attacks the net and the middle of the ice

            … This implies an offensive juggernaut. That is what offensive juggernauts do.

          • For someone who doesn’t like words being put in your mouth, extrapolating offensive juggernaught out of “up tempo and attacking the middle” is a bit of a stretch. Offensive juggernaughts do attack the middle of the ice and play up tempo, but not all teams that play up tempo and attack the middle are offensive juggernaughts. Its like they say about pedophiles, not all people who have mustaches are pedophiles, but all pedophiles do have mustaches.

            The Kings ARE playing with more of an up tempo style. They ARE attacking the middle of the ice more. That doesn’t mean they are finishing their chances more.

        • Also I forgot to mention the funny thing is that Sutter has said quite directly that he has changed some things on the offensive side but that he has left the defense alone.

  4. My philosophy towards writing, filmmaking, drawing, painting, etc has always been, “better to make a negative impression than to make no impression at all.”

    So basically, thanks Scribe.

  5. Or we could call it 100% Ryan Smyth’s fault.

  6. 2nd concussion in the same season is an automatic 21 days – at least that’s medical staffs tells me –

  7. I checked out practice today and Bernie Nicholls was on the ice. According to Hammond, Sutter wanted Nicholls to watch a few games. Maybe a new coach for the PP?


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