Should Dean Lombardi’s Fate Hang In The Playoff Balance?
Imagine the following hypothetical: 93 points and we make the playoffs. 92 points and we don’t. We get 93 points and land in 8th. We play one of St. Louis or Vancouver. You’re happy, high-five me, smack your girl friend’s butt (which, if it came after you high-fived me, means I too smacked it) and let out a fuck yeah while you grab a beer! We get 92 points and land in 9th. You’re angry, tell your girlfriend not to speak with you for a couple of days, hit the wall and grab a beer.
93 points and you spend serious money on playoff tickets. 92 and you keep that money in your bank account in preparation for $5.00 per gallon gas prices.
93 points and you buy a potential greater aggravation if the Kings are eliminated in the first round for the third consecutive season. 92 points and you save that aggravation and set it aside for next season.
93 points and Dean Lombardi has a job? 92 points and he doesn’t?
Assume we make the playoffs and are in fact eliminated in the first round…how do you feel then? Now assume we make it to the second round but no further. Then? Dean Lombardi lose his job under the first scenario? Keep it in the second?
In a results oriented analysis, there is a strong argument that anything less than a deep run (Conference or Stanley Cup Finals) and Dean Lombardi should be fired. 6 years, no internal spending cap, cart blanche (or enough of it) to build the team he wants and no significant playoff success to show for it is a failure to deliver. But at what cost do you fire him? Unless Wayne Gretzky has agreed to take the GM job (my wish) or you trust Tim Leiweke to make a good decision on the next hire (which I don’t), is Dean Lombardi’s termination a step forward? Is it a potential disaster with AEG and Leiweke giving up on the franchise and infusing an internal cap? At some point, he has to be fired if the L.A. Kings cannot achieve playoff success. That is not the question here. The one here is should it be this season, now and conditioned on the team’s failure to make the playoffs, failure to advance past the first round or failure to go deep?
Whether you answer yes or no to each question, have you asked yourself the next one? What then?