The Kings are a tired team.
Indeed, the blown defensive coverages, blatant miscues, the plethora of turnovers and one poor decision after another in their last two games all appear to be the result of fatigue.
Of course, like every player and coach of a National Hockey League team, to their credit, to a man, the Kings refused to use fatigue as an excuse.
When asked if his team was tired by Dennis Bernstein of The Fourth Period after the game, Kings head coach Terry Murray, as coaches often do when they either do not want to discuss a particular subject or are trying to send a message to their players through the media, gave a very terse answer in response.
“No,” said Murray.
But do not let that fool you. No matter what players and coaches, who take such great pride in what they do that cannot allow themselves to make any kind of excuse for poor play, mistakes, etc., fatigue is a reality in the NHL.
Indeed, ask any former NHL player or an NHL scout (many are former players), they often admit that yes, fatigue is a factor, perhaps now more than ever.
“With the parity in the league now, there is more opportunity for teams to take advantage of teams playing back-to-back games or during [a heavy portion of their schedule],” said Jim Fox, who played ten years on right wing for the Kings, ranking eighth on the team’s all-time scoring list, and is now in his 21st season as the Kings’ television color commentator. “Fatigue is more of factor now.”
With or without some much-needed rest, the Kings have problems to fix, especially in their defensive zone play, and they will be right back at it during an 11:00 AM PST practice on New Year’s Eve.
- The Kings finished December 9-4-1, good for 19 points, tying a club record for most points in December. The Kings also had 19 in December 2005 and December 1980. The most points the Kings have ever had in one month is 22 (January 2002 and February 1991).
- The Kings’ 13-3-1 mark after 17 home games is tied for the best in franchise history. The 1992-93 team was also 13-3-1.
- The Kings have scored 39 goals in their last ten games.
- The Kings are 10-for-33 on the power play the last ten games (30.3 percent rating).
- Jack Johnson, who scored a power play goal in the game, now has 18 power play points this season on three goals and 15 assists.
Johnson’s career-high point streak is now at six games on two goals and five assists for seven points.
- With two assists in the game, Drew Doughty has 13 points in the last ten games on a goal and twelve assists.
- Ryan Smyth, who scored two goals, has three goals in the last two games.
- Anze Kopitar (one assist) has twenty points (seven goals and 13 assists) in the last 14 games.
- Justin Williams, who scored a goal in this game, has goals in four of the last six games (four goals).
Raw post-game audio interviews
(Edited to remove extraneous material and dead air)
Rob Scuderi (1:50)
Matt Greene (2:15)
Terry Murray (8:51)
Game Highlights From NHL Video On YouTube
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