LOS ANGELES — Something you learn covering the National Hockey League is that head coaches are always using the media to send a message to their players.
Some are more calculating and blatant than others—one that comes immediately to mind is former Kings head coach Marc Crawford, and some do it more than others. It is most noticeable after a team plays a real stinker of a game, as the Los Angeles Kings did on November 3, in an embarrassing 3-0 loss to the Edmonton Oilers, disappointing a sell-out crowd at Staples Center.
The Kings were never in this game, right from the opening face-off. They were at least one step slow on every shift, rarely winning a foot race or battle for a loose puck. They avoided the front of the Edmonton net like it was a mine field, and could not connect on a pass if their lives depended on it. You could even count their “quality” scoring chances on one hand.
As you will hear when you listen to the post-game interviews below, right wing and team captain Dustin Brown was critical of his team’s effort, or complete lack thereof, while head coach Terry Murray refused to call out his players in the media, deflecting critical questions during his post-game media scrum.
But before you think Murray is delusional, remember what I mentioned about head coaches and the media earlier. Murray is no exception to that, and, as he has often done in the past when he is livid about something, whether it is poor officiating, or, as in this case, an abysmal effort by his team, he puts on his trademark stoic face, and guts out the interview.
In these cases, Murray has, in the past, avoided blowing up, or making an emotion-laden comment that he would later regret, and that is exactly what he did following his team’s loss to the Oilers.
Indeed, Murray bit his tongue, for the most part, refusing to throw his players under the bus in a public setting. Instead of criticizing their play, he spoke of two of the Oilers’ goals coming off of bad bounces. He even went so far as to vehemently deny that his team put in an uninspired effort.
Is Murray so out in left field that he failed to see what everyone else did?
Rather, he went out of his way to deflect criticism of his team, and avoided criticizing them himself in the media. This is Murray’s style. Indeed, when he is absolutely seething about his team’s poor performance, and that was visibly evident, despite his comments to the contrary, he would rather address the issues with them privately..
You can bet that is exactly what he will do on November 4, before the Kings practice at 11:30 AM.
Raw Audio Interviews
Extraneous material and dead air have been removed)
Dustin Brown (2:30)
Jack Johnson (1:25)
Terry Murray (3:19)
Game Highlights From NHL Video On YouTube
Frozen Royalty by Gann Matsuda is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. You may copy, distribute and/or transmit any story or audio content published on this site under the terms of this license, but only if proper attribution is indicated. The full name of the author and a link back to the original article on this site are required. Photographs, graphic images, and other content not specified are subject to additional restrictions. Additional information is available at: Frozen Royalty – Licensing and Copyright Information.