ANAHEIM AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — Following a 3-2 loss to the struggling Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center in Anaheim on December 6, if you traversed the various web sites, Facebook and Twitter, one would get the distinct feeling that the Los Angeles Kings were already doomed, and that all hope for them to qualify for the playoffs was lost.
But one look at the standings reveals that the Kings are just three points out of first place in their division, and from third place in the National Hockey League’s Western Conference.
Despite that, the sky is falling for many of the Kings’ faithful, who seem to be looking, desperately, for something and someone to blame, and many are blaming head coach Terry Murray and the system he has the Kings playing, which many claim is archaic, and stifles his players’ offensive abilities.
For weeks, there has been a growing cacophony of frustrated fans blaming Murray for everything that ails the Kings, calling for him to be, not just fired, but run out of town on a rail, or worse.
After the December 6 loss at Anaheim, two replacements for Murray were suggested that should leave just about anyone shaking their heads in disbelief…
Former Kings head coaches Barry Melrose and Marc Crawford.
Before going further, please note I do not mean to embarrass or insult anyone, nor do I hold any malice towards those who offered these suggestions. Nevertheless, there are reasons that neither Melrose or Crawford can hold onto a head coaching job.
Indeed, the qualifications of the two are questionable, at best, and that’s being rather generous. In any case, the fact that they were offered as suggested replacements indicates that not only are fans frustrated, but it also shows that a significant number are not looking closely enough at what is going on. Even worse, some may be unable to do so, for whatever reason.
Where this is most evident is in the criticism aimed at Murray because of the system the Kings play, which so many claim inhibits them offensively, stifles their creativity, and promotes a dump-and-chase mentality rather than carrying the puck into the attacking zone.
Kings players don’t see it that way.
“I’m not going to say that’s not true [at all],” said defenseman Drew Doughty. “Terry puts that defensive system in place because that’s what’s working in the NHL right now.”
“I think we have more of a defensive system, so [fans] are right on that part,” added Doughty. “But, at the same time, [the coaching staff is] really pushing the issue on offense.”
“We made some adjustments to [our system], but it’s not really that much different where the change would be [so] significant where it would hurt our scoring,” said center Anze Kopitar.
So what is causing their offensive struggles, which has the Kings ranked dead last in the league, averaging 2.26 goals per game (through games played on December 7)?
Virtually every NHL team has adopted some sort of neutral zone trap, frequently sending one player in on the forecheck, while four players line up across their own blue line.
“All teams are playing it, whether it’s a 1-3-1, or whatever,” Doughty noted. “Everyone’s playing a defensive system, and they create their chances off of turnovers, and that’s what we’re trying to do [on offense].”
Kopitar called it a “neutral zone forecheck.”
“That’s what it is,” said Kopitar. “Everybody’s pulling back. I guess the [New Jersey] Devils played that just before the lockout, and everybody was getting on them. Now, it seems that everyone is doing it.”
“Are we the most offensive team in the league? Probably not,” added Kopitar. “But are we the most defensive team in the league? I don’t know. [The] Tampa [Bay Lightning have] been sitting back [with four or five on their blue line] for quite a bit. Minnesota is sitting back, even Anaheim last night—they were playing 1-4 right from the get-go.”
“I guess that’s where the game is going. It’s more conservative.”
Late last season, Murray noticed the move to line up four players on the blue line, and, in an exclusive interview with Frozen Royalty before training camp, he accurately predicted that this would become a league-wide trend.
“The other thing that plays into [the Kings’ offensive struggles] big time, now, in this league, without the red line, you can go back through the playoffs, in almost any series,” Murray explained. “When teams lose possession of the puck, they’ve got four or five guys back on their own blue line. When you have that kind of mentality on the checking part of the game, it is literally impossible to enter [the attacking zone] with possession, and have a good rush attack game. Literally impossible.”
“Vancouver played a one-one-three game,” Murray elaborated. “Dallas, who we played a couple of times near the end of the year, they changed their checking game, dropping five guys back on their blue line. Anaheim—the last two games we played in the regular season, they had no forecheck going whatsoever. If you take a look at that game, they just lined up four across, their first man standing at the red line, center dot, and their other four guys across their blue line. It’s impossible to have any kind of possession/entry game [against that]. Absolutely impossible.”
With the red line no longer a factor when determining two-line passes, teams fear the long clearing pass.
“That’s where our game is right now,” Murray lamented. “That’s the one thing, in losing the red line [in determining two-line passes], which has been going on in Europe for years, the old neutral zone trap that the New Jersey Devils were winning with—we knew, when the red line was going to come out, where the trap was going to go to. It was going to go from the red line back to the defensive [team’s] blue line. We knew that, we talked about it, and that’s exactly where the game is at.”
“You watch this year…as more and more teams go to that kind of philosophy when they lose possession,” he added. “There’s going to be less rush/possession game [play] than what there [has been]. With the way the game is set up now, with the five back mentality, you’re going to see it game after game after game.”
After that story was published on September 4, 2011, many fans claimed that Murray was wrong. They categorically denied that the Kings had ever faced the trap last season, or that it may be coming back into the league. Some even went so far as to accuse him of lying about the trap to cover up his system’s alledged offensive shortcomings.
Fact is, like it or not, Murray was dead-on correct. But it seems that many are either oblivious to that fact, or are unwilling to accept it.
“If you go back to [before the] 2004-05 lockout, the number one scoring team scored 262 goals,” said Murray. “Who was the top scoring team in the NHL last year? Vancouver. How many goals did they score? 262. So, it hasn’t changed much. What has changed is the neutral zone play, which is much tighter. You saw it last night at Anaheim, and we’re seeing it with every team in the league. Everybody’s pulling back to their own blue line, and it’s a very tight structure now in the middle of the ice.”
“It is difficult to have a possession entry, or [even] organized attacks,” added Murray. “You can get organized, but there comes a time when you’re being fronted. Now you have to just get pucks in deep, and go recover them. So it’s hard. It’s hard for everybody in the league right now.”
For the record, the Vancouver Canucks scored 258 regular season goals in 2010-11. But a difference of four goals does not weaken Murray’s point.
Knowing the trap was making a major comeback, Murray adjusted the system, trying to counter it.
“We anticipated, with what we saw at the end of the year last year, a lot of teams starting to go more towards [backing off to] their own blue line,” Murray explained. “So we loosened up that second forechecker to get in faster to help support and recover pucks.”
“If anything, we’re more aggressive on our forecheck this year than we were last year,” Murray elaborated. “We’re really demanding our second support man to come with a lot more speed.”
Kopitar also pointed to his team trying to create more off their forecheck this season.
“The forecheck is definitely more aggressive,” he noted. “It’s just a matter of getting that forecheck [going].”
“Sometimes, we’re just too far apart from each other, [and] you can’t really forecheck aggressively enough, because the defensemen in the league now, from top to bottom, on each and every team, they’re so good at making plays that you really have to be right on them, and stop the puck just to get a chance for [us] to try and retrieve the puck,” he added. “Most of the time, we’re too spread out, and we really can’t get anything going off that. It’s a matter of the forwards coming together, and putting the puck in the right place where we can get it back.”
“If [our] guys are standing on the blue line, it’s pointless to dump [the puck] in, because you can’t get to it before the [opposing] defensemen. You can’t even get close enough to them to interfere with the guy and [create a] turnover.”
Indeed, where the Kings have struggled, the system is not to blame. Instead, look at the trap being used throughout the league, and how the Kings are executing against it.
As Kopitar noted above, support on the forecheck has been a problem of late. But Murray indicated that his team is improving in that area.
“We’re getting our share of pucks in the offensive zone,” said Murray. “The one thing that’s starting to come is moving our feet when we get possession, to create some time and space for passing lanes.”
“Puck recovery is huge, and when you do get the puck, have the confidence and composure to hold onto the puck and move your feet,” added Murray. “The longer you can have the puck on your stick whenever you’ve recovered it in the offensive zone, and I don’t mean [like] Peter Forsberg. He could hold onto the puck for thirty or forty seconds in the offensive zone by himself. The more you can have it on your stick—five or six seconds—moving your feet, that creates lanes, creates options, and it gets people away from the puck open. It gives them time to get into new positions.”
“For a stretch here, I think we’ve been getting the puck and making a play in less than two seconds. Like it’s got to happen right now. That’s not the right kind of mentality, [but] We’re starting to see that change. We’re starting to see guys with more composure, holding onto the puck, moving their feet, and getting open. That buys time for the forwards, and it loosens things up for your top end, and now you can get pucks through from the blue line.”
Breaking out of their own zone against the Ducks on December 6 provided another example of the Kings not executing on some shifts.
“We pull the puck back, and they [drop four back to their blue line], pulling the puck back is probably not the best idea,” said right wing and team captain Dustin Brown.
“[The Ducks] did a good job in the first [period], being over the top of us,” said center Jarret Stoll. “Right from the first shift, I noticed that it was going to be tough getting through the neutral zone. We just had to chip pucks in.”
“They had that 1-4, like a lot of teams do nowadays,” added Stoll. “You’ve just got to tip pucks in with support. If you don’t have support, then it’s an easy breakout [going the other way].”
For the Kings to create offense, their forecheck has to be effective.
“I think we did it a couple of times, where we [move the puck up ice quickly] with speed,” Brown noted. “[When] you make a team like [the Ducks] skate backwards into their zone—we started [to force turnovers]. In the third period, we got some pucks back, and it was the result of getting in behind them, and pressuring the puck.”
Poor spacing on the forecheck and on breakout plays are examples of the players failing to execute their game plan. Another is getting too cute with the puck, constantly looking for the extra pass, and passing up golden opportunities to shoot and score.
“When you’re getting pucks to the net, and getting some pressure on them, they feel it, and the momentum turns in our favor,” said Doughty. “If we can continue to do that, teams will panic, and we’ll be able to capitalize on our scoring chances.”
“Terry’s always harping on it, as are all the coaches,” added Doughty. “But, as players, we know that we have to get pucks to the net. If we don’t, nothing’s going to go in. We’re definitely harping on each and every one of us to do that more often.”
Another problem has been slow starts.
“I don’t really have a reason that we come out slow, but it’s something we’ve got to fix,” Doughty emphasized. “The first period is such an important part of the game. It can show the outcome of a game. If a team is really dominating the first period, [chances are], they’re going to dominate in the second and the third periods, unless the other team really starts pushing back.”
“We have to take ownership, each and every one of us, get prepared, mentally and physically,” Doughty added. “If we do that, we have no excuse but to play well in the first period, and play the right style of game.”
The Kings are working on some other things to generate more offense.
“We’re working on a lot of things off the rush in practice every day to try and help our scoring,” said Doughty. “So, I wouldn’t say that [our] system has anything to do with us not creating offense.”
But execution of the existing game plan is what they need most to generate more scoring.
“We’ve just got to create chances and bear down on’em,” Kopitar stressed. “It’s not rocket science. We’ve got to get [the puck into] the areas where goals are scored, in front of the net, around the net. We’ve got to get some good bounces in there, too, once in awhile. That’s going to help us get some more wins.”
“We’ve got the players to do it,” said Brown. “We’ve just got to find ways. We’ve got to get more pucks to the net, get around the net. We don’t have enough guys staying in and around the net right now.”
Contrary to popular belief, players share a large part of the burden…or blame.
“It is pretty much up to [the players],” Doughty stressed. “We all in the NHL for a reason, because we have the capability to make plays. All of our offensive guys need to pick it up, and find ways to create chances.”
“I think we’ve done a lot better lately, but we still have a lot of room for improvement,” Doughty added.
“You can call it execution, support, or whatever you want to call it,” said Kopitar. “The bottom line is we’ve got to do it.”
As noted earlier, although the Kings are struggling to score goals and to win games, they are just three points out of first place in their division, and from third place in their conference.
In other words, and again, contrary to popular belief, the sky is not falling.
“If you take a look, and go back through statistics, we’re only a couple of points behind last year’s pace at this time,” said Murray. “We’re actually better in goals against [than they were last season] at this time. We’re four less than what we were last year at this time, and we’re fourth in the league in goals against this year.”
“The area we need to be better at is what we’ve been talking about, the offensive part of the game. Statistically five-on-five, we want to get that number higher. We’ll keep pushing it.”
Terry Murray may not be the coach who can take the Kings to the Promised Land—a Stanley Cup championship, something I wrote back when he was hired, based on his previous record. Nevertheless, calls for his termination are still rather premature.
Stick tap to Dennis Bernstein of The Fourth Period for “contributing” to this story.
Raw Audio Interviews From Los Angeles Kings vs. Anaheim Ducks, December 6, 2011
(Extraneous material and dead air have been removed)
Dustin Brown (2:06)
Jarret Stoll (2:06)
Terry Murray (3:44)
Raw Audio Interviews From Los Angeles Kings practice, December 7, 2011
(Extraneous material and dead air have been removed):
Drew Doughty (4:39)
Dustin Penner (2:12)
Anze Kopitar (3:47)
Terry Murray (14:00)
Tickets for the Kings’ upcoming games against the Washington Capitals (January 9, 2012, 7:30 PM – Capitals vs. Kings), the Dallas Stars (January 12, 7:30 PM – Stars vs. Kings), as well as for other games on their schedule, are available from Barry’s Tickets, an official partner of the Los Angeles Kings. Use the code, “Royalty010” to get a 10 percent discount on their “Best Value” tickets.
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I was at the game last night. The Kings fans took over the pond. We were discussing the game in line for the restroom…and yes! A Large Majority blame Murray! I don’t get it either. LOL
I get it. It’s easy, really. Expectations are sky-high for this team, but they’re not living up to them. People are grasping for anything to justify their frustrations, and the head coach is the easy to target. Problem is, I don’t think those blaming Murray are really seeing things as they are. The players certainly don’t support their arguments.
And thank God Management isn’t either. Look at Murray’s numbers for Gods sake!
Bill, what numbers are you referring to? What is the Kings’ winning percentage since Murray took over? Is it even above .500?
The last thing any of these players is going to do publicly is share distaste with what the coach is implementing. Do I think a coaching change is needed because of the systems? Not necessarily, but I really do see it having a major mental impact for this roster – a boost, something fresh. Change is needed, and it probably won’t come until the summer.
Gann when do you see players being brutally honest in today’s sports? They give the military chain of command and don’t question the leader answers.
It’s not a black and white thing, as you’re making it out to be. We get the truth from hockey players just about every time. Sure, there are things that stay in the dressing room or coaches’ room, but we usually know when that happens.
In other words, what you’re talking about isn’t reality, at least, not nearly as much as you seem to think.
I don’t know who said to bring back Melrose or Crawford, but that’s the weakest part of your argument. I never heard it. Who were you talking to, ushers?
One argument I read online and was shocked by, and then saw the sense of, was hiring Randy Carlyle. He’s proved that he can win a Stanley Cup. I don’t know if he’s the coach for the Kings, but Terry Murray’s use of timeouts (or lack thereof), for one thing, has been a glaring issue. If you’re up by a goal with 33 seconds to play, what are you saving the timeout for?
I’m glad that the players haven’t given up on Terry Murray, but to point to the standings and say the Kings are in fine shape is pretty silly — we’re lucky that other teams in our division have been losing, too. The Sharks have three games in hand. All the need to do is win one and the Kings are in second-to-last place in the division, just ahead of the pathetic Ducks.
You also have Terry Murray’s benching of Brad Richardson in favor of Dustin Penner, who admittedly had a decent game against the Ducks. But Richardson works hard EVERY game, and there are times where Penner has a chance for a loose puck or a shot and inexplicably backs off. What the hell? Sit Penner on the pine until he shapes up or trade him. He’s horrible 99 percent of the time. Hell, he should have been sitting in last year’s playoffs in favor of Oscar Moeller, who at least skated hard and busted a gut.
Maybe the Kings haven’t tuned out Terry Murray yet, but I sure have.
As I pointed out, that suggestion was made somewhere on the Internet. Out of respect for those who made those suggestions, I won’t be more specific than that.
As for your point on the standings…like I said…three points out of first place in their division, and from third place in the Western Conference. Are they meeting expectations? No. Nevertheless, the sky is not falling. Arguing otherwise is silly.
Could the bottom fall out and see them spiraling downward? Sure. Anything is possible. But that hasn’t happened yet, has it?
As for Penner, you apparently haven’t been watching the last two games, where he has been the Kings’ best player. And, so far, he’s been more effective than Brad Richardson, who hasn’t scored a goal yet this season, despite having ample opportunity.
Multiple people on LetsGoKings and HFBoards made those claims.
The article makes it sound as if it’s a popular opinion though… I think most knowledgable Kings fans would laugh at the idea of bringing back Melrose or Crawford.
“but Terry Murray’s use of timeouts (or lack thereof), for one thing, has been a glaring issue. If you’re up by a goal with 33 seconds to play, what are you saving the timeout for? ”
So your dream coach would call a time out to rest the other teams best offensive players?
While I do not support Murray unconditionally at least pick out something he does wrong not right.
3rd place in the west? In addition San Jose has played three less games than the kings and are only one point behind which realistically means fourth place in the division as well.
I do believe 8th place in the west currently, correct me if I’m wrong.
Yes the trap is alive and well in the NHL. That’s still not an excuse for why EVERY SINGLE TEAM in the NHL can score against the trap easier than the Kings.
Murray can make all the excuses he wants, but his team is last in scoring. If other teams can figure out how to score against the trap, why can’t he?
What angers me the most is how Murray says it is impossible to enter the offensive zone when the other team stands up 4 guys at the blue line. I don’t want to hear my coach ever say anything is “impossible”. With that defeatist attitude, he might as well give up now.
Amen Aaron. It’s not like teams only play a trap against the Kings. The other 29 teams have figured out how to score against it.
Great article. It puts a shines a spot light on the players and not the coach. Murray has never been the problem. Although at times I wish Murray and his staff would find a better way of helping players get that swagger back to their game. My real only gripe about the coaching staff.
Thanks Gann….now maybe the unfaithful will stfu or go become Duck fans.
Great article. The trap seems to be the structure, but the Kings need to work harder together–shorten the gaps and work together in front of the net. A little luck wouldn’t hurt either. Keep at it guys…. I prefer a defensive system and the Kings play a better game this way. I think the days of high-flying skating only are gone. This is the NHL…the goalies are better–the scoring needs to be from closer in…or shots from the point, either deflected in, or with the help of screening the goalies. Go Kings Go. Crawford or Melrose are not the answer.
Gann, thanks for the post. I appreciate how you explained everything, and cited the players and the coaches. After reading so many emotion driven opinions for such a long time, I find your words pretty refreshing.
Keep up the good work.
I have respected your work in the past, but this article is very weak.
1. Anyone who suggested rehiring Melrose or Crawford doesn’t deserve the credibility that you gave them. They certainly don’t represent the growing number of knowledgeable fans questioning the coaching and management of this team.
2. Did you honestly expect any of the players to come out with a blast at the coach or the system? You’ve seen what happens to players who dare to question DL
3. When you label the growing number of knowledgeable fans questioning the coaching and management of this team as “the sky is falling” crowd, that indicates to me that you think that the anemic offense is something new. The Kings were 25th in the NHL in goals per game average last season at 2.55 – they are currently 30th in the NHL at 2.26 GPG. It may “only” be 1/3 of this season, but the trend is now in its 2nd season with no signs of change. The sky might not be falling, but it’s not exactly bright sunshine either.
4. DL traded significant assets and signed free agents for proven scorers to ramp up the offense this season. It’s had the exact opposite result. If it isn’t the coaching or the system, how do you explain the fact that so many players on this team are producing substantially below the career averages? Kings’ castoff Matt Moulson had more goals in one game than Penner, Clifford, Moreau, Hunter, Loktionov, Richardson and Lewis do for the season COMBINED.
5. Why are the Kings dead last in 1st period scoring? Doesn’t that come around to preparation and motivation? Couldn’t those be signs of a team tuning out the coach?
6. Murray talks about only being a couple of points behind last season with a better GAA. IMO, those differences are due to one player – Jonathan Quick. If he hadn’t been been as dominant as he has been with his 4 shutouts, the Kings would be battling Anaheim for the Pacific cellar.
Comments made off the record by the players confirm what I reported. They aren’t blowing smoke here.
I don’t buy that, but OK – What about the other 5 points that don’t have anything to do with what the players say?
In other words, it doesn’t fit what you believe, so either they’re lying, or I am. I get it.
If multiple players weren’t saying exactly the same thing, both on the record and off, you’d have a point. But they’re united on the same message, and it’s not that they’re being spoon-fed by the coaches or management. Anyone who thinks the Kings take the time to do that are badly mislead. They have more important things to worry about.
As for the rest, my story touches on all that.
What is your explanation for the anemic offense? It got worse with DL’s offense specific acquisitions – how do you explain that? Is it REALLY that ALL of the players have to try harder? That’s awfully simplistic…
Did you read DL’s interview by Rich Hammond? He basically threw everyone under the bus – it wasn’t just effort, it was attitude, coaching… EVERYTHING. You take seems to be that’s all an anomaly that will straighten itself out. It’s been going on like this for 110 games now no matter who is on the ice – is that really just a coincidence?
Fact is, every team in the league plays against the same obstacles. Fact is Terry Murray has more talent than he’s ever had and is doing less with it. Fact is the F2 doesn’t come in hard, and is preoccupied (apparently, [my assertation]) with “what if the puck isn’t recovered” and his ensuing defensive responsibilities. That mindset suggests that is what Murray is demanding. Fact is The F3 is just another defenseman in this philosophy. Fact is the offensive attack is exactly the same at the start of the game 0-0, as it is third period trailing by 2. Thes
coaching and system issues. Without Question. How many players have left Murray’s sysy
System only to thrive elsewhere? How many have failed once brought here? How many have succeeded after coming here? This mindset of the F2and F3 are system and coaching issues. And as a replacement, what is wrong with Carlyle? Other than the obvious ” he was a Duck”? He’s won a cup, post-lockout, and his teams strived for offensive and defensive balance. To pass off Melrose and Crawford as populaopinion is irresponsible. I read some guy suggested Helene Elliot. To include that at all is an attempt to portray the
Desire for a coaching change as supidity. Not right and you know it. I am a big fan of you, Mr. Matsuda. But that was bad.
This comment violated Frozen Royalty’s established Comment Policy, and has been deleted.
My last post was uncalled for. I appreciate and have gained insight and enjoyment from your articles in the past. Thank you for your time and effort as well as this site. Why don’t you write for the Hockeywriters anymore?
This has nothing to do with their lack of production on offense. There are plenty of teams, Phi, Bos, Van, to name a few who don’t seem to be having much of a problem with the “league wide defensive strategy”. Are Boston’s top 6 that much more skilled than LA’s? But forget about the top 3 offensive teams in the league. You might say the Kings aren’t quite elite. How does a team like Min, Mon, or Stl score more goals per game than the Kings? it doesn’t make sense. If you want to blame it on the Kings shot mentality that won’t work either. Philadelphia, who supposedly plays the same offensive style as the Kings only averages 2.5 more shots per game than the Kings. Do those 2.5 shots really translate into 1.5 goals? I find that very hard to believe. Are their D-men just better shots from the point? With boy-wonder Drew Doughty on the blue line, joined by Jack Johnson, and a clearly offensively-gifted Slava Voynov how can one argue that the players haven;t been doing a good job? It just doesnt add up. That leaves one explanation. Have to fire the coach, if only to shake up the players. Terry Murray’s time is done in LA. He’s taught the young players a grea deal about defense and the home-plate mentality, but I think he has taken this team as far as they can go. As a die-hard Kings fan it pains me to say this, but I eagerly await the Kings’ inevitable losing streak, that will force Lombardi to make the move he has inexplicably delayed making.
You know what, Gann? Maybe that comment was a tad harsh, but if you want to write a story like that, it deserves that criticism. I followed it up with an apology, but that article deserved that comment and to delete it, proves my point. Pravda, Tass, and Herr Goebbels would be proud of your writing and even prouder of your subsequent censorship of my criticism. I didn’t cuss, nor involve sexual inuendo. It was a legitimate observation. It was a Those mentioned world famous propagandists are giving you a rousing ovation.observation. Those mentioned world famous propagandists are giving you a rousing ovation. Well done.
I’ve got no problem at all with the criticism. However, comparing me (or anyone else) to anyone who was a Nazi crosses the line. It’s highly offensive, and is clearly a personal attack, which, if you bothered to read the Comment Policy here, is not allowed. Don’t care who someone is attacking.
I take great offense at being referred to as having anything to do with the Nazis, for any reason. You might try thinking just a bit more before spouting off.
Not a personal attack and you know it. It was, and I assume you have the intelligence to know that, including Pravda and Tass, I was refering to Goebbles as Propaganda Minister. I had and continue TO HAVE great respect for you as a writer. I meant no insult or to call you a Nazi. I hope that you understand this. I meant to reference him only as Propaganda Minister. Not insult you as a man. My sincere apolgies.
I mean, afterall, we are talking hockey. Again, my sincere apologies. I assumed you would get the reference as meant. And what happened with thehockeywriters?
I got the reference. Regardless, it’s highly offensive, and whether you intended it to be a personal attack or not, it is, and goes beyond being distasteful.
I truly hope you can see my comment as I meant it and, even more know I see your point and regret it. Please accept my sincere apology. I am sorry.
Again, I am sorry. Please accept.
Thank you. I truly see your point and didn’ t mean to call your sensibilities into question. Thank you for accepting my apology.
I don’t mind the sensability thing. After all, who’s sensible 100% of the time? But referring to anyone as having anything to do with the Nazis goes way, way beyond any sense of civility or even reasoned discussion, in a case like this.
I thought this was America. PC up everyone.
The Kings are getting their butts handed to them by one of the youngest teams in the NHL with a couple of their top players out injured. They couldn’t get a shot on a 5 minute major power play.
Is this really explainable away by saying that the players just have to try harder? When might that happen?
Is no one accountable for this team and their pathetic performances?
If Kings fans want Crawford back, THEY need to be run out of town on a rail. That’s a typical uninformed Kings fan.
I love the kings. I have been patient and not blamed coaching out of hand during past struggles. I understand the value of TMs system defensively and would not suggest that it be thrown out. However, the game last night against Minnesota was a turning point for me. Depressing to watch that kind of play, and it seemed clear to me that the problem was system-based. Something needs to change, and it isn’t any of the players. Melrose or Crawford? Where are you getting that garbage? Carlyle maybe.
Revise: I said none of the players need to change, I should have said none but Hunter. I don’t understand TMs patience with him. Play Richardson!
Is it still premature to talk about Murray getting the hook? What about Dean Lombardi?
What exactly do you have after 5 1/3 seasons of the decisions, leadership, drafting, and development of the team by “the smartest man in the room”?
You have the worst offense in the NHL, automotrons on ice going through the motions on a horrendous losing streak, salary budget maxed out to the salary cap, and absolutely no help in the minors.