Ok so Im a fan of the LA Kings and although I love hockey, I am not a pro or anything at deciphering game strategies and such. I will say one thing about this 2011-2012 season. In December Dean Lombardi decided to fire Head Coach Terry Murray and I really believe Murray was NOT the problem. I actually liked Murray. Last season we saw the Kings enter the playoffs in the first round and although many of those games were very good, the Kings seemed to just give up. Players just not skating well, no defense, no offense and no real effort to recover the puck. Thus leaving the result of the game to goaltenders J. Quick and J. Bernier.
So after the Kings released Murray they brought in interim Coach John Stevens. Then later hiring Darryl Sutter as the new coach. I do agree that Sutter has a decent record and many praise his coaching style but since his hire up to now, there has not been much improvement on the Kings bench. Many say Dustin Penner needs to go because of his lack of effort. I would agree. Now im hearing criticism about Jack Johnson, Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown. I can see why all the criticism but this is a team effort and there are other players to be concerned about. Willie Mitchell, Alec Martinez, Rob Scuderi…the list goes on.
So I really dont believe that bringing in Darryl Sutter in place of Terry Murray was really the smartest choice. Most fans will say that as long as Dean Lombardi is the GM the Kings will never see a Stanley Cup. I think I agree. The Kings need to get everything together. Offense, defense, passing and PP kills. Last season the Kings were dominating on PP kills we saw them looking very well into the All-Star break then the shit hit the fan. Same as this year. Seems as though the team just has not gotten their rhythm. Jonathan Quick is praised as one of the top goalies in the NHL and he does prove it. Every goalie has their bad runs. This week has been one bad one for Quick. The truth is…..Quick can’t play the entire game by himself. He can black 38 shots in a game but if the team can’t produce the goals well…..just makes for a team committing suicide on itself. At the beginning of the season we saw the Kings negotiating contract with Drew Doughty and many fans I know say that he is not even playing what he is worth on that contract. The trade deadline is Monday and with the Kings playing the Wild Tuesday night on NBC Sports they need to make some serious moves for the good of the team. I happen to think Bernier is a decent goalie but it might also be time for the Kings to call up some players from the Monarchs. Being from Houston I also am a fan of the Houston Aeros in the AHL. The Aeros NHL affiliate is the Minnesota Wild. Over this season the Wild have called upon Aeros players to come in and play and let me tell you…those guys have done well. The Aeros star goalie is Matt Hackett and he moved up to play some NHL time and did very well.
Im not sure who the Kings have in mind or what they plan to do but im sure the Mayor’s Manor site has some good input. Hopefully Dean makes some smart moves for the better of the team. I dont think its too late to resurrect the team but for a playoff run….it might be too late to re-build a winning team. Last year the Ducks finished off the Kings in the first round. Even if the Kings had won that series they would have had an even tougher time against the San Jose Sharks. Again this year the Sharks are kicking ass in the Pacific. So really anything is up for grabs right now. The Kings are two points ahead of the Colorado Avalanche especially after tonight’s loss to them. So that 8th place spot is there. It can go any way right now. Hopefully the Kings can make some changes but I really would hate to see them enter the playoffs only to be the joke of the entire post-season run.
Go Kings Go!
See ya next month at Staples on the 24th for the game vs the defending champs, Boston Bruins.