I just got off the phone with Terry Murray after practice, as I wanted to get his feelings the day after last night’s loss. Not surprisingly, the hit on Drew Doughty, and the way the Kings responded to it (or, perhaps, didn’t respond to it) remained a major topic of conversation. Here’s what Murray said…
Question: What kind of conversation did you have with the players today, after last night’s loss?
MURRAY: “There were some issues we needed to discuss as a team, and they will need to be followed up on. It was the Doughty thing, more than anything else. We need to identify when something like that happens and respond to it in the proper fashion. OD was trying to do the right thing in protecting his teammate and his partner, and I give him credit for that, but I just felt there needed to be a response. OD did the right thing, but as the shifts went on, we didn’t have any type of response.”
Question: What should have been the proper response?
MURRAY: “Somebody needs to challenge him. You can drop the gloves. That’s one thing you can do. I’m not sending players out there specifically to do that, but that needs to be an instinctive part of the business if you’re a player. You need to get out there and have a response, or at least start something, have a conversation in the faceoff circle. Maybe there’s just a scrum with guys pushing each other around, or a facewash. You have to do something to acknowledge it, to say, `We’re not going to tolerate this and we’re going to support our teammate.’ It’s important that we support our teammates. Not just (Doughty), but every player.”
Question: Do you get a sense of why nobody stepped up there? Is that a leadership issue?
MURRAY: “There just needs to be some initiative on it, by any one of the players. It’s not a leadership issue. Somebody just needs to respond at a critical time when something like that happens. It doesn’t fall on any one player’s shoulers in particular. I know Raitis went out a couple times looking for something and he got turned down, but it’s important to just follow through. It’s important to send a message, not just to (Artyukhin) but to the teams we’re going to play in the future, to say, `We’re not going to tolerate this.”’
Question: Did you think that was a bad hit by Artyukhin?
MURRAY: “It was a knee, and he followed through very hard and heavy. The read by all of us was that there was intent there.”