Postgame quotes (3/16)

TERRY MURRAY:
(Re: Game recap): “That’s a tough one. Starts good but when it comes down to making plays at critical times in the game, we don’t make the plays, with the turnovers and the basic plays. The first goal, we have possession of the puck, it’s actually a pretty simple play that we should be able to make, a simple breakout with lots of time to make the play, and we don’t do it. It was the same as the winning goal.”

(Re: Lessons learned from this game): “I don’t want them to put this game behind them. There’s learning points in the season and this is real important here for us to understand what is going on, why things happen and decisions that we made as a team to probably give them momentum. That’s the puck management that we have talked about. I have talked about it from the start of the year, that you have to do the right things through the middle of the ice and get the puck in the right position to have offensive opportunities.”

MICHAL HANDZUS:
(Re upcoming road trip): `We know we can do it. We did it when we went to the East Coast earlier in the year. We’ve got to get better. We didn’t play 60 minutes tonight. I think we played 30 minutes very well. Against those top teams we’ve got to play 60 minutes and we will get some points.”

(Re: game recap) “We started well in the first and then they came back. When we were tied 3-3, we didn’t go after it. They started pushing back and we were on our heels. It wasn’t good enough.”

ANZE KOPITAR:
(Re game recap): “We got away from our game. We did a really good job chipping the puck into their zone and getting the forecheck going. We drew a lot of penalties off that too. Sometimes we just get too fancy and we got away. They created a turnover and they came right back into our zone and when you don’t get the puck and your legs get tired, you’re scrambling and they took advantage of it.”

(Re: game recap) “That was a huge game for us. It puts us (six) points out of eighth place. If we had won we would have been (four) points out.”

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  • wavesinair

    Did the captain of the team have anything to say?

  • cristobal

    Three Cheers for Dan Bylsma!

  • Ari

    So are the Kings out of the playoffs after this one Rich?

    I am too tired to do the math

  • http://hbshakes.blogspot.com Shakes

    All I’ll say is that if our captain had shot the puck an 1/8th of an inch to the right we would be talking about how he scored and not Anze…I don’t believe in totally bagging on a guy when the team is slumping

    I’m just happy that this year we had hope for a lot longer than I expected in October.

    Someone yesterday put it best when they said that this year is already a success, but not making the playoffs next year will be a failure.

  • Anonymous

    waves, you’ve got a really big problem. Get off of Brown’s ass. The guy is Captain not Christ so don’t get your C’s mixed up. He’s 24, a good husband and father and considering what has happened with him in the last three weeks, I think he deserves a break. I’m going to venture a guess and say his day is probably like this. Practice, home to care for Jake while his wife is at the hospital with Mason or to the hospital with his wife while a babysitter takes care of Jake. Then back home for some rest before a game. Then get to the arena and prepare for a game while balancing his personal emotions about his family situation. All this while people like yourself who couldn’t tie this guy’s skates sit back and make snide remarks about him. I think he deserves a hell of a lot of credit for his commitment during all this and I would wager his teammates still think pretty highly of him even though some of you experts of the game don’t. Get the hell over it.

  • dirtmover

    3 late goals – is it lack of concentration or just the breaks of youth- I thought the energy in the building was awesome – our start was a good as it gets- that is what it takes to be a playoff team every night- E with what I thought were 2 weak goals esp sullivans to give them the lead 3-2/- WS continues to be a pleasure to watch – Zues and he make a great pair – our lack of quickness in the D zone was again a problem- as Nashville continued to beat us to loose pucks that led to opp — lets see if the road is any kinder- one thing that must change going forward is our home record we must have coughed up 14 or more points this yr at staples

  • nykingfan

    That was a tough, tough loss….It sure makes the playoff push a lot harder than before.
    Same as they did in February, they need to dominate on this road trip to have a chance to stay alive in the race.

    Shakes
    Dustin played a lot better than he’s played since he came back, but still nowhere near where he needs to be.
    Same with Frolov…invisible early, played much better during the 2nd & 3rd periods.
    That’s the problem…you can’t have 2 of your best players not playing 60 minutes.
    These are lessons that they need to take from this year to make that jump next year. It takes every player on the bench to play hard for 60 minuites to win at this time of year. Also, way too many ugly turnovers in the middle of the ice…at the blue lines…just not the way we’re used to seeing them play.

    On to our favorite subject…goaltending…or in this case, lack there of.
    That was another pitiful performance by Ersberg in a huge spot. Not all his fault, but certainly 2 of the 4 goals were what I would consider bad goals.
    Again, this is something you can’t have at this time of the year. We’re coming down the stretch and neither goalie is taking the bull by the horns and leading this team. Renne completely outplayed Ersberg last night.
    Where did this guy come from? I hadn’t seen him play before. He was impressive.
    This is why a lot of us are pinning our hopes on a guy like Bernier. With his talent, I would expect him to be the guy to play rock solid down the stretch and win games for us. Obviously he needs to prove he can be that guy.
    Neither of the 2 guys we have gives me much confidence going into a game. When you look at the matchups of games…Its really hard to give our goalies an edge over the opposition. Maybe its just asking too much from a couple of young goalies….But then look at teams like Columbus with Mason or Nashville with Renne.

    There’s still time to get back into the playoff hunt, but with each game like last night, it gets further away.
    Lets hope they come back from this trip still in the playoff race.

  • AK47

    It kills me to say this, but this team is done. I still don’t understand why Harrold is on the second line? He had an amazing chance to score in the first period, but it’s not his fault he couldn’t score, the guy is a DEFENDER! I’m still puzzled with TM’s decision to keep pairing Gauthier and Johnson, or as a matter of fact, keep playing Gauthier.

    I won’t blame this loss on Ersberg, but look, I’m just going to throw something out there, and you guys can tell me what you think.. Every time someone shoots on either Quick or Ersberg, and there’s a rebound, it always seems the guy that scored on the rebound was Quincey’s man.. I know Quincey has been a huge surprise for us, and he’s probably one of the reasons we won’t need to draft another defenseman in June. Unfortunately, I think one of his negatives in this game is picking up his man on rebounds. It’s just my two cents.

    Go Kings :(

  • malachi crunch

    We deserved the loss plain and simple. This team is beyond confusing when they get any sort of momentum. They start to over-think the game and go into a defensive shell. It honestly makes for boring hockey and for nightly heart attacks!
    As for Kopitar talking about getting too fancy? That’s a head scratcher! I’d love to see some fancy hockey. Puck possession is rocket science for this club and we do the same boring shit nightly. There is zero creativity coming up the ice and they can barely complete three passes…..let alone two. It’s down the wing and dump or shoot from horrible angles.
    This team has the skill set and work ethic to implement puck possession hockey. That and they need to grow some sack and go to the front of the net for a change. When Fro and Zeus are your main two guys that go there then you’ve got issues.

    On a side note they better re-up Fro and JJ soon!

  • Anonymous

    This is all talk. It’s over for this team officially now. Hopefully next year is the year to start contending.

  • nykingfan

    AK47
    Yeah right on both points.
    I’ll disagree on the goaltending though.
    Last night Harrold did not have one of his better games. He was replaced by Army who I thought played pretty well.
    I forgot to mention…Outstanding game by Calder last night.
    Problem is when Army and Calder are two of your better forwards instead of Brown and Frolov, that’s just not good.

    I was thinking along the same lines with Quincey. He lost his man on one of the goals. The guy got behind him and was able to sneak the rebound thru without getting harrassed by Quincey.
    These are things he can improve upon. He’s only 23. JJ makes as many, if not more msitakes…again, they can be corrected. The skill level is certainly there.
    Quincey competes hard every night.
    I think he’s going to continue to improve and become an outstanding defenseman.

    The Kings were trying to be too fancy last night. They tried to make plays in the neutral zone and at the blueline and got burned numerous times with turnovers. They need to keep things simple. Get the puck deep…Forecheck hard, and crash the net. That’s how you win hockey games at this time of the year.
    Fancy plays are for the PP…even then its more get the puck on net and create traffic in front of the goalie.

  • OCKINGFAN

    Im so sick of hearing the same stuff after each loss. “Um we need to play the whole 60 minutes, last night we played 30.” OK if i had a dollar for every time i have heard that in the past few months i would be rich. We know you guys need to play 60 minutes. you guys know you should play 60 minutes. So why are we not doing it? Horrible giving up a goal with 13 seconds left. Then that shot from the blue line. Ouch. I thought if we won last night we would only be 3 points out. Oh well i guess it doesnt matter now. lol.

  • NY Kings Fan

    Goaltending, goaltending, goaltending.

    Here’s what will keep us out of the playoffs this year: inconsistent golatending. We are seeing moments of greatness (Ersberg in SJ the other night; Quick in late Jan and early Feb — particularly the shutout in Ottawa; most of the 1st period in Vancouver). What is differenting among the teams on the playoff bubble at this point in the season is the teams that are able to hold on and win close games. We did that against Minnosota the other night and Greene took one in the face at the end for the cause. It is difficult to win consistently though is that while our goalie are making spectaculr saves throughout the game, they are also letting in 1-2 “soft” goals per game. We need BOTH spectacular saves and saves that are expected to be made.

    Here are some recent examples of bad goals in very critical games:

    - 2/16: 7 GAA vs Atlanta at Staples
    - 2/21: 6 GAA vs Phoenix at Staples: This was a critical game — the coyotes were slumping coming into Staples. Quick put on one of the worst goaltending performances I’ve seen in a while — reminded me of Labs. 2-3 shots were wrist shots high to the glove hand.
    - 3/3: 5 GAA at Columbus: we really needed this game and deserved to win too — we took the lead at the end of the 2nd period, only to give up a goal late in the third. Quick had 20 saves on 25 shots — voracek’s first goal was very bad; malhotra’s tip on rome’s shot from the point needs to be saved every time.
    - 3/13: at Vancouver (goal one was a bad bounce on the dump-in which led to an empty-net goal — quick needs to prevent the puck from bouncing in the slot; Sedin’s second goal needs to be saved as well despite OD not playing great D on the play.
    - Last night: Shea Weber’s slap shot from the point needs to be saved with the blocker. There was no screen on the play. Also, Sullivan’s shot from the high slot needs to be saved as well — again, blocker side high. Even Sullivan himself was surprised with the goal.
    - I forget which game but Quick let in a 55 foot goal from behind the blue line (Dallas?)

    We’ve been getting very AVERAGE goaltending the past six weeks (since our road game stretch) at a time when we need GREAT golatending. With above-avg or even great goaltending, we would be a serious contender for the playoffs because we are getting offensive production. We are out of the race at this point.

    Let’s open this topic of discussion a little broader too. The team has a golatending problem since the Hrudey days. If I were DL, addressing this would be at the top of my list. If you look at history as a guide, we’ve been pretty late at moving on when we should have (Storr, Labs are prime examples). DL analyzes filling his 12 offensive boxes in a very methodical and strategic manner. I have yet to hear a strategy about our goaltending yet, however. It’s a “wait-and-see” approach which is what we’ve done for 4-5 years. This passive strategy has not worked. I’m concerned that with another season of avg goaltending, some of our telented young players entering the prime of their careers will want to move on from the organization.

    LA Kings goaltending history: (Inconsistency!)
    ’95-’96: Hrudey, Dafoe — No playoffs
    ’96-’97: Fiset, Dafoe, Storr — No playoffs
    ’97-’98: Fiset, Storr — 0-4 1st round
    ’98-’99: Fiset, Storr, Legace — No playoffs
    ’99-’00: Fiset and Storr — 0-4 1st round
    ’00-’01: Potvin and Storr — 7-6 postseason
    ’01-’02: Potvin and Storr — 3-4 postseason
    ’02-’03: Potvin and Storr — No playoffs
    ’03-’04: Chechmanek and Storr — No playoffs
    ’04-’05: Garon, Labs — No playoffs
    ’05-’06: Garon, Labs — No playoffs
    ’06-’07: Garon, Burke, Cloutier, Burst — No playoffs
    ’07-’08: Labs, Ersberg, Cloutier, Bernier — No playoffs
    ’08-’09: Labs, Ersberg, Quick — No playoffs

  • BRS

    I love this team. I love these guys. But maybe they are just not as good as the other team. Sure we must play 60 minutes & we must dig in & we must crash the net & any team can beat anybody on any given night. And we have. It’s just over the course of the season we are not. I just think the other teams are better than us. I also think next year will be different. We will be a better team.

  • nykingfan

    Regarding annonymous post about Brown.

    Dude, Nobody is disparaging him as a father or his commitment to the team.
    Anyone who’s a parent can understand exactly what he’s going thru.
    I’ve had to work multiple jobs and didn’t get to see my kids as much as I would have like to when they were growing up. My wife did a fantastic job of raising them while I was working.
    It’s no different with him. All of us had to juggle work and family life. In the real world bosses don’t give a shit if your kid is sick or if you’ve been up late at night with the kids. You have a job to do and if you can’t do it, they get someone else to do it. If we lose our job, we don’t have a guaranteed contract to fall back on. We have to figure out a way to put food on the table.
    In reality, he probably has it a lot easier than the rest of us. He can spend the whole summer with the kids…most of us can’t do that. So please spare us the whoa is Dustin BS…He’s not asking for it and those of us who went thru it aren’t giving it to him.

    As fans we care about how the team is doing. He hasn’t played well since he’s gotten back. We need him to play the way he always has.

    Since we haven’t heard that there’s anything wrong, we can assume all is well with his family and we all certainly hope that’s the case.
    Please stop attaching his recent poor play to having a new child. That doesn’t work for most of us.

  • http://www.insidesocal.com CupRun2010

    I think this game is indicative of where the Kings are as a team this year…a couple of productive players short of making the playoffs.

    In one-goal games, we’re 15-8-10. If we could have gotten 1 pt in a 1/3 of those losses = 6 pts and tied for 8th. Then add those 2-goal losses where we had to pull the goalie, being down a goal…

    It’s a long shot, but I’m still hoping in mid-March! Now we need to go 10-1-2…you never know…look at the Thrashers now!

    But I agree, wasting bench space on Westgarth, instead of Moller has me wondering.

  • Bring Back the Shield Jersey

    Why was Moller scratched? Not enough plyometrics? Not big/strong enough? Well none of that is coming to him on the bench and how much bigger and stronger do you really think he’s ever going to get? OK so you’ve twice decided to keep this little guy up with the big club, he must be good enough as is, you knew he was small, so why not play him? I’m not hearing the usual “needs to move his feet more, battle harder in the corners” blather that TM says about every rookie except Simmonds.

    Cuz the bottom line is that the team would be much better off with Moller, and not Harrold, 12 feet in front of the net, open, with the puck, and squared up to the goalie. Those “talents [of Moller's] that we don’t coach” that TM refers to aren’t helping anyone in the press-box.

    And speaking of Harrold, he gives his best wherever he plays, but frankly he can’t finish on offense and is too easily knocked off the puck on defense. Both things happened last night. He had a goal on his stick, but got nothing, and he got knocked off the puck leading to the game-winning goal.

  • wavesinair

    @nykingfan

    i wrote a response to “anonymous” but then saw yours, which took the words right out of my keyboard.

    ditto.

    btw, are you “NY Kings Fan” or is that yet another poor soul who is a fan of the kings?

  • Anonymous

    I think everyone needs to remember that we are NOT Stanley Cup contenders this year. Everyone has to remember we are the YOUNGEST team in the league!! When is the last time that you can remember that the youngest team in the league made a playoff push like this, let alone make the playoffs? I understand we all want the team to win and make it to the big dance but some of you need to start putting things in perspective. These young guys have to learn the game at the NHL level still. Our best defenseman, Drew Doughty, is 19 YEARS OLD!!! Come on guys, are you really expecting them to never make mistakes and win every game? Terry Murray has done an AMAZING job as coach of these young guys and if it weren’t for the unwritten rule that a team has to make the playoffs for the coach to win the Jack Adams award, Murray would definatley be nominated. End of story.

    I just wish some of you guys could be more positive about this team and actually understand that we are on the verge of the greatest time in Kings history, and I would put up my house on a guarantee. If you really thought we were going to make the playoffs this year (even thought I know NONE of you did at the start of the year), then you really set your sights unexpectedly high, and just set yourself up for a letdown. I knew this wasn’t going to be the year, so I’ve stayed positive and haven’t worried about the loses. I’m waiting for something waaaayyy bigger to happen starting next year….

  • ziggy33

    When handzus tied the game up I sent my buddy(an islander fan) a text about how much I love this team. They have showed character and heart all season and the team is clearly on the right track. However, it just seems that when they need a big save, or need the defense to step up in the final minutes, they come up short. How many times have we missed out on valuable points because of key mistakes late in games?

    nykingfan summed everything up perfectly and is correct in pointing out the games this month where we have simply given up too many goals. I think our goaltending is much better than it has been in quite some time but it still needs to be better. The games that will stick out in my mind that caused us to miss the playoffs were the phoenix, atlanta, and nashville games all at home. Its been a fun ride hanging in the playoff race but reality set in after watching Jones celebrate the winning goal last night.

    I didnt watch the first period and a half, but I thought Calder, Stoll, and Simmonds were our best players. It didn’t appear that Quincey had his best game last night. Again, just too many mistakes at key times in the game. Typical of a young team.

  • NY Kings Fan

    Nope, I’m just another stranded Kings fan in NYC, apparently.

    The ups and downs of the season. Staying up till 1am to watch the team blow it with a few minutes to go in the 3rd just plain out really sucks! I’ve bounced between pure elation and deep frustration watching this team this season. I see a lot of promise, but I also see material gaps. As Vonnegut would say, so it goes.

    I don’t have time to get into it right now (I’ll post some arguments later today), but I think that making Brown the captain was a mistake. Brown hates the spotlight! He flourished last season by remaining sort of an under the radar player. When he scores, he likes to keep his head low and skates directly to the bench. Don’t confuse my point here that we need an emotional captain, but I just think Brown prefers to be left alone to play his game. He also seems to internalize everything (including his frustration) and rarely even talks on the ice, let alone to the refs or coaches. Is Brown the anti-Messier (mr. emotion himself)? I’ve also seen him recentlt put his head in the air a few times as a gesture of frustration directed at his teammates (definitely something a captain should NEVER do, baby or not). Once was when he was skating to the net to set a screen and Harrold or Gauthier shot the puck too early before he could set himself. Another time he did it was on the 2-0 breakaway the other night after he passed the puck (which was a poor decision in itself) and Kopitar held on to it and skated behind the goal line. 2-0, one person take a breakaway and the other trail for a rebound. Basics, guys! I’m rambling here, I know. I will make a better, lucid argument later, but I just don’t think Brown looks comfortable, natural wearing that C. Greene, OD, Handzus, Gaborick perhaps?

  • wavesinair

    @anonymous (sign in already!)

    were you around during the summer? we had this argument over and over and over again. it’s old and tired. and at the end of next year, if god forbid we miss the playoffs again, someone will say…

    wait till next year! (it’s been next year for many, many years)

    but just to be clear, getting into the playoffs was basically a pipe dream this year. very few people, including myself, thought it would happen.

    conversely, HOW we play/played these remaining games is crucial for next year and the year after.

    when we look back to the development of this kings team, we will pinpoint this time…crunch time…and remember how we responded to the challenge.

    3-7 over the last 10 along with poor play.

    very simply, there is a lack of compete that occurs way to often on this team. it could be argued that a young team would have MORE compete, not less.

    so, to sum up:

    was getting into the playoffs realistic? no
    was competing hard and smart every night realistic? yes!!!!!

  • NY Kings Fan

    to Anonymous:

    Just some facts for you to chew on:

    Lowest avg ages for the ’08-’09 season (source: sports blogs for fans: http://www.fromtherink.com/2008/10/24/641764/nhl-teams-by-age)

    Youngest teams:
    23 MIN 27.24 50/50 PLAYOFFS
    24 PHI 27.13 PLAYOFFS
    25 STL 27.11 50/50 Probable Playoffs
    26 NYR 27.08 Very Probable PLAYOFFS
    27 LAK 26.24 NO
    28 CBJ 26.08 PLAYOFFS
    29 PHX 25.79 NO
    30 CHI 25.65 PLAYOFFS

    Young teams can make the playoffs too!

    - The Kings have not made the playoffs for 7 years, the longest streak in the NHL
    - The Kings have advanced past the first round once in the past 16 years

    We made progress this season, but we also need to address some missing building blocks for next year.

    eg – The Kings do not have a #1 goaltender for next season.

    Just some facts for the conversation.

  • OCKINGFAN

    So my girlfriend and i were watching the game as we always do and my eyelids started to feel heavy. i wanted to stay awake to finish the game but i just had this feeling that if i stayed awake any longer i would be angry for the rest of the night. So i passed out during the third period waking up around 11 or 12 to see the dissapointed look on my girlfriends face. Its so werid i can feel when the kings are going to win a game. Last night i did not have that feeling at all. why no Moeller? Westgarth is useless. Anyways i have a question that some of you kings fans can help me with. My dads bday is in a couple days and my girl had a great idea. Why not take my dad and brothers to a game before the season is over. So which game shall i go to. San jose or the yotes? I would like for them to win so i was leaning towards the yotes. then i remembered how the kings like to get spanked while playing them. Tough decision. a little help please

  • http://www.insidesocal.com CupRun2010

    BBSJ: Agreed Moller needs to be played. Talk about size, but contributes…Steve Sullivan, scored a goal last night, 5′-9″, 173 lbs. 8g, 12A, 20pts. in 29 games; Moller has played a few more games, but then again, he’s a rookie. Westgarth, 5:33, 7 shifts. Ivanans, 5;44, 7 shifts. When you need offense, I don’t think of Army-Westy-Rats…

  • brianguy

    “Youngest teams:
    23 MIN 27.24 50/50 PLAYOFFS
    24 PHI 27.13 PLAYOFFS
    25 STL 27.11 50/50 Probable Playoffs
    26 NYR 27.08 Very Probable PLAYOFFS
    27 LAK 26.24 NO
    28 CBJ 26.08 PLAYOFFS
    29 PHX 25.79 NO
    30 CHI 25.65 PLAYOFFS”

    the Kings got a bit older thanks to O’Sullivan trade, but one of their main “vets” hasn’t played a game for them yet thanks to injury. so I don’t know if that is deceptive or not. still they need to be closer in results to Chi or CBJ than Phx. if Quick had carried the Kings all season ala Mason we’d be in the playoffs instead of Stl or Min. I hate to say next year but that’s when it should all be clicking. honestly, I expected this to be a sub-.500 non-playoff year going in

  • malachi crunch

    To the anonymous response on being the youngest team? Actually that’s Chicago and they’ve been locked into a playoff position the whole year. Last season’s team had five of their six defenseman under 23yrs of age. We’re running out of excuses. Dustin Brown has been invisible since his child’s birth. We’ve been in a playoff push for the last two months and our play has been erratic as usual.

    Our team just hasn’t found the right niche for coaching. I’m not saying TM is to blame and I like him but we go from one extreme to the next. We’ve been shutout more times this year than I can think of and we lack creativity. On paper we’re a lot better than some of these teams that are making final pushes for the playoffs.

    Next season needs to be the final chapter in rebuild. We now have the foundation and the work ethic but the gameplan sucks……Establish a puck possession style of hockey to compliment guys like DD, JJ, Kopitar, and Fro. On the secondary guys teach them how to crash the net….just my 2 cents. But watching these guys from the seats we’re a pretty obvious team to play against.

  • Dave

    Anyone with half a brain who understands hockey should clearly see what DL is doing!

    1. The young studs down in Manchester are staying there and getting the valuable minutes they need every night…LEARNING! To bring them up to play 5 or 10 minutes on a team that even if they make the playoffs will get bounced and hard in the first round, just so you can say we made the playoffs? What a joke that would be and not very productive.

    2. The 5 rookies up with the big club are getting valuable minutes, again….LEARNING! You can’t have 7 or 8 rookies in your lineup every night without sinking the entire ship. This team has been so competitive this season no one could have expected this.

    3. For anyone on the board to even remotely suggest that the goaltending has been poor this season needs to have their head examined. Do you really have that short a memory? We have 2 young goalies with no previous NHL experience before this season began keeping us in games…They are the MVP’s this season! Without them, we wouldn’t have lost the 20+ so games by one goal. Yes, I said it! I’m happy the Kings are in games and many of them have been exciting. Last season the games would have been over in the first period like the last 5 or 6 seasons.

    This team has made so much progress this season and are well on there way to winning games next season 4-3 instead of losing them 3-4. DL will make a few changes this offseason, but you can already see the core of the team is full of monsters that other teams will be coveting over the next 10+ years.

    GO KINGS

  • nykingfan

    NY Kings Fan
    Welcome suffering fan!

    I’ll disagree on a couple of things you said. it gets boring if I agree with everything
    I think the Kings need to find out if Bernier…or even Quick/Ersberg can be counted on as the goalie(s) of the future.
    I still think the answer is in the organization. One thing I and others have forgotten about the Kings goaltending situation is that we have no veteran presence on the roster to help the kids when they’re struggling..like they are now. This was because LaBarbara decided to suck the life out of the team and the fans with some horrible play.
    That veteran presence can be a huge help to a young goalie.

    I think Dustin embraced the idea of being captain. He’s also finding out it isn’t easy being a captain…especially when you’re that young…BUT
    he will mature as captain along with the rest of the team. By the time we’re ready to complete for the cup, he’ll be a well seasoned captain on a young, well seasoned team.
    This is the time to learn from the mistakes…not when we’re ready to compete for the top prize.

  • tantrum4

    that was me with the anonymus post. Sorry, this site tells me I’m signed in sometimes but I guess I’m not…

    Anyway, like it was said before, the only reason we’re no longer the youngest team is because of the O’Sullivan trade. So for most of the season, we were the youngest. And to say we should be closer to the results of Chicago is laughable. Do you see anyone that can play like Toews or Kane on our team? How about Brian Campbell? No? Khabibulin? Didn’t think so. The age numbers are skewed because we have guys like O’Donnell, Armstrong and Handzus which bring our age way up. We definaelty have more players under 25 than anyone, and more players 21 and under than anyone as well. We also have 2 goaltenders that don’t even have a full NHL season under their belt combined! Say what you want boys, but this team is better than ANYONE expected and doesn’t have the right players to make a playoff push or to be able to do any damage once they get there. I know you want to give me reasons why they should be better, but until our players have some experience under their belt, they aren’t going to make the playoffs. So I’ll wait till next year!!

    PS – At the end of last season, I DEFINATLEY never said “wait till next year”, cause I knew we were still a couple of years away from competing. Are you trying to tell me, you looked at are starting goalie Labarbara, Gauthier on defense, Calder, Armstrong and Zeiler up front, and said “next year is the year!!!”…give me a break….

  • http://www.insidesocal.com CupRun2010

    One last post on this string.

    re: Malachi Crunch. I agree that the Kings play is obvious and predictable–stop the #1 line on Kopi-Purcell-Brown on D, and find the “soft spot” in the high slot on offense. The problem is that when the Kings are unpredictable, they confuse each other (i.e. missed defensive assignments, passing to the other team, etc.)–this will all come with “seasoning” and getting familiar with the new system–it’s taken Kopi 1/2 – 3/4 of the season to figure it out and start to produce. They just need some chemistry and consistent play from all positions-that builds the confidence that the Preds showed last night at the critical times and that the good teams like Detroit, SJ, and NJ bring most of the time.

  • Ersberg

    I’m sure looking forward to next season. Hopefully, management will have some additional pieces in place to get these guys over the hump, because it’s fairly evident they need some help.

    Quick and Ersberg are in their first full season, so lets see what happens come next season before jumping off the wagon.

  • variable

    quite simply….

    it might not be official due to the math, but….

    it’s over…

    i just don’t see this team losing only 2 games down the stretch…but, hey, i’ve been wrong before…and i would love to be in this case…

    i just don’t see this team playing like a team on the verge of something great….

    the cardiac kings are on life support…the machine that goes ‘bing…bing…’ is fading…the iv drip is almost empty…and the chaplain is waiting in the hall for his cue…

    so maybe if we all wear our shep kings ‘hope’ t-shirts, we can somehow reverse this bill of health…

    no complaints, though…it’s been great to see this team do better than anyone expected…but the time on this season is running out…and the clock on next season’s march will begin immediately after this one ends…

    i ‘hope’ we all can appreciate the progress made and anticipate the road ahead…

  • number 6

    Many posters have pointed out what the team Does have. It’s undeniable. Some real pieces in place. Hopefully they only get better. The thing though that I find troubling (and it was pointed out on an earlier comments), repeated below

    when we look back to the development of this kings team, we will pinpoint this time…crunch time…and remember how we responded to the challenge.

    3-7 over the last 10 along with poor play.
    AND

    dirtmover said:
    3 late goals – is it lack of concentration

    OCKINGFAN said:
    Im so sick of hearing the same stuff after each loss. “Um we need to play the
    whole 60 minutes, last night we played 30.”

    THIS is what I find disconcerting. There seems to be something in the DNA of the Los Angeles Kings year after year that creates this. It’s like a virus or something and just doesn’t make sense. If That continues net year, then I really hate to say it but they will have a very difficult time again making the playoffs.

    For me these last two games were a microcosm of the whole issue around this team: Play the best team in the league supertough but don’t have what it takes to win the game, then play in LA against a team that hasn’t scored goals on the road w/o their best goal scorer in a Must Win Game and they play 30 minutes?! More good players will help, sure. But if they don’t get to the root of that then they won’t make the playoffs next year for the simple reason that after the givens {Detroit, SJ, Chi who will be better, Calg, and probably a much improved St. L when they get Kariya and Eric Johnson back and probably Dallas too) that leaves maybe two spots up for play. Too many teams have too much talent to expect to slide into the playoffs when you repeatedly have these “half a game” efforts at home. If Nabakov or Kiprasov were back there we might be able to make up for that.
    Unfortunately we don’t have them, even if DL was the one who drafted them.

    They may be young, but seriously, that is absolutely no excuse for a poor effort on so many occasions. One game here, one game there… absolutely. They’re human and it’s a long season. One can’t always be as sharp as desired. But it’s happened so many times. To me it really is this culture of losing and until that gets turned around it may be a long road. I just hope that the players and management figure it out sooner rather than later.
    And last comment, yes I do recognize the progress this year, but that in a sense makes it more frustrating when they don’t show up.

    Thoughts anyone?

  • Anonymous

    Regarding Brown: Remember this post from Rich from 11 days ago?

    “Brown’s son, Mason Cole, was born at 31 weeks, four days, which was just more than eight weeks premature. He weighed 4 pounds, 4 ounces, and was 16.5 inches long. Mason remains in the hospital, in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, where he will remain for the next several weeks. The hope is that, in the next few days, Mason will have his IV removed and be moved from an incubator to an open crib, although there are problems with his body-temperature regulation at the moment. The baby is on a feeding tube, but the hope is that bottle-feeding can start in the next week or two.”

    Isn’t this more than just your average parenting situation? His baby has been in the neonatal intensive care unit and I would say that otherwise he has been a consistent player with grit and heart. Let’s give him a break!

    I agree that this is an unfortunate time for the Kings to have their Captain be distracted, but can anyone else step up and do something?!

    Quincy is great but has recently done nothing to help the goaltender clear the rebounds. I honestly believe Doughty gets those out of the way, thus no goal. We have all seen it, haven’t we?

    As for Goaltenders, there are better no doubt. But the numbers aren’t bad:
    Quick’s save percentage is .908 with a 2.65 GAA

    Kiprusoff’s at .903 with a 2.88 GAA,
    Nabokov’s is .912 with a 2.39 GAA,
    Osgood is .883, and Conklin .911 save percentage.

    Calgary is 3rd in the conference and the other 2 may be 1st and 2nd overall, depending on the day.

    The Washington Caps are in 3rd in the Eastern Conference and Theodore has a .900 save percentage and a 2.87 GAA. Ersberg has a .900 sv. percentage and 2.58 GAA.

    My point is just that I do believe these guys are good enough. I believe they will mature and improve, hopefully along with the rest of the team. Time will tell.

    We are 23rd in Goals scored per game. We need more!

    On to the positives: we are 14th in Goals allowed per game and we are 4th in faceoff wins. This is good news!

    Here’s to next year!

  • variable

    number 6….

    good hearing from you…

    yeah…i think the frustrations we all have with this team are abundant and reasonable…some are not…they should know who they are and what they say…not worth identifying nor repeating…

    but like you said: we are a young team…is there some DNA being floating around via staph or MRSA…? who knows…

    d.l. has next year to really make the “progress” we all expect…i imagine tim lieweke is on the same page with a lot of us for next season:

    “playoffs and progress or layoffs and jobless”

    it’s hard to imagine what could’ve/would’ve/should’ve been w/this team…and it’s probably because most of us like the players on this team and want them to succeed….

    during/after the draft, we will see what d.l. has in store for the future…we also are going tom have a very competitive training camp next season…

    i think we should just have a lil’ bit more patience
    and give it another 6-8 months….i know…i don’t like saying that either…but it’s the reality of the situation….we are here…and d.l. has another year to make it right….

    (supply yr own song reference here)

  • Gayle

    For all of you who are DL defenders, let me tell you something and please do not get offended, ok?–DL messed up San Jose, and w/o him, San Jose is a powerhouse in this league. Here he is now, he gets a lot of young players, and vets, and low and behold things gets promising until they lose into this playoff strech, which I think it will be unlikely they will make the playoffs–Anahiem, Girlfreind’s Helene Elliot’s team is not going to make it neither so no local teams will make it.

    But back to the Kings…

    DL has one more year to get it together and show this city that he is capable to produce a winner. He has one more year to get someone that can score goals and not some damaged goods player or some unproven veteran or do something stupid like trading their best player for some draft choice.

    You know about so many teachers that got pinkslipped already, well after next season if DL do not get his cow manure together, look for him to be fired and Luc taking over this team.

  • TimO

    Each year brings memories, often bad. It’s tough being a King’s fan since 1967. This year’s memories are full of close, hard-fought games being given up by unforgettable blunders. Gauthier’s give-away allowing the Red Wings to eventually win early in the season. LaBarbara’s woeful surrender. And that awful 2-on-0 by Kopi and Brownie the other night.
    Tomas Sandstrom, Neil Komadoski and Sheldon Kannegiesser would be right at home on this team. Oh yeah, and Daniel LaCroix.
    As the hooker Kit said in Pretty Woman, “Ya think I got pa-tential? Really?”

  • number 6

    Hey Variable. Good to get your response. Thanks.
    You know, since I wrote that post I’ve sat with this for a while and my earlier comments still resonate for me. It just makes sense. That being said, I Absolutely Agree with you. No question. I’m definitely Not writing anyone off (or if I am then I shouldn’t be). We need to see how the next 6-8 months pan out.
    The thing I wanted to relate though is being on the east coast I watch the Rangers and Devils on TV. Tonight there were NJ, Rangers and Det-Philly all on. It’s honestly frustrating for me to see the way the Devils move the puck on the PP (fast and decisively). they haven’t chosen in the top 15 in years! Then theres the extraodinary skill set of Detroit (Franzen had his 29th tonight, who even ever mentions Franzen on this blog, Hartnell his 26th etc.). We still don’t have anything approaching that yet. Maybe Kopi will develop still into a true first line center, hopefully Moeller bulks up and improves, Quick shores up some of the holes in his game,etc. But when the one thing you do have is a high compete level and then you don’t bring it with you in numerous home games against teams that aren’t even going to the playoffs, well, I find that frustrating.

    I do creative work and haven’t been paid anywhere in the hemisphere of what these guys get, but everytime I do my work I’m very serious about it and do my absolute best. Sorry for going on but that’s why I have a very difficult time understanding games like last nights and that critical season turning three game homestand (Edm, Atl and someone else) where they lost all three.

    My hope is that what DL and TM have said is true… that they need to learn to take ownership of this team and learn how to win.

    Anyway, time will tell.

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