Postgame quotes (3/31)

TERRY MURRAY:
(Re game recap): “Well, the start of the game tonight was probably as poor a start as we have had all year. We don’t start to get into the game until five minutes into the third period. We haven’t been home for 15 days and during this stretch, these games are very important. I have talked about that in the past, talked about it today, that you need to dig in and play the games the right way and come away and learn something from these games.”

(Re the play of Justin Williams): “Well, Justin is coming, but he’s gone through a couple of injuries that are going to take some time for his body to re-adjust again to play the game. He’s missed a lot of time. You’ve seen improvements along the way, but I don’t know if we will see the real Justin Williams this year. It might take a full offseason, getting ready to play again and coming back, and now hopefully at the beginning of training camp he’ll be hitting the ground running. We know what he is. He’s a 30-goal scorer, and he knows how to get it done.”

DUSTIN BROWN:
(Re game recap): “If we maybe came better prepared, we wouldn’t have had to play from behind or try and come back, and that’s something that we have to learn.”

(Re Stars’ power play): “Modano made a pass, and it was a world-class pass and a good finish at the back door. The other power play was a miscue with our forwards. We got two forwards caught on one side and the Stars were able to walk into one and that’s just a mental error on our part on the penalty kill.”

JUSTIN WILLIAMS:
(Re game recap): “The Stars had the upper hand in shots, they had the upper hand in speed, quickness. They beat us to pucks. It was an unacceptable performance from us.”

(Re Joining the Kings on the ice): “It’s a lot different coming in when you are a healthy player in the swing of things. It’s been tougher to start for me. I haven’t shown what I’m capable of yet and I know that it’s going to take a little bit of time, but I’m working as hard as I can to make sure that that happens quicker rather than later. It’s tough to believe that when you come off a road trip, the first game at home always seems to have a tough time getting into it. But at this level of the game it is unacceptable for us to be, albeit, not quite in the playoffs, but knowing that we have to win out to even have a chance, and our performance was ugly and it won’t happen again.”

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  • WWAMD

    So, a couple days ago, Williams is great

    Today we get the injury excuse..and yet…Murray keeps starting him on the topline….Makes sense!?!?

  • JDM

    “…our performane was ugly and it won’t happen again.”

    Oh how I’d like to believe that.

    At this point I just want Frolov to come back and score two goals. Not having a 30 goal scorer on the season would be just too harsh a reality to face. Ugh.

    I’m really intruiged as to the off-season though. I haven’t felt this much buzz about the off-season in a long time.

    Was at the game tonight which was pretty lackluster, made worse by the awful stench flowing out of some unfortunate person near me. Do some people just not bath or do they come straight to games after working in the sewers?
    But that kind of felt deserving in a way because it was a lot like the effort tonight and for far too many periods of hockey this season, stinky. A putrid mess. I go back and forth between blaming the coaches and the players. I’ve supported Murray all season, but I’ve almost fully turned on him the last 20 games.

    On a positive, Quick rocked my world. First goal was tough. I hate hate Ribiero and wished he would have stayed in the East. 2nd and 3rd goals Jonny Q was hapless, but he made some truly incredible saves. He was fast and working every muscle in his body. Lots of fight through traffic and to squeeze rebounds. I haven’t enjoyed watching an LA goalie this much live since Potvin. He’s a breath of fresh air and in my eyes he’s got # 1 written all over him.

    Also I must say I’m excited to see that rocket of a shot on the PP from Williams for a full year. That guy has a friggen cannon and he’s lookin for corners, something I can’t say anyone else on the team really does. Oddly enough Drewiske and Gauthier seemed to be the only other two players really choosing their shots. Everyone else was mostly blind firing on a hope and a prayer.

    Which is basically all I’ve got left going into the off season.

  • nykingfan

    That was a brutal effort on the Kings part. They had no energy and played with no passion.
    You know things are bad whern even Simmonds was a no show. April fools came a day early for the Kings…or are the fools us fans that watched that effort?
    I don’t see any reason to single out players for poor performance….it was a team (lack of) effort.
    ok..that lasted for a second…I really hope that the old Dustin Brown shows up again next season.

    The only highlite to the night was the pre game ceremony for OD. Well deserved for a true class act.

  • Chris Bond

    First time all year I can remember them not even looking like they were trying…..Sucks when our team gives up before the season is over. On a side note, I got moved in to our new house and got direct tv again
    called them to ask how much the NHL package is for the rest of the year….$79 bucks. I told them it is not worth it to see what 7 more games. And if the play with no heart I will just wait until next year.
    I hate this time of year….After the last game and know I have to wait for so long again.

  • Dave in Torrance

    Morning everyone. JDM, you must have been sitting up in 305, because the guy that was sitting next to me smelled like he hadn’t brushed his teeth since Melrose was coaching, and of course he wanted to talk. Pretty weak effort. Passes were all mostly off, shots on goal, should have been called shots kind of mostly towards the goal, a few good hits, but really no good flow. 1st period I guess you could say had some flow, but no real scoring chances for us. Pretty sad, but the highlight of the night was watching the gal from 304 who was doing the horror movie scream get tossed by the redcoats. Oh, just thought of another hightlight, Williams shot, dude does have a cannon. I hope the fellas havent packed it in already, but it kind of felt like it last night. Put a little more sugar in the Kool Aid, please? Make it just a little sweeter, so its not so tough to swallow.

  • dirtmover

    Wow that was hard to watch- consistency has been an issue all year long- was does Dallas’ system look like they can plug any guy in and they just hum along – and we have missed passes and confusion reign with any little adjustment- I had a beef with our 5-3 all yr long that was as poorly executed as I have seen – side to side is a requirement of 5-3 and we don’t or can’t seem to make it work- and yet Dallas on the pp boom in the net – the players have got to get some accountability for their effort and a leader must emerge to verbally get on the guys when efforts like last night happen-

  • tantrum4

    Well now that we are unoffically eliminated from the playoffs, I am now hoping the Kings lose a few more games and let Pheonix pass them, so they can have a shot at the #1 pick. Actually all of the top 5 players in the draft have the potential to be stars in this league, so the higher up the draft they can move, the better. It’s kind of like in my keeper league hockey pool. I know I’m not getting first so I’m hoping my players crap out the rest of the way so I can get a better pick next year….lol.

    But I still love the Kings and will be back next year. I fully expect to make the playoffs and I’m not even considering the fact that they don’t make it. I GUARANTEE IT!!….Ya, I just said that…….

  • BakoCAcameraGuy

    Just listened to the guys on NHL live glibly say:

    “…And Dallas beat L.A., 3-2. That’s all I have to say about that!”

    Can’t wait for next year, when I can hear them say: ‘And the Rangers beat the Islanders, 3-2. That’s all I have to say about that!’

    Right. Bashing the East Coast bias by becoming a great team is one of the finest reasons to Raise The Crown in 2009-10!

    Kings Conquer!

  • Quisp

    Woah. Tavares says he won’t report to the Islanders if they pick him. http://kwisp.wordpress.com/2009/04/01/john-tavares-tells-isles-nyet-toronto-sports-media-blog/

  • Ersberg

    It was a crappy game that meant nothing to us other than us getting a better pick at the draft.

    And there goes Quisp, posting stuff on the porn site again..

    What’s the short version of that story, Quisp?

  • Quisp

    Tavares says he won’t play for the Islanders, so pick someone else.

  • RB from Torrance

    I’m sure glad we all live in this fictional world where the Kings are a team that hasn’t made the playoffs in FOREVER and Justin Williams is not actually Justin Williams. So the problem is me for not seeing the reality that we are in fact a playoff worthy team and that coaching decisions whereas checking lines are on the ice while down one goal in the 3rd period are sound strategy… That having both Ivanans and Westgarth on the roster at the same time can yield the type of positive goal scoring that we really need… That playing JLB for 12.5% of the season despite the fact that even Crawford was done with him after last year was a great idea.

    Sure, the real Justin Williams is not the person we really see on the ice right now… That’s assanine. I agree with WWAMD. Either he’s ready to play on the 1st line, or he’s not. My prediction… We are going to be held in suspense for this player. This year, the excuse is that he’s coming off injury. Next year, he’ll score under 30 points and that will be considered “good for his first year back”.

    Sergei Gonchar comes back from a major injury and scores 7 points in his first 7 games back. HE’S A DEFENSEMAN!!!! This is what a “proven” upper-eschelon player does. Don’t BS me and tell me that because he scored 30 goals for 2 seasons he’s the same player he was then. Logically, the fact that he’s scored less than 10 goals for 5 years out of his career holds more water. How about the fact that in his last 80 games (1 seasons worth) he’s scored less than 30 POINTS.

    I’m a Kings fan, not a lemming. I want better for our team. I want to stop hearing excuses and see progress. Progress means gradual betterment. Our ranking in all notable stats have regressed since the All-Star break. This is not progress. Fire TM and let’s get someone who will teach strategy as opposed to mindless agression.

  • Ersberg

    “Tavares says he won’t play for the Islanders, so pick someone else.”

    Ok.

    I wonder if the other bottom teams are allowed to ask him if he would or wouldn’t report to their respective camps. That would be interesting to find out.

  • Duckhunter

    I say let the punk play in the KHL. I can’t stand Eli Manning for doing that and if this kid plays God I will boycott him as well. Hope it’s just a April fools joke.

  • Ersberg

    Tavares’ situation is reminiscent of the Lindros draft. I wonder which team will be lucky(or unlucky) enough to draft him.

  • number 6

    Hey Duckhunter… just wanted to say I appreciated your comments re my thread on Marian Hossa. Very well thought out. Can’t say if it’s accurate or not, but for sure made me think!

  • nykingfan

    I’m surprised that Tavares would say that. Everything I’ve read here in NY is that he’s fine with playing for the Islanders.
    He better be careful with his decision….these are tough economic times and few teams are looking to break the bank for anyone…especially a guy who’s never played a game above junior.
    What are his options…playing in Russia? Good luck with that and say hello to Cherapanov. That’s a league where they really seem to care about their players health and well being.
    I don’t think he’ll have much choice and the Islanders franchise needs him desperately.

    RB I have to play devils advocate with some of your points.
    It’s 20/20 hindsight to say that playing Barbs 12.5% of the games was a mistake…was it? of course…but we didn’t have much of an option at the time other than Ersberg. Nothing against Ersberg, but the #1 spot went to an untested rookie over him. He never seized the opportunity he was given.
    How does Crawford’s opinion on anything matter? Under Crawford we finished tied with the least amount of points in the NHL.
    In fairness to Crawford, he didn’t have guys like Doughty, Simmonds, etc…

    On comparing injuries..That’s impossible to determine who’s injury was worse and who’s injury takes longer to heal. Remember Zeus last year was the worlds worst…one year later, he’s arguably one of the team MVP’s this year. Did the knee need additional time to heal?

    On firing TM…This team has improved dramatically defensively under him. It’s not fair to expect the guy to take the worst team…add a few rookies and expect to make the playoffs. The fact that we were as close as we were is a testament to TM.
    If we’re still not a playoff team next year…it would be hard to argue over whether to keep him or not…but not after this season.

  • Duckhunter

    Hello 6

    Just wanted you to know I responded to that thread this morning. I don’t know if it’s correct either, but it’s something I’ve come across in my days of playing and coaching. Again it’s just a feeling, and nothing I personally know about him. Call it a educated guess.

    Have a good day.

  • number 6

    Thanks Duckhunter. You too. btw ot to sound “snobby” but there is including yourself a group of posters whose comments I really enjoy reading. Maybe it has to do in your case w playing and coaching. I played some pickup hockey (when growing up in LA – now in ny) w some very good players (I wasn’t quite at their level) but wow does playing change your perspective of the game, how it functions and so many subtleties. Anyway, take care.

  • -J

    “Woah. Tavares says he won’t report to the Islanders if they pick him.”

    Good one ;) Almost got me for a minute there.

  • nykingfan

    Quisp

    Was that April fools?
    Damn if I fell for that.

  • RB from Torrance

    NYkings fan

    Your advocation as to the contrary is welcome. I’m not interested in starting a flame war or anything, but I’ll defend my earlier comments by answering your questions.

    On JLB
    JLB can be considered hindsight if this was the first time I’ve ever complained about him. I was calling for him to be removed at the entry of last year after seeing Bernier play in pre-season (Come to Section 333 and ask any season ticket holder). I think everyone is NOW agreeable that he is not a professional caliber keeper despite the amazing numbers he posted in the AHL. AHL is not NHL. Should anyone argue the point, they only need to look at his performance since being traded, it’s not the team.

    On Comparing Injuries
    Quincey played this season (to my understanding) with a back injury and posted 38 points. Yet another example. Also, Zeus’ particular skill lies in his blinding goalies. He’s also particularly good on transitions to offense. I don’t disagree for a second when you say that he’s arguably one of the teams most valuable players. The problem with using Handzus as an example is that he’s still underperforming compared to where he was before he got hurt. And still, I blame Murray for that because he only started putting point shooters on Hadzus’ lines as of recently.

    On firing Murray
    You would be right if you were talking about the team prior to somewhere around the half-way point of the season. In case you haven’t noticed, we’re getting worse. In the month of March alone, we are averaging 3.133 goals/game against. The number doesn’t even change that much if I go back and include February (3.035). Gauthier is plain awful. Giving the puck away like he does and the penalties he costs us for being reckless is not the sign of sound coaching. I’m comforted by the default scenario of Hickey/Teubert replacing him next year.

    If the defense is better this year at all, I credit Drew Doughty and not TM. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. If, as a coach, your solution to a scoring problem is to constantly play with the lines and hope for something miraculous… You are lost.

    On Crawford
    Crawford matters because if a bad coach can realize the futility of playing someone like JLB, then why couldn’t TM?

    I think it’s completely plausible that this team could have made the playoffs this year and possibly even been a top 5 team in our conference. I think we have the talent right now to be a contender. Unfortunately, I think we lack the direction and tactics of perennial playoff teams. Why didn’t we consider Dan Bylsma as a possible coach?

  • nykingfan

    RB

    No…don’t need a pissing contest.
    You stated your points well. I’ll disagree with most, but that’s what makes the world go ’round.
    There’s no argument for JLB’s brutal play. I thought coming into the season that maybe this could be the year he takes that next step. That obviously didn’t happen.
    I would have rather seen Ersberg start, but I could understand the coach wanting to go with someone with experience..especially a new coach coming into an organization.
    That’s my thought on the 20/20 hindsight..more from the coaches point of view.

    I disagree that Doughty was the main reason for the improved defense. It’s a 5 man unit that needs to play with a defensive mindset. If your forwards aren’t coming back to help out, I don’t care if you have Patrick Roy and Ray Bourque, your not cutting down on your goals against.
    that’s what TM did this year…he got most of the players to buy into the defensive mindset, and that’s why for most of the season we were leading the league in shots against.

    I appreciate your wanting and expecting the Kings to reach the playoffs but that’s asking an awful lot from a defense where, other than OD, nobody’s over 26.
    The youngest of all played the most minutes of anyone on the team.
    I think a lot of people have gotten spoiled by what Doughty did this year. It just doesn’t happen that way for 99% of defensemen coming into the league that young.
    A lot of us are going to develop unreasonable expectations from the young guys coming up…Teubert/Hickey/Voinov…
    They’re going to struggle..and if they do, so will our team.
    You may not like Gauthier…you’re absolutely right, he takes some really stupid penalties and some unsightly t/o’s, but the guy was on the 1st PK unit…the same PK unit that improved from last year being last or real close to being a top 10 unit.
    It wasn’t all Gauthier, but a lot of it was the coaching. Guys like Simmonds were able to step in and become solid players. They’re only going to get better….
    I think stability needs to be the word of the day with the Kings. Things are looking up…I don’t think we need to rush the process. Stability will only help the young kids get better.
    Just my opinion…sorry if its long.

  • number 6

    Hey nykingfan hi. Just wanted to back you up on something you said. You may remember I’m in Brooklyn and was watching Hockey Night Live the other night. Discussion had to do with coaches. Butch Goring commented on how they were changing coaches every year when he was in LA. Maybe a slight exaggeration but point made. I’m personally a tiny bit concerned about TM’s qualities as a coach.
    The reason for this is the very large number of either poor periods, or particularly poor starts they’ve had this year at home. I mean at some point the home record has to change or they won’t even get in the playoffs.

    Now That being said, I totally concur with your point about how much this franchise needs stability. Absolutely true. How often do you see teams constantly changing coaches or managers and winning – I don’t mean going on a winning streak, I mean winning.
    Also it’s undeniable that aspects of the teams play did greatly improve this year, but once again the paradox of sorts there is as RB from Torrance was trying to point out, there play late in the season has to be cause for concern going into next year (but then again they’ve lost Stoll and Frolov and now Quincey to injuries). It’s hard to tell but I have to confess that I am concerned about next year. I’ve written this before and I’ll say it one last time (and I think I’m the only one who has made this point) the Kings Are improving… But so are a number of teams that they’ll be directly competing with for that 7th or 8th playoff spot, particularly Nashville, CBJ and St. L and I don’t expect Dallas who aren’t even in the PO’s this year to have another poor year next year.

  • nykingfan

    Whats up my fellow NY’er number 6
    Good to hear from you…I always enjoy reading your posts.

    Both you and RB make good points about TM’s coaching and how it may relate to the poor starts we’ve had this year. I can’t understand why or how that happens. It’s something that needs to be corrected.

    You’re both also right that our late season play did cost us a chance to get to the playoffs this year…but I think that’s what comes with a young team that’s never won before and also playing the majority of the games on the road. Shame on us for not taking care of business at the Staples Center when we had the chance.
    I’m still interested to see how the team finishes up. They need to play as if these are playoff games.

    You’re also right about the other teams continuing to improve. We’re still going to have to fight like heck next year against these teams to secure a playoff spot. It becomes a question of who’s talent is deeper and better and who’s front office is able to make the moves to improve the team further.
    My feeling is the Kings talent pool is better and deeper and our front office is better.
    This is strictly from a biased point of view and nothing else. The Kings fan in me wouldn’t allow me to say anything different.
    Next year both the team and the front office are going to have to prove me right.
    If they don’t improve and take the next step, whatever that may be, I think TM is in trouble next year…but in my opinion he’s done more than enough to earn the right to continue to coach the Kings next year.

    Also…I’ve noticed the Devils have dropped 6 in a row. Lamoriello is smart enough to know that its just a slump and there’s no reason to change the coach….other organizations (Rangers) would have fired Sutter by now.
    In the end, I think they’ll win the cup and Lamoriello will once again be proven right in how he handles that franchise.

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