Murray, on what the Kings need

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Terry Murray has been patient and polite for an entire season, but at the end of it, I finally found a question that he wouldn’t answer. Not that I blame him, because I really wasn’t expecting a candid answer, but Murray deferred when asked about Brown’s and Kopitar’s desire for a scoring left winger, and whether that was his desire as well. Murray did talk extensively about his hopes for the summer and where he thinks the Kings can go next season…

—–

Question: I just got done asking your captain and one of your alternate captains, if they could ask Dean for a Christmas present this summer, what would they ask for, and they both said `a scoring left wing’ without much hesitation…

MURRAY: (laughs)

Question: As you go into the summer, is that at the top of your wish list too? As a coach, do you have a wish list?

MURRAY: “What’s at the top of my wish list is that we have a regimented schedule, and a follow-through by every player in the organization, to push themselves as hard as they can in this offseason to develop their bodies and their minds to where they need to be in order to allow themselves to be the best they can be at the start of the camp next year.”

Question: Last year you were hired in the middle of July. Will it be easier this summer, or different, in terms of getting that where you want it?

MURRAY: “Yeah, it’s different at the start. Players need a break now, and some guys are probably going to end up in the World Championships. There is a required time to relax and let your body recover from the season, and then to prepare yourself for that offseason program. It’s about following it religiously and becoming an elite athlete, becoming a man out there.”

Question: If you put two names at the top of that list, would they be Moller and Simmonds?

MURRAY: “No, it’s everybody.They’re all grouped together. The veteran players who have been in the league for several years now, they need to follow through and maintain, obviously, in order to keep that conditioning at the right level. The younger guys, they need to push themselves to get to the next level, to come into the training camp and have complete control. The confidence just sky-rockets whenever you have the physical strength to be able to match up. That’s at the top of the list.

“The other part of it, that’s in-house for me. I don’t want to discuss that, to be honest with you. I’ll leave that to management. My thoughts will stay in-house, and I’m sure we’ll be having those conversations over the next couple weeks.”

Question: You said, early on, that making the playoffs was the goal this season. Outside expectations weren’t nearly as high, but going into next season, does that become even more of a goal?

MURRAY: “It’s not a moving target. The goal is still to make the playoffs, as it was this year. We expect to make them next year. We’re going to have a real solid year behind us, and I say that real candidly. This has been a great year for the young players and for this team. If you go through the numbers and the categories and break things down, there’s been great improvement. And there’s stuff that’s not evaluated through the numbers. It’s the intangibles that I’m seeing with our team, the way they’re playing right now. They played properly (Thursday) night, hard, strong. They battled. The decision was made, before the game, to compete, that we are as good as them. You’ve got to think that way. It’s not that you think you can; it’s that you know you can.

“To me, there’s a huge difference in that, because one way, you can get pushed out of the game, and the other way, you’re going to hang in there and compete real hard. I’ve felt here, in the last couple games, and after that second period in Calgary, that we believed. That’s a breakthrough. That’s an issue that every player, every team, has to deal with on their way up. They have to make that conscious decision that, `I know I can do this.”’

Question: In watching you guys this year, it seemed that there weren’t a lot of `average’ games. You either played really strong or you just weren’t there at all. Is that a fair analysis?

MURRAY: “I think some of those games that were kind of (not there) were after some travel. I think that might be an area of the business that we still have to get a handle on. It’s a young team, young players. This is the way it is, and it’s never going to be allowed to be an excuse. Every team goes through it, and you’ve got to deal with it properly. Dealing with it properly is about managing the game.

“That’s a phrase I have used a lot. When you learn how to manage the game, you learn how to play three games in four nights, when you’re traveling. It’s making the puck work. It’s playing with structure, playing your system and puck movement, better decisions with it. There are times when those stars are aligned and you’re high-energy and you can go out and overwhelm a team, like we did at times this year, with team play. We need to get a better handle on it, and I think we’re starting to.”

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  • anthonyy

    Ask us fans what the team needs?

    a) A better coach
    b) A new coach
    c) All of the above

    Answer: C

  • variable

    coach murray,

    besides the handling of frolov and the constant juggling of the lines…even when it really wasn’t called for…you have done an admirable job in yr first season…congrats…!

    one piece of advice from someone who likes to act as an arm chair general manager: know who yr players are and what they are capable of doing before next season starts…

    honestly, (you had said this during the first month of the season) you didn’t know exactly what you had on this team…

    next season, you NEED to know everything and anything about them…that includes veterans, rookies, second year and new additions….

    i will give you a b/b+ on the year…you and yr coaching staff did a very good job in: making defense top priority. improving the pk, improving the pp, improving the goals against and helping in coaching the goalies and improving their overall performances…

    the teams needs are obvious…and even though d.l. will decide on who stays/goes/added/subtracted,
    YOU ARE ON NOTICE STARTING NOW…!

    just like d.l., you have one year (let’s hope you make it that far for everyone’s sake) to make the other improvements this team needs to be a bonafide playoff contender and to make a significant impact in the post season…enjoy yr vacation time and use yr other time wisely…

    the clock is ticking and we, fans, are desperate for results…don’t disappoint…!

    thank you, t.m….

  • josh e.

    He’s not gonna say “we need a winger” because if he doesn’t get one, it makes him look like he doesn’t have confidence in the team he has. That being said…we need a scoring winger…

  • NMKingsFan

    Ya know, I voted yes I would pay for this site, but I definitely have to rethink that. Why should I pay to read all the redundant negativity that gets spouted by 2 or 3 posters, constantly spewing the same negative slant after every post. It gets really tiring to read. It’s the last game of the season for crying out loud, the team has obviously grown from last season for those that actually know hockey, it was disappointing at the end for all of us not to make the playoffs but we played into March still in the hunt.
    For all those that want to find the negative in all your posts, at least make it something new and thought out instead of the same old TM/DL sucks routine.

    And Anthonyyyy, your “no way we beat San Jose tomorrow” didn’t prove too accurate. San Jose was playing for the Presidents Cup too…..

  • jet

    NMKing – You are not alone, I also would ask for a refund also. I find it incredible how much the tone of this site has changed in 48 hours. There are so many other sites where droning and moaning is a right of passage. The miserable posters could easily move to one of the aforementioned sites to achieve a true win-win situation. Murray did a remarkable job this year.

  • AnThGrt

    I have to say I agree with NMKingsFan I would gladly pay for this site but reading the same @#$% from the same 2-3 posters each time is getting very annoying. How clueless they are and ignorant just starts making this unenjoyable to read.

  • Rich Hammond

    I’m not trying to be overly sarcastic here, but you do understand that reading comments is not a requirement, right?

  • AnThGrt

    It is not requirement but part of what makes this blog interesting is reading fellow King’s opinions on the matter. I am sure multiple will agree with me on those regards. Also often extra information is posted in the comments and various posters have posted stuff they heard or saw which others did not get the pleasure of doing so.

  • variable

    guys…

    something tells me that a?:^#@y would find fault w/ finding a $100 bill on the sidewalk….

    “what…???…no smile on ben franklin’s face…??? feh…!”

  • Rich Hammond

    Fair enough, I can definitely appreciate that answer.

  • NMKingsFan

    Rich, I think you are missing the point. I think every point in the comments section adds to your blog, whether positive or negative. But when the criticism is just repeated over and over by the same people, it makes your blog less readable because of the irritation factor.
    I think you see this from the writer’s point of view and not the readers point of view. I hope you realize the readers are your customers. I am not the only one who has a problem with the redundant negative posters.
    Does the newspaper field blame the people for not reading newspapers anymore or do they blame themselves for not providing a product that people want in a changing world.

    My field, Museums, can be seen as dinosaurs (no pun intended)as far as attracting audiences, but the ones that are successful are the ones that have changed to peoples changing desires; audio/video, animatronics, touchscreens, interactives, and not “cabinets of curiosities”. The museums that are successful listened to their customers.

    Dont get me wrong, you write a great blog, I couldn’t imagine it any better, but the comment section has me confused as to why you stick up for the senseless negativity.

  • variable

    nmkingsfan…

    you can always ignore them/him…

    in the spirit of fair comment and commentary…those people have the right to speak their mind, albeit, as limited, stagnant and repetitive as it may be…

    i think the beauty of this site is the ability to counter-point and display a greater knowledge to what is being considered as nonsense and fodder…

    for every poor post, there are 5 to 6 better ones…and to me, that’s a pretty good ratio…

    some sites and blogs have constant fandamonium,that constantly say positive things about their teams when they don’t apply…i don’t think any of us would want the maudlin pages to develop here…

    i understand yr contempt for those…i, too, question the constant regurgitation of negativity from the same peeps…it gets tiresome and weighs down the other admirable content from many of the posters like yrself and many, many others…

    so along with the baby, comes dirty bath water at times…i think it’s a necessary ingredient when you run a site like this…

    also, think about how all the other reasonable, fair comments contrast to those which are not…in some ways, those who ramble off the same old same ol’ are needed to differentiate the other more meaningful dicta…

    just a thought…

  • 4thlinechecker

    Rich,
    I would still pay, but it does start to work on my nerves. I do not read the comments nearly as much as I used to because of it, which is a shame because there is good points and interesting links in the comments….. I started reading them again the last couple weeks because I started to notice somebody had dropped off the face of the earth for a few days, and was not posting.

    I dont mind reading and disagreeing with people on here, but it does get a bit tiring when it is the same old garbage with very littlesubstance and it seems like it is done to purposely stir the pot, get a rise out of people, and to uphold a reputation of being a “blog badass”. I know controversy sells at times, but I think it crosses the line sometimes, and is very elementary…I’ll take anybodys opinion, but make a valid point, dont just spout off nonsense.

    Thanks for hearing my peice

  • BallPointHammer

    Although missing the playoffs is disappointing, the entire organization has made great strides this season, on and off the ice. Terry Murray, and his staff, and Dean Lombardi, and his staff, have all done very good jobs this year. Also, the players deserve credit for doing their part, as individuals and as a team, in vastly improving the teams performance, intensity, toughness and camaraderie.

    Regarding the other issues brought up. I voted for the option to pay a small fee for added content. This site has been a must read for me since its inception. I agree with the above opinions regarding “certain people” who seem to be obsessively and chronically negative when making their comments on the Kings. At a certain point, long past in my opinion, this kind of irrationality renders its purveyors obsolete. These “certain people” can start their own blog(s) if/when banned from this one. And see how many hits they get!

  • David

    “you have done an admirable job in yr first season…congrats…!”

    “Murray did a remarkable job this year.”

    We are talking about Terry Murray, line shuffling coach of the L.A. Kings? Same team that got shut out twelve times this season? Same coach that benches his top offensive player when down a goal in the third period, and puts Ivanans & Harrold out there instead?

  • KingFan4ever

    I say it’s all good. Like Rich said, reading the commentary is optional and especially if one feels the redundant commentary is annoying.

    Besides, without the comments from guys like Anthony, it wouldn’t be much fun around here.

  • Cynic

    Guys, if I’m paying for this site, I’m not paying for the comments. I’m paying for the information.

    Sometimes the comments have extra information and some (Like Quisp for example) put up very interesting stats and fantasy projections that make the information even more intriguing.

    Comments are gonna come regardless. It’s a By-Product.

    I think TM has done a great job this year. Remember, he was in the process of learning too as a 1st year head coach for this team. Rebuilding a system from scratch SUCKS and the rewards in the beginning are few and far between. TM got rewarded EARLY in many cases with guys like Doughty, Moller, Zeus and ESPECIALLY Simmonds!

    It’s never going to be perfect. TM is looking for combos that work. It’s taken all season to find what he has now and he is STILL changing them up. I don’t like the line changes either, infact that was my biggest pet peeve on Crawford, but with this team, until guys step up and take some control, this is the way it’s going to be.

    Young team. WAY ahead of schedule. I sense a 6th seed next year. We’re tough to play against NOW. Imagine if we bulk up 10% and learn to score! We’re fine. The draft should be interesting.

  • Cynic

    Oh yeah…One more thing..

    KOVALCHUK! KOVALCHUK! KOVALCHUK!

    Please…..

  • duane

    I very seldom post, but in this case I just have to add my two cents worth.

    I used to visit and occasionaly post on LGK for a couple of years. But it got to the point where the negativity, naysaying, and inside jokes started to wear very thin. I discovered this blog about a year ago and liked it so much that I never went back to LGK.

    I agree with nmkingsfan and others that have posted on this thread that there are three posters in particular whose negativity and constant repeated bashing have made this wonderful blog harder to deal with.

    I know that it is not required to read every post, but it’s kind of like a train wreck, I can’t help but look!
    Besides, I really don’t want to miss out on some of the intelligent and informative posts from people like quisp, variable, tantrum, cynic, and others. That information and dialog are what make this blog so great. None of us need the pointless repeated negativity.

    OK, now that I have said it I’m going back into posting hibernation!

  • duane

    Oh yeah and by the way, I am pleased with this year and where we have gone as a team. For the first time in many years I am very hopefull for the future.

    I am definately looking forward to next year and an even more improved team again. It’s nice to have a plan.

    Wow, two posts in one night! I’m done!

  • Dan H.

    We all pretty much agree that they need at least one left wing that can bury the puck and put the other guys back to their natural positions.

    That being said if they trade Frolov, what do they trade a proven 30 goal scorer for when that’s exactly what they’re trying to get. It makes no sense.

    I’d give TM a B/B+ this year. I don’t remember ever having defense and goaltending you could count on game in and out (a few stinkers aside). If Quick stays on course and our defense stays strong it’s just a matter of putting some pucks in the net. As our defense gets more confident and more time on the ice some of these guys (JMFJ/Doughty) will start helping to generate offense from the back end.

    I think my big knock on TM was echoed above that his line shuffles and disdain/disrespect of Frolov were uncalled for. He didn’t do that stuff to any other player when there are more guys that produced much less making many more mistakes. Treat them all the same dude.

    Rich- I’d still pay because I can pass by the guys I know are just dragging this into LGK land. Since you have a sign in function an “ignore” function where you can just click and it doesn’t show certain posters to those that choose to ignore them would be a huge bonus.

    Just my 2c.

  • mrbrett7

    Yes David, that same coach who took one of the worst defensive teams in the last decade of the NHL, and one of the worst penalty kills in I don’t know how long, and turned those aspects of their game around.

    Benching offensive stars, when they GLARINGLY screw up on other parts of their game is a tactic used by every coach who has ever coached in the NHL, AHL, ECHL, Juniors, Midgets…you name it. It’s called teaching a lesson. This same type of thing tends to happen in other sports as well, when top players are not performing up to the standards they SHOULD be.

    As for Anthony and Cristobal…it’s pretty simple. Don’t read their posts, don’t respond to their posts, and the trolls will eventually get tired of talking to themselves.

    But, Rich, one thing you can do, if possible, is keep those two from commenting back and forth to eachother and taking over various posts.

  • Gary B

    If any one even pays attention to what Anthonyy says I feel sorry for them. There’s a reason he is one of the first to comment on every post, he doesn’t have a life. Skip over the stuff you don’t like, and read the comments that the rest of us make, who are only mildly insane.

  • brianguy

    just a thought, and this is probably not easily done since it would require significant development. but maybe comments should cost money.

    I love reading and commenting on the site, but if every comment cost me 5c I’d be thinking about it more, and I’m sure the resident naysayers would as well.

    also, yes I’d pay a small amount to be a subscriber. when I say small, I’m talking like $1.95 – 2.95 a month. nothing more…

    maybe only subscribers being allowed to comment might solve the commenting problem. but I think if it were a flat fee then we’d probably still have the same dismal comments next season, all season long. starting at “the top” if you catch my drift. charge per comment and I would venture that things are a bit more tempered. cuts down on noise ratio. and allow members to block other posters they don’t like.

  • Ersberg

    “..and a follow-through by every player in the organization, to push themselves as hard as they can in this offseason to develop their bodies and their minds to where they need to be in order to allow themselves to be the best they can be at the start of the camp next year…”

    Come on, that’s like asking a Big Mac to be a Big Mac when ordered. The players are smarter than you think. They know if they have the necessary tools9players) around them to get it done. I’m sure they can sense they need help on the ice. Lets not kid ourselves here.

  • JGSmall

    What the heck happened on the play when this picture was taken? Talk about a picture worth a thousand words… check the faces in the foreground and background. What is going on!?

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