Terry Murray: ‘I overreacted, probably’

One day after blasting fans for booing the Kings off the ice after the second period of an eventual 4-0 loss to St. Louis, Kings head coach Terry Murray said he didn’t know how to soften his position.

He tried anyway.

“I overreacted probably, in saying … you don’t want to drag (the fans) into the reason why, but I did,” Murray said. “There’s nothing I can do about it now. It’s never the right thing to throw stuff at your fans. I know that. It was a night to forget.”

The coach abruptly ended his postgame press conference Thursday after singling out the fans’ response to the Kings’ first two periods –during which the Blues outshot the Kings 30-6 and took a 2-0 lead — as the most disappointing aspect of the defeat.

“That is the most embarrassing thing I have ever been through. That’s the worst I have ever been through in all the years I’ve been coaching,” Murray said. “I’ve been behind the bench almost 3,000 hockey games in the NHL and booed off the ice by your own fans — at the end of the second period after we’ve been through here, after this road trip, going 4-0 in hard places — very disappointing.”

After the Kings’ practice Friday, Murray confessed to the obvious — that his own emotions influenced his response.

“I don’t know how to soften it,” he said. “I was very upset about how things went last night with the way we played, right from the very start of the game. The turnovers, being outbattled along the boards, dot to boards, giving up the great scoring chances we did, our power play right at the start we have an opportunity to do something and we don’t. We turn the puck over. We go offside on it right at the start.

“It’s just a lot of things that were frustrating. And obviously the fact that we [had] six shots at the end of the second period was glaring at me the whole game. and then to give up that late goal, it was a reaction to a very frustrated coach. Just disappointing. That’s the last thing you want to hear going into the dressing room. You’re trying to find a way to start a fire in there, to get a good 20 minutes of hockey and that’s what you go into the room with, that kind of, you’re remembering that probably as much as anything that’s happening in the game. So I was frustrated.”

The Kings also lost Kyle Clifford in the first period to a head injury, believed to be a concussion, when the rookie winger was knocked out in a fight with the Blues’ Ryan Reaves. Clifford won’t play Saturday against the Ducks in a critical game for both Pacific Division rivals.

Murray’s remarks elicited more than 100 comments within an hour after they were posted on lakingsinsider.com (a number that exceeds 400 as of this writing). What kind of a welcome will Murray be given Saturday?

“These fans, I’ve said that many times, we’ve got great fans. I know that,” Murray said. “They mean a lot to this hockey club. They’ve got a lot of energy and a lot of emotion to our games and have helped us through a lot of difficult times. The atmosphere in our building right from the middle of the year last year right through the playoffs has been incredible because of the fans.”

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.