February 9th, 2006, 10:15 AM #1
By Zeke Quezada
I feel like Bill Murray and this nightmarish day will never end.
The Kings have lost 7 straight and they are in a freefall that heads right out of the Western Conference playoff picture. While the Kings face two more opponents before the Olympic Break I wonder if their trip to Minnesota and Columbus drove the impending nail in the coffin.
Looking back to the 2003-2004 season the glaring similarities exist. The Kings needed possibly five wins to make it into the playoffs and in their last 13 games they had 1. With 11 straight loses to end the season they never came out ahead on the scoreboard that season. With the Kings headed toward the Olympic Break much of the same is happening today. The Kings are sitting at 65 points and they have not added much to that in 3 weeks. What is going wrong?
As the Columbus Blue Jackets sat back and watched the Kings skate in the first period I saw glimpses of the team that was dominant earlier in the year. Frolov, Demitra and Conroy were swarming the ice and controlling the puck in their end, Garon was making timely saves and the defense was preventing any serious meltdowns.
One period in two weeks and the Kings went back to giving up odd man rushes, forgetting to forecheck and giving up power play goals.
I now I ask, Is this the demise of Andy Murray? Murray obviously can get a group of guys to play together for short periods of time, but what happens? When you look down the bench at the team that has been delivered to this city and to this coach it makes you begin to question where the problems reside. Where does the buck stop?
In a few weeks Los Angeles King Fans will get the envelope with a request for playoff ticket deposits. When will the Kings front office pick up the phone and make a move that will give those envelopes credibility?
San Jose was struggling and they went out and stole Joe Thornton from a Boston team trying to make a change. Does Dave Taylor understand what it takes to get through a season with a team that has a legitimate chance at making a run for the cup? Does Taylor have the foresight to make a deal?
Hockey fans in Los Angeles, myself included, are nuts, we will continue to pay for a product that is consistently letting us down. Why we do it is beyond my scope of understanding for the simple reason that I am a hockey fanatic. But who is going to shake up the locker room?
As the Blue Jackets piled up goal after goal in the third period I felt the urge to laugh in disgust. This team that I was praising a couple of months ago has lost it. You can say injuries aided in the downfall but how long do we have to wait for the quality of the product to improve?
The hope is gone as the Kings are playing a roster of players that started the season. No savior is coming off the IR. There is no hot prospect waiting in Manchester for his shot at twenty goals in the last twenty games. There are some good players but they are not the saving grace this team needs.
The Kings play two games this coming weekend, Chicago and Dallas. If they cannot find a way to win it is possible that March 2 will be the first day of the end of the season. The team we all root for will be a seller as opposed to a buyer and all that talk about fiscal responsibility to field a better team will be just that, talk.
When will this nightmare end?
February 9th, 2006, 10:39 AM #2
bye bye Andy
When other teams face a a loosing streak like this one, it is usually the coach that gets the blunt....Andy has bypassed this a number of times and well, now, maybe, just maybe, it's time to look at his performance or lack thereof. Yes, the players can play better, and yes they need to step it up, but the question remains, can he motivate them or is he just the problem they need to get rid of.
February 9th, 2006, 11:15 AM #3
I think you're asking the right questions. Its a tired pattern: Start the season great (teasing us fans), then injuries hit and things fall apart. I know you can't fault the coach for injuries but sometimes you just need to make changes. In todays NHL specialty teams are the name of the game (unfortunately) and our performance on the PP and PK has been pitiful. That you can blame on the coaches. I think our blueliners have been the main problem. Not enough guys takin hits to make plays (Except Norstrom and future captain Tim Gleason). I'm not sure how much time Andy Murray should be given to right this ship. But if he goes, I say you bring back Barry Melrose (polar opposite of Murray) as head coach. Bring in Jari Kurri to run our special teams. Then deprive Fox Sports West of Marty McSorely to run the defensemen. Problem solved.
February 9th, 2006, 11:53 AM #4
First, I dont post much but have seen this site go through various changes from Osprey to Dancing Boy going nuts.... so please dont roast me too much!
Originally Posted by rinkrat
Obviously everyone who loves and supports the Kings are hurting, emotionally,spiritually and even physically. A few walls and doors have been dented in the last couple of weeks while watching the Kings recent play. Is this team mentally exhausted? I believe so and here why.
I've been supporting AM since he began with the Kings, hes what hockey used to be to fans, with accessibility, as my daughter can attest as we got several pictures with him, spoken to him, and I even walked with him after a Kings game as he was escorting a family friend back to his hotel that came into town, likable quality almost like older dad or grandpa but maybe not the qualities modern player can sustain for 82 games.
Olympics maybe or tournament play when the schedule isnt so long and exhausting but 82 games of constantly putting your feet to the fire for every shift every play... not in this era of sports athletes. The players will not tolerate it. Like I said, maybe short tournament play with "X" and "O" type of coaching that can teach players on a short stints but most NHL'ers with long schedule can get tired of this type of coaching. Maybe thats why the younger prospect cling on to AM more so than vets for that reason. They are like sponges, absorbing all that knowledge that he does bring. While veteran players come to the team with set ways that could be set aside for awhile but eventually old habits come back.
AM does have enough but I think he will not succeed with this team. He does have talent on the team, maybe not as much as we would like but enough were we could a win a game or two every 4 games.
I remember mentioning to my wife about the AM speech before the Kings game against the Ducks that AM threaten and was no way a motivator that could continue to the playoffs..... its the part of telecast were Bob Miller sends us to the locker room for the AM pep speech before the game. He starts by saying " they are going to come in here and play physical against us, but we need to set a tone early and outplay them in that catergory. I want everyone stepping up the physical game and if you cant bring that physical game then you won't be playing here" not exact but more so.... sorry no link. If this is typical speeches AM gives the players then maybe the players have completely tuned AM off because hes never happy with the effort or the execution or whatever he might be pissed about.
Its only my opinion and yes I dont have M.D. or other creditials to back me up but this team might be tired of the constant pressure thus mental exhaustion.
Don't get me wrong, I love this team, Andy Murray and will continue to love this team with or without AM but if this team proves me wrong.... I will be the happiest person on this board. I will not threaten to leave the boards or instantly become a Ducks fan... but I will continue support our team.
Thanks RR for letting me vent,rant and able to let my feelings know and saving me the cost of seeing a therapist . Damn, I feel much better.
February 9th, 2006, 12:08 PM #5
I couldn't agree with you more. We always to come out strong in the first period, and then stay in the locker room for the remaining two periods. It seems other teams can adjust after the first period, but we cannot. There seems to be no passion, no desire and no motivation to win.
We need a shakeup and a wake up call to the coaching staff and the players. Someone needs to be accountable. Someones head needs to roll.
February 9th, 2006, 12:26 PM #6
Absolutely great dialogue here.........i'm feeling the same way........hope it changes
February 9th, 2006, 12:27 PM #7
Waiver Wire Pick-up
I think you more clearly articulated what most "non-supportive" AM fans have been saying all along, except they've used words like.....High School Coach, Rah Rah guy, "buy into my system" guy...
February 9th, 2006, 12:35 PM #8
Rinkrat, there's only one thing (I agree with most everything else you said) I would point out to you from your post.
Originally Posted by rinkrat
If the Conroy line had been playing as you seem to think, we might have had a chance inspite of the lack of good coaching. In fact, the best line in the first period was the line of Belanger, Brown and Kostopoulos, all of whom combined for the first 2 goals of the game.
The problem is that our coach can not tell the difference between those players who are effective in the course of the game and those whose only reason for being on the ice is their reputation.
I'll bite my tongue once again and hold back. Enough said.
February 9th, 2006, 01:23 PM #9
Waiver Wire Pick-up
Time for A Change
I don't care what happens but something needs to happen, with the Olympic freeze just a day away we probably won't be able to do any player transactions but this would be the perfect time to shake things up behind the bench to let the players know that it is time to play the way they were playing or they could be next to go. In my eyes there are only a few untouchables (Norstrom, Brown, Frolov, Gleason) among a few others but everyone else should be tradable.
February 9th, 2006, 01:44 PM #10
I agree about the dialogue and I also feel the same. As for a change, I'm a little pesimistic. AEG does not seem to understand hockey. If there is to be change it must start at the top and it can't be the stop-gap measures that have been used in the past.
Originally Posted by PUCKBOY25