In searching for ways to break the Kings out of their funk — 3-7 in their last 10, with all the losses in one-goal games — Terry Murray said he went to the video. Specifically, he looked at the first 22 games, a period in which the Kings averaged 3.0 goals per game, and tried to identify some differences. The Kings, by the way, have averaged 2.5 goals in their last 10 games.
What did Murray find?
MURRAY: “These losses have forced me to do some things in my own reviews. I went back yesterday and I watched games 1 through 22, O-zone play only, cycles. That’s a considerable length of time, but I got it done. There are certain things that really jump off the screen at you, when you’re able to go through those clips repetitively. Our video guy gets them all in order for me, and I can see a big difference in O-zone play, what we kind of got away from.
”The end result is, we’re getting some opportunities and we’re scoring some goals, but it came with better flow earlier. We had better puck-possession time. We were giving each other the support that was needed, with the pressure that you’re going to face in the D-zone coverage, and we created more off of little give-and-gos, driving to the net, and had a much more consistent net presence in those first 22 games. The reason I took 22 games is because that’s when Smytty got hurt. There was some lag stuff after that, obviously, but I didn’t go through that.
”So yesterday, when I reviewed the San Jose game, in the morning, I was thinking, `Wow, there’s just too much play that’s happening behind the net, below the goal line, and not enough from above.’ So that really got my attention. I spent time yesterday in the practice going back to things we talked about in the training camp, in the offensive-zone cycles, then followed it up today by pulling a whole lot of clips for the team meeting, the review. Again, we followed up with the practice, and we’ll continue to give that more of a push. It’s clear, and it really jumps out at you, and we’ve got to get back to it.”