Anatomy of a third period
What happened in the third period last night, when the Kings let a three-goal lead slip away and to rally with two late goals? In Terry Murray’s view, the Kings lost some aggression when they got the big lead, and today, Murray took some of the responsibility on himself…
MURRAY: “I thought we came out with a `let’s protect the lead’ attitude, rather than staying aggressive and keep playing the same game. I’ve got to take some of the responsibility on that. At the end of the second period, we talked about our neutral-zone forecheck. They kept pulling the puck back, deep into the dots in their circles. You don’t want to get spread out, to where they’re able to make a couple passes and generate speed through the middle of the ice and catch everyone flat-footed. So we asked our F1 (forward) to pull back a little bit, five or six feet inside of the blue line, and let more of a compact look, line-change look, come at us.
“To me, it seemed like the reaction was that, `OK, we’ve got to be cautious in all areas of the ice now.’ Now it becomes a 4-3 game, and I like what we did in the next couple shifts. We came out and really did some good things with Zeus’ line and Kopi’s line. They had good offensive-zone time and got some opportunities. But to me, that’s the area of concern, and what we addressed in our team meeting today, that our mindset has to stay with that same, `Let’s go pressure the puck’ attitude.”