This season: 46-27-9 record (2-4 in playoffs).
The good: Murray did what he does: coach teams to the playoffs. Nine of Murray’s 13 teams, since he became an NHL coach, have made the playoffs. This season, under Murray, the Kings improved by 12 wins and 22 points over last season, and by 14 wins and 30 points over Marc Crawford’s final season. The Kings’ top three scorers, and their No. 1 goalie, were all age 25 or younger, and Murray’s patient, even-keel demeanor has been credited for their success. The Kings finished the regular season with the league’s seventh most-successful power-play unit and made across-the-board improvements.
The bad: After weeks — if not months — of trying to downplay the question, Murray acknowledged after the season that he might have played Jonathan Quick too much. It’s not as though that cost the Kings a Stanley Cup, but did it cost them another round of the playoffs? Murray’s frequent, and oft-discussed, line changes aren’t really much different than those of any NHL coach, but did they send the wrong message down the stretch? Did players have enough confidence in themselves, given that the coach seemed to lack confidence in his line combinations?
Going forward: Murray has one season remaining on his contract, so it will be very interesting to see if he signs an extension this summer. If not, the pressure will be on, to get results, from the start of next season. Murray has taken one team to the Stanley Cup Finals, and two others to the conference finals, so he knows how to win in the playoffs, but expectations will be raised for the Kings going into next season.