Fixing the problems - LA Kings Insider

After today’s practice, Terry Murray got asked the simple question, “What changed?” After a 12-3-0 start, the Kings are 1-5-0 in their last six. At different points during the slide, fingers could be pointed in every direction — defensive-zone coverage, goalies, power play, offensive production, penalty kill, etc. — but is there an overriding theme? Murray was asked for his thoughts today, after a day off yesterday for some reflection…

MURRAY: “Boy, I’ve beaten that around a lot. If I had that answer, I could sell it for a lot of money. Everything is so competitive now in the game, so close. Parity is the word that everybody uses, but it’s the right word. I think we’ve lost a little bit of our momentum. We had extended breaks (in the schedule) there, and it just gets away. To me, right now, with some of that momentum (lost), and a couple key, veteran players standing on the sidelines and watching, that’s sometimes all it takes. That’s not an excuse, but I’m looking for reasons why, and I do come to that as part of it. I do also think that our play at the start was really good, and the intensity level was something that you’re not going to be able to maintain over an extended period of time. There’s going to be a down side to the curve, and you’ve got to work through it and get it back on the upside.”

Murray also got into more specifics about the past few games, in terms of what he liked and what he didn’t like…

MURRAY: “We want to get out of this little hole that we’re in right now. The results are not what you want. You’re always looking for a win. Out of the games that I’m looking at, starting with the San Jose game, I was not happy or pleased with the way we played in San Jose, but other games, when we go through it, we played pretty good. There are goals that are being scored against us that are critical goals, obviously, but (against) Columbus, we’re in good shape going into the third period, we’re playing well and we end up losing. Again, I can go through each one of those games. In Buffalo, in Ottawa, we’re outshooting, outplaying, and giving up those goals at critical times. Montreal, we weren’t as effective as what we would have liked to have been. I think our puck management was really off-page there.

“So, in saying all of that, my view of it is that we’re not off-page by that much. It’s the importance of one play, two plays, the passing of the puck better, the management of the puck a little bit better. Structurally, when I go back through all of the situations, in games, we’re in pretty good position, system-wise. We’ve got to be harder in both ends. Part of the practice you saw today was D-zone net play. I think the same applies to the offensive zone. We can hang out a while longer, have a little more of a dig-in attitude to find those loose pucks, to screen goaltenders. But we’re not off that far. We need to relax, go out and play, enjoy the game and get it back on track. We have to earn the right, obviously. We have to work to get it back on page, work harder and work smarter, but we’re close.”

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Jake Muzzin

#6 | 6′ 3″ | 216 lb | Age: 27

Born: Feb 21, 1989
Birthplace: Woodstock, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Left


Muzzin was drafted in 2007 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, before signing to the Kings in 2010. He has since become the first Woodstock, Ontario professional athlete to win a major sports trophy.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.