December 18, 2010 2:30 pm

Murray keeps thought to himself

Asked to contrast his team’s last two efforts, in a 5-0 victory over Detroit and a 6-4 loss to St. Louis, Terry Murray started to speak, then closed his mouth into a tight grin. “I don’t want to use that term,” Murray said. “I was going to say something. I better not.” One wonders if the term was even printable… Immediately after the St. Louis game, Murray called it a “competitive” game, but in the last couple days he seems to have come along to what most believe, that it was simply a very poor effort by the Kings. It might not be out of line to say that the Kings took those two points for granted, and although Murray didn’t explicitly say that today, he did call out (in general) his veteran players for the need to bring focus and intensity from the start of the game…

MURRAY: “They were opposite ends of the spectrum, I guess the old cliche is. They were totally different, in our own execution. I don’t look at the other teams, necessarily, to evaluate it, but I do put our team under the microscope. Just the execution, the tempo, the mental connection that you have to have, going into every game, was way off in the St. Louis game. It’s hard to know the reason why. To me, a lot of that responsibility, that’s where, as a veteran player — and we’ve all been in there — you have to take a lot of that responsibility as a veteran player, to go out and set the tone and establish the game the way it’s supposed to be. And if you, as a veteran player, are failing to meet those challenges, it’s very difficult for young players to grab the ball and turn it around. So that’s what we have to be good at tonight. For the leadership group, the veterans in the locker room, it’s a matter of preparation and establishing the game plan from the very first seconds of the game, the first shifts of the game, with everybody on page and doing the right things.”

That said, Murray was asked by a local reporter about the possible frustration level of the Kings’ recent up-and-down play, and Murray took a more optimistic long-term view of things…

MURRAY: “There’s no frustration. We’ve got a very young hockey club, as a lot of these teams in the Western Conference do. You just keep pushing and demanding and asking and coaching and going through the repetitions in the practice, the review of the video to reinforce the good things, and with that kind of attention to the detail, your team will grow. The young guys will get better, day to day, and the team chemistry continues to build and you come out of things and you become a good team on the other side of it.”

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