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December 31, 2010 3:20 pm

Rough week for Kings’ goalies

The Kings made it through 39 regular-season games, dating to last season, without pulling their starting goaltender from the game. It has now happened twice in the last two games. First, Jonathan Quick was pulled in the second period of Wednesday’s loss to Phoenix, after he allowed six goals on 24 shots. Then, Jonathan Bernier was pulled in the second period of Thursday’s loss to Philadelphia, after he allowed six goals on 22 shots.

Depending on the coach, and the feel of the game, the pulling-the-goalie act can be read two different ways. It’s either a direct repudiation of the goalie, based on his play, or it’s symbolic of the coach’s dissatisfaction with the entire team. Often, it’s intended to shame the goalie’s teammates by displaying how they let the goalie down. After practice today, Terry Murray was asked how much of the blame he put on the goalies for the last two efforts…

MURRAY: “Everybody has got to take on their share of the load, the responsibility. It is a team thing. It just comes down to giving good players an opportunity to make plays. Our spacing was not very good. Our reads were hesitant. I don’t know if they were in awe of some of those players that were on the Flyers team. They’ve got some good forwards, and if you get to standing around and looking and seeing what they’re going to do, it’s now too late. I think we fell into a little bit of those categories last night.”

Question: Do you have a general philosophy on that? Some coaches do it mostly to send a statement to the team…

MURRAY: “Usually, it’s more that, than (being) not happy with the goaltender. You’re just trying to get something changed up. That’s why you change lines and you change D pairs. Pucks are going in, and it’s guys standing in the shooting areas, wide open, and they’re picking top corners. Then you’re trying to get the attention of the team, rather than saying (to the goalie), `It’s your responsibility. You should be giving us grade-A saves, time after time.’ That’s the case in the last two games. We’ve just got to be more aware of our game in front of the goaltenders. Then, on the other side of it, the goaltenders take on their share of it too. There are times when they have to make great saves. Maybe that just didn’t happen in the last couple games.”’

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