Second thoughts?

Yesterday, when I asked Terry Murray for his thoughts on the way his team defended Alex Ovechkin, Murray was almost effusive with his praise for his defensemen and the way they handled Ovechkin. Today, when asked what he liked about the Washington game, Murray — as you can read below — didn’t sound like a very happy coach at all.

Why the turnaround? Well, for one, the question was slightly different, but in general, one thought came to my mind: Pittsburgh. The last time the Kings beat a highly regarded Eastern Conference team was on Nov. 5, when they beat Pittsburgh 5-2. How did they respond? With one of their worst efforts of the season two days later in a loss to Nashville. Is Terry Murray mindful of a similar letdown? Perhaps, although you wouldn’t think that a game against San Jose would require extra motivation. Regardless, here’s what Murray said today when asked what he liked about the win over Washington…

MURRAY: “Number one, we won the game 2-1. Number two, I loved Jonathan Quick and his game. He was outstanding. Outside of that, we need to be a lot better in front of our goaltending. Our execution was, at times, sloppy. There were a dozen shots against in the second period that Washington had, and I think at least 10 came right off our sticks, with breakouts or plays through the middle of the ice. So that has to get cleaned up. You’ll never get through a second opportunity, second game, playing that kind of way with the puck management. It’s got to be much better tonight.”

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