Root, root, root for the home team

In discussing his hockey philosophy, Terry Murray often talked about having a “home-plate attitude.” Problem is, under Murray, the Kings never really figured out how to have a “win at home attitude,” and that’s a big reason why Murray is no longer coaching this team. This season, the Kings played 16 games at Staples Center under Murray — not counting the two “home” games in Europe — and went 7-8-1. They have played 18 games at home under Darryl Sutter, and have an 11-4-3 record. So, in terms of percentage of points earned, out of the possible, the Kings were .469 under Murray and are .694 under Sutter. How the Kings play at home, in their final five games, will go a long way toward determining whether there is playoff hockey at Staples Center, as the Kings host San Jose twice, plus St. Louis, Boston and Edmonton. Sutter has frequently mentioned the Kings’ home record as a primary reason why the team is still fighting to make the playoffs. Today, he was asked whether he saw anything particular, when he came on board, that would have indicated a problem at home.

SUTTER: “You’ve got to have an identity. Top teams have strong identities at home. In the big picture, if you’re .500, or just over .500, on the road, you’re a good team, but at home you better be a 70-, 80-percent deal (in winning percentage).”

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