Saturday, December 31, 2011

Quotes from the Vancouver locker room after 4-1 loss to LA

New Years Eve had not been kind to the Los Angeles Kings, who had an all-time record of 5-8-3 on the usually festive night. Curiously, they had only hosted one of those games. Back in 1991 - at their former home, the Forum in Inglewood - the Kings led 3-0 entering the third period and then watched their opponent score five unanswered goals on goalie Daniel Berthiaume. Who did they play that night? The Vancouver Canucks.

So, it may have taken 20 years for the rematch, but it finally happened last night in downtown LA. The results weren't nearly the same. Vancouver scored the first goal of the game, then it was all Kings. They out shot the Canucks 33-28 and scored the next four goals of the game.

Afterwards, here's what head coach Alain Vigneault and team captain Henrik Sedin had to say...

Vigneault on the overall game - "I think you have to give LA a lot of credit. Both teams had basically the same schedule here for the last little while, but they seemed to have more jump and more energy and obviously better execution than we had tonight. They deserved to win. We tried to make a push in the second [period]. We had that four-minute power play that could have been a turning point in the game and we didn’t generate much. After that, they pretty much made it 3-1 and it was real tough coming back."

Quotes from LA locker room after big New Year's Eve win

It may have taken 20 years, but the Kings have finally exercised the demons of their only other home game played on New Year's Eve.

On that fateful night back at the Forum in 1991, then-goalie Daniel Berthiaume gave up five unanswered goals to the Vancouver Canucks in the third period - resulting in a 5-3 loss. This time around, the Kings flipped the script. They gave up the first goal of the game and then followed with markers of their own by Brad Richardson, Matt Greene, Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams.

The Kings are now 4-0-2 under coach Darryl Sutter and after things were over, here's what he and a few stars of the night had to say...

Sutter on the overall game - "We’ve been playing pretty good. If you get a chance like the Chicago game or the Winnipeg game there are a lot of steps that we’ve tried to make and tonight there was contribution from different guys which was really good."

Sutter on Kopitar - "He scored a big goal and that makes him feel good again. He’s been struggling with scoring but he’s getting a lot of shots and that’s what we’ve been trying to re-enforce, keep shooting. We had two or three of those plays. Mike Richards had that same type of play. I thought [Jarret] Stoll’s line had a lot of those opportunities, too, and the kid’s, [Andrei] Loktionov’s line. They’re all good."

Greene on the overall game - "We’ve been having success on all four lines. That’s what we did. We got a big goal out of our third line tonight and that’s what it takes sometimes…They score and then we get one right away. That’s a confidence boost knowing that they’re not going to push us back and we’re going to keep going."

Canucks at Kings NYE primer with Doughty, Johnson, Stoll

Vancouver come to town tonight with a 15-3-1 record in their last 19 games. LA's home team has gone 3-0-2 in the Sutter Era and is looking to continue their climb back up the Western Conference standings.

The Canucks are a team that have given the Kings fits at times recently, including bouncing them from the playoffs two years ago. In their only other meeting this season, the Canucks beat the Kings 3-2 at Staples Center - in a game Drew Doughty scored a goal.

The talented defenseman has had his own challenges with the Canucks, posting a minus-9 rating against them since entering the league in 2008 (his worst against any team in the league) and has picked up 34 penalty minutes in those games (more than double his total against every team other than Anaheim...plus, if you take out the 10 minute misconduct assessed to him last March vs. the Canucks, the 24 minutes are still more than he has vs. any other team).

With a look ahead to tonight's action, here are some exclusive pre-game comments from Doughty, Jack Johnson and Jarret Stoll...

Doughty on the Canucks - "It's going to be a fun game. Every time we play Vancouver all the guys are really pumped for the game. As a team, we had a hard battle with them in the playoffs a couple of years ago. We're still disappointed about that loss. So, I think it's going to be a hard fought game with lots of checking and lots of chirping."

Jarret Stoll on his new linemates and their effectiveness

Center Jarret Stoll has been matched with just about every forward on the roster so far this season, except Anze Kopitar. He's seen duty at center, wing, on the second and third lines, and everywhere in between.

Lately though, he's had consistent linemates in Dustin Penner and Justin Williams. Here's what he had to say about things when asked about the line coach Darryl Sutter has kept together since taking over five games ago...

"It's been good. I think we have some chemistry going. Very few times we're in our own zone playing d-zone coverage. And that's what you want, you want to play the game in the offensive zone and try to create scoring chances and be buzzing, be hitting, getting loose pucks. I think we've been doing a good job at that. We just have to bare down a little bit more around the net and maybe get more shots. You can cycle all you want or try to control the puck down there all you want. But, if you don't get shots, it's really for not. That's probably what we have to be better at."

As for the match-up with Vancouver tonight - in 14 career games vs the Canucks, Williams has four goals...nine goals in 39 games for Stoll...and six goals in 32 games from Penner.

For more recent player quotes, please check the links below.


The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL
www.facebook.com/MayorsManor 

RELATED ARTICLES:

What are coach Sutter and Drew Doughty talking about on the bench?

Doughty and Stoll try explaining the 'love tap' goal celebration - includes video

Coach Sutter clarifies his plans for the Kings assistant coaches in 2012

What are Sutter and Doughty talking about on the bench?

In the period leading up to Darryl Sutter being hired as the new Kings coach many were talking about his aggressive, heavy handed approach.  Yet, GM Dean Lombardi tried telling anybody who would listen at the team's press conference last week, 'He's not a raving lunatic.' In fact, to date, we haven't seen much of the yelling and screaming that was so frequently advertised ahead of time.

One thing that has been noticeable though is his penchant for grabbing players on the bench. He practically yanked Jonathan Bernier right out of his skates following his first game behind the bench. Then, more recently, he's been seen talking up Drew Doughty quite a bit.

So, what was he saying to the young defenseman during the game in Winnipeg?

"Just reinforcing what we're trying to do," said Sutter. "The skill set he has is pretty unique. So, getting him to maximize it. He was playing a lot of minutes. He played more last night than he did the night before. So we want to keep him mentally right there, every shift."

When asked if he liked what he was seeing from Doughty vs. the Jets - compared to the four previous games - Sutter simply remarked, "He played 26 minutes." Implying that if he had a problem with Doughty's game, he wouldn't have given him so much ice time.

Turning to Doughty now, here's what he had to say about Sutter's in-game chats on the bench...

"He's always just trying to help. He's never negative and if it is a negative thing that happened in the game, he's telling you 'If you do it right, you're going to dominate that guy.' So, it's always a negative with a positive from him, which is a great thing. He really knows his game and he just wants you working hard. If you're doing that, he's not going to have any problems with you."

Well, the talks certainly are working. Coming into the last game, Doughty had six points in the previous five - and the five game points streak was the longest of his career.

Later today, Doughty will be back to help us preview tonight's game vs. the Vancouver Canucks.


The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL
www.facebook.com/MayorsManor 

Coach Sutter offers early reviews of Lewis and Loktionov

Much of the Kings roster came into the season with defined roles, both on defense and offense. Two players still searching to find their niche are forwards Trevor Lewis and Andrei Loktionov.

Lewis has benched for a large portion of coach Terry Murray's final month with the Kings and in 28 games played this year he's posted zero goals and one assist. Primarily used as a defensive forward last year, the Kings were hoping for more offense from the former first round draft pick this season.

Loktionov is also scoreless in 17 games played since his recall from Manchester in mid-November. On several occasions, it's appeared that the talented Russian was hours from being returned to the AHL, only to some how find another lifeline to stay in the NHL.

After practice yesterday, coach Darryl Sutter offered some impressions on both players after five games behind the bench...

Has there been a player that's caught your eye so far? - "The player I didn't really know much about is Trevor Lewis. I'm trying to show lots of confidence in him. I know he's, obviously, struggling to score - with a goose egg, right? He has a good enough skill set. I'm impressed with his attitude. How come he hasn't scored? I don't know. I think he gives us a speed dimension. I see guys like Vancouver, players like (Jannik) Hansen and kids like that. There's similarities. He just needs to do all those things and then chip some in for us."

Friday, December 30, 2011

Kings coach Darryl Sutter clarifies his plans for asst coaches

At Darryl Sutter's initial press conference with the LA media most of the statements were pretty standard fare. It was about what you'd expect for a new coach being brought in to take over a struggling team.

The obvious highlight was Sutter ending his speaking portion at the podium by flashing double peace signs (pictured here). And there was one other little tidbit that caught the attention of several in the crowd. When asked about his plan for the assistant coaches, Sutter said John Stevens had done an awesome job helping the team through the transition and he knew goaltending coach Bill Ranford from the past. He also said Jamie Kompon did a lot of work in the locker room.

Then, came this - "We just want to focus on - especially being so close to the holidays - I just want to focus on this group. That’s the best way to put it. I’m satisfied. I’m good. Those guys are familiar with the team and that really helps."

Being so close to the holidays?

Hall of Fame writer Helene Elliott of the LA Times was even tweeting about that quote as recently as last night, following the game in Winnipeg.

Doughty and Stoll comment on the love tap celebration

If you were watching closely during Wednesday's game in Chicago, Drew Doughty was very excited when Jarret Stoll scored to put the Kings up 2-0 early in the third period.

For those who missed the celebration, here's a short clip, followed by some reaction from both when asked about it after practice today.


Stoll - "I haven't seen the video yet, to be honest with you. Obviously, I didn't even realize it at the time. It must not have been that good (laughter ensues for all around). I need to take a look at it, I think. He told me about it and I said, 'Really? I didn't even realize it.' I was just too happy that we finally scored a goal."

Doughty - "It wasn't pre-planned. It was just spur-of-the-moment. I don't know what I was thinking. It just kind of happened, I guess. There's nothing behind the scenes. I was just excited that we got the second goal. I don't know why I did it, probably won't do it again though."

So what happens if Stoll gets a hat trick some time soon?

Doughty - "Well then I guess I, ah..."

Several of his teammates began chiming in with lots of laughter and stuff that doesn't need to be printed.

Let's just say, your parents were right - boys will be boys.


The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL
www.facebook.com/MayorsManor

Johnson and Sutter talk LA power play and goaltending

LA Kings - Jack Johnson (photo by Dimur)
The Kings lost 1-0 to the Jets in overtime last night, on a goal by Evander Kane. Earlier in the game, Winnipeg's young forward had tried starting a fight with LA defenseman Jack Johnson after taking umbrage with a hit put on teammate Blake Wheeler. Not much happened though and both guys ended up in the penalty box, with Kane getting an extra two minutes.

In 23:34 of total ice time - second only to Drew Doughty among all players in the game - Johnson finished the night with one shot on goal, two hits and two blocked shots.

After things were over, he shared these thoughts...

On the overall game - "Our goalie played a phenomenal game. But, at the end of the day, it doesn't matter how well he plays - if we can't score a goal, we're in trouble. I thought it was a pretty hard fought game. When teams play the way they do today, it's a bounce here or there that can win or lose you a hockey game."

On both teams killing off a 5-on-3 power play - "It cost us the game, you can say that. We had plenty of chances throughout the game to score. But, that was huge for both teams. They had one fairly late in the game, which could have won it for them. There were plenty of chances for both teams though."

On any regrets from the loss - "We regret not scoring. We don't hang our heads though, it was a hard fought game. Looking back, we took three out of four points on the road. So, it was pretty good. If we can take three out of four on the road every time, that's a pretty good season."

Quotes from Winnipeg locker room after def LA 1-0 in OT

Kings at Jets (photo courtesy of LA Kings)
In their first trip back to the 'Peg in 15 years, the Kings topped the Jets 31-27 in shots on goal. However, the home team had the edge in hits (28-26), blocked shots (24-12) and the all important scoreboard. It may have taken overtime to do it, but they finally downed the Kings 1-0 on a goal by Evander Kane.

After all the high-fives on the ice, here's what the Jets were saying back in the dressing room...

Kane on his scrap with Jack Johnson - "Guys are going to stick up for each other and I'm no different...I know (Blake Wheeler) was trying to hit him in front. He was kind of coming this way and I thought the contact was made before the puck even got to him. I didn't like the hit. Obviously, it was a big hit. So, I wanted to get in there and stand up for him."

Goalie Chris Mason on the overall game - "It definitely felt like one goal would be the difference tonight, with the way we were playing and the way they played as well. We kind of figured it would be a low scoring game. With them coming in (having played last night), they didn't play as tired as I thought they would."

Mason on the Kings' toughness - "I thought we did well. We know their game is puck possession. They get the puck down low and protect it. Their big guys have skill too. So, we knew it would be similar to the big line against Anaheim. They're tough to defend. But, I thought for the most part, we did a great job."

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Remembering Winnipeg and Wayne Gretzky's last game with the LA Kings

For several years in the mid 90's it seemed like the Kings were on a 'Closing Down the Arena' tour, as they made their final visits to old Chicago Stadium, Boston Garden, Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, the Capital Centre just outside Washington DC and several others.

However, it was their second-to-last skate around the ice at Winnipeg Arena in February 1996 that ended up meaning much more than what was originally intended. Coming at the end of a four game jaunt that went from Edmonton to Colorado then St. Louis, the Kings finally arrived in Manitoba on February 25th - having gone 0-2-1 on the trip. To say it was the worst of times wouldn't be much of a stretch, as the Kings had only won one game in 12 tries during the month of February.

Before we get to the events that unfolded in the next 48 hours though, let's take a quick look back at the beginning of the trip. I was on hand for the games in Canada and attended the Kings practices as well.

While the score in Edmonton was 7-2, these weren't the Oilers of old. Ryan Smyth was in his rookie season and goalie Bill Ranford had just been traded to the Boston Bruins the month prior.

The Oilers' seven goals that night came from seven different players - Zdeno Ciger, Mariusz Czerkawski, Greg de Vries, Donald Dufresne, Ralph Intranuovo, Todd Marchant and some guy named Doug Weight (one of the best American born players of his generation). On the receiving end of every one was Kings goalie Kelly Hrudey.

Down at the other end, Oilers netminder Curtis Joseph gave up goals to Vitali Yachmenev and, of course, Wayne Gretzky.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

WJC 2012: Kings prospects face-off on TV today at noon

The 2012 World Junior Championship is underway in Alberta, Canada. The top tournament for under-20 year old hockey players kicked off Monday with wins by Team USA and Canada.

Today, both teams are back in action again - with the U.S. facing Finland and Canada squaring off with the Czech Republic.

Of note, the US/Finland game will feature three LA Kings prospects. In the red, white and blue will be the Kings two tallest defensive prospects - Derek Forbort (6-foot-5, from the University of North Dakota, first round selection at the 2010 NHL Draft) and Kevin Gravel (6-foot-4, from St. Cloud State University, fifth round 2010 NHL Draft).

They could be shooting pucks at Christopher Gibson (2011 draft pick out of the QMJHL), as Team Finland hasn't announced their starter yet. He was in goal on Monday for all eight of Canada's goals. It wasn't pretty. In fact, it was so bad the announcers were using expressions like 'post traumatic stress disorder' and 'under siege' when talking about Gibson's day.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Why Andrei Loktionov needs to be sent to Manchester

Before all the Loktionov lovers lose their mind, relax.

If you've heard any of my recent radio/podcast interviews, the kid has talent. He's still young, he'll be fine. The Kings thought the cake might be done, they pulled it out of the oven, had a bite and it's not fully cooked yet. Put it back in the oven for a little longer (in Manchester) and everything will be just fine.

At the end of last season and over the summer, Loktionov talked of only wanting to play center, he felt more comfortable there. Then, when he was called up this year, he was put on the left wing - because that was the need at the time. Everybody tried to put a smile on and power through it. Fact is, it didn't work. The same issues from last season were still there.

A few weeks later he found himself at center when Mike Richards went down and that should have been his chance to shine. It didn't happen. Fifteen games into his call-up he has no goals and two assists to show for it. Don't buy into the 'he's not being used properly' line of thinking. Good players make things happen when given the ice time. He hasn't done that by any stretch of the imagination.

The only reason he's still with the Kings right now is because of the NHL's holiday trade freeze. When Richards came off of IR last week, the team should have needed to make a corresponding roster move to make room for him. Yet, the freeze allowed them to carry an extra player through today.

But, as timing would have it, with the injury to Simon Gagne last night, the Kings might not need to make a roster move today - other than putting #12 on IR.

Quotes from the Coyotes locker room after 4-3 loss to LA

The Phoenix Coyotes brought a collection of former Kings with them to Staples Center last night - including coach Dave Tippett, goalie Jason LaBarbera and forward Patrick O'Sullivan. However, LA outshot them 35-29, out-hit them 28-25, won more faceoffs, killed every Coyotes penalty, chased LaBarbera early in the third period and won the game 4-3.

Afterwards, coach Tippett had this to say about the overall game...

"I thought we hung in there. We wanted to make sure we competed hard and give ourselves the best chance of winning. We were hanging around the whole game right to the end. There were a couple of goals that LaBarbera would like to have back, but those are tough to overcome."

On back-up goalie Curtis McElhinney’s relief effort, Tippet said - "I thought he played very well. He made a couple good saves and then he got lucky on a couple posts so we just took a chance to see if we could change the momentum there. We competed hard tonight and you always want results without a doubt. They had some guys really play well tonight. We have to keep that attitude and try to win a big game at home."

If there was one positive for Phoenix, it had to be the play of Raffi Torres. On his two goal performance, Tipped said - "He made a couple good plays on breakaways to score. With our lineup the way it is we need people to contribute throughout and he gave us a couple good goals tonight."

Monday, December 26, 2011

Captain Dustin Brown on LA's effort - 'That’s what it’s going to take'

We already posted postgame comments from LA coach Darryl Sutter and defenseman Rob Scuderi following the Kings 4-3 win over the visiting Phoenix Coyotes.

Now, we turn to team captain Dustin Brown, who recorded his fifth game-winning goal of the season in tonight's victory. He now has five points in the last six games (four goals, one assist). Also, his four shots on goal, four hits and plus-3 rating tied him for the team lead in all three categories tonight. Here's what he had to say after the game...

On the overall play - "For our team to be successful it’s about work. We didn’t have our best second [period]. We came out and rebounded with a really good third [period], the work ethic was there and we found the back of the net twice. At the end of the day, that team was two points ahead of us and it was a huge two points for us to get at home."

On the Kings offensive outburst tonight - "That’s what it’s going to take. We are going to have to have scoring from the back end. Tonight we had a lot of shots. We had some grade-A scoring chances that didn’t go in the net. I know we probably hit three or four posts. We’ve been getting more shots on goal and keep saying 'keep shooting the puck, it will eventually go in' and tonight they started going in. I think if we can continue that mentality, you are going to see us score more goals. Last week we had three 40 shot games and two goals—I don’t think that is going to happen if we can consistently put up 30-35 shots."

More up in the morning.


The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL
www.facebook.com/MayorsManor 

RELATED ARTICLES:

Postgame comments from coach Darryl Sutter and defenseman Rob Scuderi

Shop MMAOverload.com Today!

LA 4, Phx 3: Quotes from coach Sutter's postgame presser

Here are the first batch of quotes from coach Darryl Sutter's postgame presser, following the Kings 4-3 win over the Coyotes...

On the overall game - "It’s nice to see a ‘W’ up there…I want to over-emphasize the importance of producing more offense to win hockey games…We had a good first period. We’ve been trying to talk about that, good first periods. Then I think they [Phoenix] made the push in the second, and we didn’t match it, and then we got it back in the third."

On the Kings defense providing much of the offense - "[They were] holding their line. [They had] patience at the blue line instead of being over aggressive and forcing offense. Good play down low. I thought the first period we did a really good job of that down low and going low to high."

Defenseman Rob Scuderi, who scored the team's first goal of the night, added the following comments...

Three LA Kings prospects featured in two TV games today

The World Junior Championship kicks off today in Alberta, Canada. For those unfamiliar, it's the top tournament on the planet featuring under-20 year old hockey players. Last year, Russia came back from a several goal deficit in the third period to top Canada for the gold medal. And Team USA defeated Sweden 4-2 for the bronze medal.

While many of the Kings current roster has participated in past tournaments - including Drew Doughty, Jack Johnson and Mike Richards - it was some of their top prospects who won gold, silver and bronze medals at the WJC.

Brayden Schenn of Team Canada was traded to Philadelphia over the summer for Richards. Maxim Kitsyn is back home playing in Russia. Yet, Derek Forbort of Team USA has returned for a second year.

Here's a quick overview of the three LA Kings prospects in this year's tournament...

USA - Derek Forbort, defenseman, University of North Dakota, first round selection 2010 NHL Draft

USA - Kevin Gravel, defenseman, St. Cloud St. University, fifth round selection 2010 NHL Draft

Finland - Christopher Gibson, Chicoutimi Sagueneens (QMJHL), second round selection 2011 NHL Draft

Saturday, December 24, 2011

VIDEO: Bob Miller on the Kings vs Sharks rivalry

Another game, another night with minimal offense. The Kings and Sharks skated to a 1-1 tie through the first 60 minutes of action last night in San Jose. Neither side scored in overtime, however the Sharks won via the shootout after four Kings players couldn't find a way to put one past Antti Niemi.

The Kings are 1-0-1 in the Darryl Sutter era.

Yesterday afternoon, Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Miller spoke with Dan Rusanowsky of the Sharks about the San Jose vs. Los Angeles rivalry...


The Kings return to the ice for a morning skate on Monday at 10am, followed by a game that night vs. the Phoenix Coyotes. It will be another 7pm start at Staples Center.

Happy holidays!


The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL
www.facebook.com/MayorsManor

RELATED ARTICLES:

Kings v Sharks - pregame primer with Marty McSorley

MayorsManor interview with Bob Miller

Kings v Sharks - pregame primer with San Jose captain Joe Thornton

MayorsManor interview with Sharks captain Rob Blake

POTY - Darryl Sutter ends his first press conference with double peace sign

Doughty on the Sharks - his memories and concerns

Shop MMAOverload.com Today!

Friday, December 23, 2011

POTY - Darryl Sutter ends presser with double peace sign

The first half of Wednesday's press conference to announce Darryl Sutter as the new Kings' coach was largely uneventful. Just your normal, run-of-the-mill presser. Most people in the room were waiting to talk to GM Dean Lombardi once things were over - as he's always good for a good quote or a hundred.

Then, Sutter decided to steal the show with what may be the off-ice moment of the year. He ended things by throwing up double peace signs...


To watch the entire thing unfold in real time, click here to view (thanks to Kings Vision).

To read quotes from Lombardi after the presser - where he talks about Sutter as a GM, comparisons to the Boston Red Sox, the Kings players using injuries as an excuse this season, expectations moving forward, the Red Wings almost trading Steve Yzerman and so much more - click here.


The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL
www.facebook.com/MayorsManor

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Dustin Brown on what the Kings used to win tonight

Dustin Brown's last two games have perhaps been his best back-to-back performances this season. He played over 22 minutes in tonight's game, second only to Anze Kopitar among the forwards, and - like on Monday vs. Toronto - he scored a goal in regulation and added one in the shootout as well.

He now has four points in the last four games (three goals, one assist) and his six hits led the team tonight vs. the Ducks. That also gives him 37 hits in the last seven games. For good measure, he also led all players in the game with five shots on goal.

Back in the dressing room, following the Kings 3-2 win, he had this to say...

On the overall game - "Right now it’s about getting points. That’s the most important. Secondly, we’re starting to put good games together...you look at the stats like O[ffense} zone time, you’re starting to see guys hold onto the puck more. That’s two fold. When you’re spending more time in their zone it wears them down a little over the course of the game. At the end of the day, it keeps our defense pretty rested. We have some guys back there that play big minutes. When they can catch a breather for two or three minutes in a row while we're cycling and working hard, it pays dividends for those guys."

On the shootout - "I’ve been struggling the last year and a half on my shootouts, so I’ve just been working on it a little more, simplifying my moves...I was going to go exactly where Stolly [Jarret Stoll] went and I felt like he [Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller] was shading that side of the net so I just switched it up at the last second there."

On his goal in regulation - "It might not have looked like much, but the pass that Kopi gave me, I don't know if a lot of guys can do that. It's a three foot pass that goes a foot in the air and lands flat. I just got into position to shoot and he put it in the right spot."

Quotes from the Ducks locker room after 3-2 loss to LA

Although it's tough to call a game in December a big win, tonight was about as big of a win as the Kings have had all season. They wanted to start off the Darryl Sutter era with a win and they did just that, downing the Ducks 3-2 in a shootout.

Anaheim hasn't won on the road since October and after the game, both coach Bruce Boudreau and captain Ryan Getzlaf seemed to be looking for moral victories in tonight's loss...

Boudreau on the overall game - "I thought for sure when we got that power play in the overtime that it was going to happen. It didn’t. Then they got it and I thought ‘uh-oh, this is what usually happens’ and then when we killed that off I thought ‘I don’t care, we are going to win it in the shootout.’ I mean, the shootout is a crapshoot—anything can happen with it. Overall, I hate to keep saying it, but I thought we played pretty solid. The difference between winning and losing is sometimes just the attitude and believing that you are going to win or believing you are going to lose."

Boudreau on the Ducks power play - "The play we drew it up there was the first one and it was a near miss. What I couldn’t understand is why they didn’t go back and try it again because they play was open and it was there and you have options off it but I’ll talk to the guys and we’ll see the day after Christmas."

10 Tidbits from coach Darryl Sutter's pregame presser

Tonight marks game one of the Sutter-era with the LA Kings.

Following the team's traditional morning skate at their practice facility in El Segundo, the newly appointed coach shared some thoughts. Here are 10 tidbits from his morning debriefing...

- "I think we're ready to go. If you look at our season to date, we've struggled at home, right? So, we need to get out of the gate and get all of our lines and all of our defensemen playing well right off the start."

- "(Mike) Richards is cleared to play. We'll dress a couple extra guys in (the pre-game) warm-ups, just to be sure."

- "Those young guys are dynamic guys and you see that in practice. The veterans are exactly what the coaching staff said they were. They're quality guys, most of them have had success and they want to have it again. I'm just giving them a little more direction and away we go."

- "I think you have to harness (the energy tonight) a little. But, I think at the same time, the way we have our lines (set-up), we have enough of a veteran presence on every line that we can handle it."

- "There's a familiarity there (with the roster), even not knowing them personally, but you know the players. You know what their tendencies are and how they like to play. That's irrelevant. I know the guys and I'm comfortable."

Mike Richards on coach Sutter and his return vs Ducks

In perhaps the best news of the day for the LA Kings, Mike Richards has been officially activated from IR and is set to play in tonight's game vs. the Anaheim Ducks.

The Kings top goal scorer through the first two months of the season, Richards has missed the last eight games due to concussion like symptoms suffered in a game against Florida on December 1st.

His return will be more than welcomed by an offense that hasn't scored more than two goals in a game without him. He missed the team's last game vs. Anaheim. However, in the two previous games with the Ducks this season, Richards scored three goals.

Due to the NHL roster freeze until next week, he was able to be activated from IR without a corresponding roster move. However, the situation probably is just delaying the inevitable, as one will be needed next week (provided everybody remains healthy until then).

After practice today, Richards provided a few early thoughts on the Kings new head coach, Darryl Sutter...

"Just as I expected, he's a very smart hockey guy. At times, it's tough to tell in practice. But, I've talked to a lot of people around the league who have played for him and I didn't hear one bad thing about him. He's an intense guy and demands the best. I think that's what we need right now."

On his return to action tonight, Richards added - "I'm excited to play again. It's frustrating just sitting in a dressing room and not being able to do anything to help. So, I'm looking forward to playing."


The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL
www.facebook.com/MayorsManor

RELATED ARTICLES:

Dustin Brown says the LA Kings are full of 'excitement' today

Panthers at Kings - pregame primer with Mike Richards

Jarret Stoll is looking for more than 'one or two goals' vs Anaheim

Dustin Brown says the LA Kings are full of 'excitement'

Dustin Brown (photo by M. Zampelli)
There's still plenty more content to come from yesterday's chat with Kings GM Dean Lombardi (and that will be posted either later this afternoon or tomorrow on MayorsManor).

However, let's briefly turn our attention to what some of the players are thinking right now. First up, team captain Dustin Brown.

When asked what one word could be used to best describe the mood of the team right now, #23 said 'excitement' - and then he offered the following explanation as to where that excitement comes from...

"A lot of things factor into it. The last week has been pretty emotional and tough. We had a big, huge win in Toronto and now we're back, with Darryl coming in - I think guys are excited about the prospect of getting back on track. Sometimes you just need a change. Finally, this has been solidified - officially. It was kind of a distraction that whole road trip, with 'Is Darryl going to be our coach or not?' That's not what the players were thinking. That's what the media was thinking and that's what they were asking about. Meanwhile, we had to play against Boston, Columbus, Detroit and Toronto. As a player, that what my focus was on. But, now that this is settled, we can just go about business."

On the new line combinations, which features Brad Richardson playing up front with Brown and Anze Kopitar...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

LA Kings GM Dean Lombardi on cheating vs earning it

The Dean Lombardi show continues. Already posted are quotes about Steve Yzerman nearly being traded by the Red Wings, Bobby Valentine coaching the Red Sox and the Kings needing an identity - and yes, those three things are related to his hiring of Darryl Sutter as coach of the Kings.

If you're late to the party, all of today's Deano Moments were courtesy of a 30-minute scrum with the boss following today's presser in El Segundo.

Here's the Kings GM on improvements needed by the team...

"I don't want to change our game. What Murph [Terry Murray] put in place, as far as defensively top-5 in the league, that has to stay. We have to add to our game. Part of that is we're going to make it more difficult on you. That's going to be a transition."

More on the same topic...

"You have to make sure you're not a dinosaur. But, you still come back to this is a simple game. And you see it in the playoffs. At times in the regular season it can look certain ways and you can get away with things, 3-in-4 nights. But, let's get real. When you see those playoffs, they're a war. And if you're ever going to be there, you better learn it. You can maybe cheat your way through some points at times in the regular season. But, I think it's a short cut. When you're going to go up against the Bruins in seven games, like you saw last year, and going into Chicago last year, those series - those are wars. You might as well earn it during the regular season."


The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL
www.facebook.com/MayorsManor

RELATED ARTICLES:

Lombardi on identity, expectations and the Red Wings nearly trading Steve Yzerman

Lombardi on the Kings using injuries as an excuse this season

Lombardi uses Bobby Valentine and the Red Sox when explaining why Sutter was a good hire

Lombardi on Sutter, Bobby Valentine and the Red Sox

With Kings GM Dean Lombardi speaking on a variety of topics - for over 30 minutes - following today's press conference to announce Darryl Sutter as the team's new head coach, there is a lot of information to type up. Two articles have already posted. Here's the third set of quotes. This time around, Lombardi is reacting to a questions about Sutter being away from coaching for quite some time...

"Well, how long has Bobby Valentine been out of coaching? [A reference to the Boston Red Sox recently hired manager] Heck, he's been out longer than Darryl, right? So, I think there's a few things that I find attractive in all of this. He was really good when we were in San Jose (together) and starting from scratch there, building it a little at a time. Even then, sometimes coaches - and rightfully so - it can get really like this [where players tune the coach out]. We come from the same background and we've had our battles. But, the beautiful thing about it was, it was never about power. It was never about ego. It was about winning.

"So, he really did show during that building process - like, a very different team than (he had) in Chicago, with Roenick, Belfour, Chelios - this was a team we were staring from scratch and it was a piece at a time. And he was good through that.

"The other thing that happens, I don't think they stop coaching. And we've heard that in the other sports. Whether they're in the broadcast booth or a General Manager, it's just instinct. They're like war veterans. They can't stand being on the mountain, they have to be in the thick of it...I really believe that, they don't stop coaching.

Dean Lombardi on the LA Kings using injuries as an excuse

More from Kings GM Dean Lombardi following today's press conference where Darryl Sutter was announced as the LA Kings new head coach...

- On injuries this season and if the team was different with Mike Richards in the line-up - "You could say that - or Drew, if you want to go to the holdout, then Drew getting a concussion, then Mike going out. But the reality is, every team deals with it. That's always going to be the case. So, what do you need to learn (from it)? Hey, when these guys are out, Stollie, Brownie, Kopi, you have to pick it up. Again, that's part of the process. I don't think you can use injuries. And I don't think the players feel that (way either). In talking to them a lot this week, I never got that sense that they were using injuries as an excuse. I think they were pretty good about (saying) - 'Hey, we gotta be better.'"

- On the sense that he did get from the players - "The one think about this group, and I think it's critical, there's no question they care. If you don't care, then you can't push and you're never going to get to where you want to go. (Last) Monday was hard on all of us. Then, meeting with them again on Wednesday, I don't doubt that they (felt) accountable, there is a sense. I think they all respected Murph [Terry Murray], as we all do. There was no question, to a man, they thought he was a good man. In the end, I think I like the way they handled it. It wasn't easy. And it wasn't an easy meeting on Wednesday either. But, there were no punches pulled. Sometimes the ones you get maddest at the most are the ones you love the most."

More to come.

Already posted - Lombardi on identity, expectations and the Red Wings nearly trading Steve Yzerman (read it here).


The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL
www.facebook.com/MayorsManor 

Lombardi on identity, expectations, near trade of Yzerman

Following this afternoon's press conference to 'officially' announce Darryl Sutter as the new coach of the LA Kings, GM Dean Lombardi held court for over 30 minutes. With respect to time, we'll break things up into multiple articles. Here's the first batch of quotes...

On what Sutter brings - "If you take a larger perspective and if you could capsulize it, I would say 'identity.' I think the one thing he immediately gives your team is an identity. Clearly, having known him as a man, you know he stands for something. And usually when you have an identity and you stand for something, some people are going to like it and some people aren't. But, you're going to stand for something. That was the experience I had with him in San Jose. I think he clearly did that in Calgary (too). As soon as he comes in, your team starts getting an identity. So, if you ask me for that intangible, that you can't define or you can't put into numbers - and I think that's critical - I really do think that we've struggled with that a bit this year. And I think if we're ever going to get to the level that we want to get to, I don't care how good your players are, or whatever, you have to establish an identity and stand for something. 'This is the way we're going to play' and away you go. I think you can say that in any sport."

Has this team struggled with expectations - "Yes. I alluded to that last year. It was the first time there were real expectations. I think some of the struggles we saw with the swoons were a by-product of that. I also don't know if we dealt with success very well, because we'd go on a run, then we'd go the other way. I had talked to them during the season about that. This has been a critical message to them. Yes, you're young players and we do have some solid veterans in there. But, if you're going to get to the level you want to go to, you're going to have to deal with expectations. Then, I think what happened this year - when you bring in Mike (Richards) - whether they learned enough last year, now the bar gets raised even higher. But, it's like I told them in Columbus (last week) - 'This is where you wanted to be. You don't want to be a Cinderella team.'"

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Darryl Sutter to be welcomed aboard by Bob Miller

If there is one thing synonymous with the LA Kings, it would have to be Bob Miller - the voice of the team for nearly 40 years. Fittingly, he'll oversee tomorrow's press conference where Darryl Sutter will be officially announced as the Kings new head coach by GM Dean Lombardi.

Today is an off day for the team, as they returned home late last night from a week-long road trip that saw them go 2-2 (with victories over Columbus and Toronto). Sutter will 'coach' the team at practice tomorrow morning, just prior to the news conference.

As a reminder, all Kings practices are free and open to the public at their training facility in El Segundo. The on-ice workout is scheduled to begin at 10:30am and probably last about one hour.

Sutter's press conference will be for media only. However, the event will be streamed live on LAKings.com at 1pm PST.

For those unfamiliar with the 53-year-old Sutter, he's previously been the head coach in Chicago, San Jose and Calgary. He helped lead the Flames to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2004 and his career record behind the bench is 409-320-131 in 860 regular season games.

He will make his official debut as the Kings' coach on Thursday when the team hosts the Anaheim Ducks at Staples Center.

For more on Sutter, check out the article titled 'Making the case for Darryl Sutter as coach' we posted last week (linked below).

MayorsManor will be on hand for all the festivities tomorrow, so be sure to follow along on twitter and/or facebook for live notes and quotes.


The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL
www.facebook.com/MayorsManor 

RELATED ARTICLES:

In-depth interview with Bob Miller - great stories and insight about his time with the Kings

Making the case for Darryl Sutter as coach

Dean Lombardi evaluates coach Murray's performance - from exit interview last season

Lombardi - 'Kopitar may be the new Blake Griffin'

Shop MMAOverload.com Today!

Monday, December 19, 2011

NHRA funny car driver Jeff Arend talks Kings vs Leafs

It doesn't matter what the field is, be it acting, music, racing or you name it - if you bring up hockey and there's a Canadian present, they're usually quick to jump into the conversation.

Over the last few months, a few of the stars of NHRA Drag Racing have stopped by MayorsManor to talk hockey and racing. Today, we'll share some highlights from a conversation with funny car pilot Jeff Arend.

"Of course, I'm a hockey fan," he proclaimed. "I grew up in Toronto! The winters are a lot longer there than they are in California. So, that's what we did all the time, play hockey and go and watch hockey."

It's been quite the journey for a guy who first got involved in racing at the age of 17, while still north of the border. Fifteen years ago he became the first Canadian driver to eclipse the 300-mph barrier. And the following year he began working at the prestigious 'Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School' - a place many NHRA racers have used to launch their careers.

"I'm still a bit of a die-hard Leafs fan. But, now that I've relocated out here, I like to watch the Kings," said the San Dimas, CA resident.

Like those Kings are experiencing this year, he knows all about the ups and down that play out over a full season - as well as the struggles to stay alive in the standings.

Dustin Penner reimagines the LA Kings as pro wrestlers


With the Kings in Toronto today to play the Maple Leafs it's only fitting that we work in a little pro wrestling. After all, the capital of Ontario, Canada is one of the strongest markets in North America for action inside the squared circle - including hosting WrestleMania VI (Hulk Hogan vs. the Ultimate Warrior) and WrestleMania X8 (Chris Jericho vs HHH and Hulk Hogan vs. the Rock).

Dustin Penner, who has long since been outed as a wrestling fan, subtly hinted at a possible heel turn himself a few weeks ago in an article here.

Now, he's back - this time to reimagine his teammates as pro wrestlers. Here's who he thinks some of the LA Kings could have been if they weren't hockey players...

Justin Williams - Ravishing Rick Rude

Alec Martinez - Rey Mesterio Jr.

Dustin Brown - one of the Bushwhackers

Kings at Maple Leafs - notes on Melrose, Mitchell, mistakes

Tonight will be the end of an era on at least two fronts.

First, interim coach John Stevens will be coaching his last game for the Kings - as Darryl Sutter is expected to be officially announced as the team's new bench boss tomorrow and resume game duties Thursday vs the Ducks.

Second, beginning next season, gone will be the days of the Kings and Maple Leafs only playing on rare occasion - as the NHL will feature a new balanced schedule, where each team will play a home and road game against the other 29 clubs.

For now though, Kings v Leafs is still something special. Not only is Toronto the undeniable hockey capital, but these two teams put on one of the greatest seven-game series in playoff history back in 1993. More on that in a minute though. First up, some notes on tonight...

- Slava Voynov and Alec Martinez will sit out, while Willie Mitchell is expected to return to the line-up. Yesterday, he proclaimed there were no further setbacks in his recovery from a sore groin and he's looking to be on the Kings blueline come game time.

- The same can't be said for Mike Richards. Although he's been traveling with the team since Friday, he's still not ready for contact. A better status of his situation should come later this week when the team is back in LA and he has a chance to see the doctor again.

- Don't look now, but Dustin Penner quietly had his first multi-point game of the season on Saturday. Of course, it went largely unnoticed due to the team losing 8-2. However, it's yet another positive sign of his recent play.

- "Flat-out mistakes that cost us goals," that's what Rob Scuderi had to say about the debacle in Detroit over the weekend.

- Look for Drew Doughty to have his best game of the season tonight. He'll be playing in front of friends and family and the young defenseman tends to raise his level of play in 'big games.' For him personally, this is a big one.

Now, here's a look back at a pivotal point in time for each franchise...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

AUDIO: Coach Stevens postgame presser after 2-1 LA win

Comments from interim coach John Stevens following the Kings 2-1 win in Columbus tonight...



More audio:

Postgame comments from Drew Doughty

Postgame comments from Anze Kopitar

The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL
www.facebook.com/MayorsManor

AUDIO: Kopitar postgame comments after 2-1 Kings win

Comments from Anze Kopitar following the Kings 2-1 win in Columbus tonight...



More audio:

Postgame comments from Drew Doughty

Postgame comments from interim coach John Stevens

The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL
www.facebook.com/MayorsManor

AUDIO: Doughty postgame comments after 2-1 LA win

Comments from Drew Doughty following the Kings 2-1 win in Columbus tonight...



More audio:

Postgame comments from Anze Kopitar

Postgame comments from interim coach John Stevens

The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL
www.facebook.com/MayorsManor

VIDEO: Daryl Evans previews tonight's Kings game vs CBJ

Daryl Evans previews tonight's game in Columbus with Bob McElligott of Blue Jackets TV in the video below. They cover the game in Boston, recent practices, the power play, Drew Doughty, the absence of Ryan Smyth this season, player reaction to Terry Murray's firing and more.


The Blue Jackets have announced they'll go with Curtis Sanford in goal. He's 0-2 lifetime vs. LA, with a 4.60 goals-against average. This season, he's 2-2-1 with a 2.57 GAA when playing at home. The Kings will counter with Jonathan Quick.

Following practice this morning, Jackets coach Scott Arniel had this to say about keeping the Kings’ forwards in check - "You can’t let them play their game. You don’t allow Doughty and Johnson to have the puck and be a part of the offense. They have real good forwards that cycle down low; you’ve got to do a good job of taking away their strengths, and that’s one of them. This is a team that we can’t allow them to use the whole ice – when pucks do get to the top, we have to get inside position. They have some real big bodies that like to get on top of the goaltender."

Game time is 4pm PST.

As usual, we will be running our first goal contest tonight too. If you'd like a chance at winning a free t-shirt from Glass Bangers, simply reply below with the name of the Kings player you think will score the first goal for LA tonight. You can even use your facebook profile to enter.


The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL
www.facebook.com/MayorsManor 

RELATED ARTICLES:

Columbus at LA preview - Kings players on Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash

Interview with Ethan Moreau - former Oilers captain and Blue Jackets assistant captain

Audio: The Mayor on Sportsnet in Calgary and this week's THI podcast with Jim Fox and others

What's wrong with the Kings?  It's simple - here's a dozen solutions to the problems

Mike Richards - 'Ian Laperriere guided me in the right direction'

Shop MMAOverload.com Today!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What's wrong with the Kings? Geez, it's simple - just ask!

There are many guesses on how to fix the LA Kings right now. However, the final verdict on if the coaching change will be the thing to do the trick won't be known for several months.

In the meantime, message boards and social media outlets continue to be a haven for conspiracy theories, including 'The Curse of the Gretzky Statue' and the absence of Heidi Androl.

Here's a quick spin around the twitterverse from earlier today...

- @Lemay_C has a good memory, recalling something that took place when the ice was installed at Staples Center this season, saying 'I think it's obviously that 2002 penny that Luc has planted at center ice. Red Wings memories jinxing team.'

Solution: Dig up the pennies.

- @TheRealFakeTim has a much longer memory, adding 'I still think the "curse" goes 2 when McSorley started helping out on the broadcast last playoffs. #IllegalStick #LAKings'

Solution: Don't invite Marty back.

- @Project_305 said 'I blame the hype and pressure of acquiring Richie and Gagne and locking up Drew..."Flyers West" they called us'

Solution: Acquire another Oilers player and go back to calling the Kings 'Oilers South.'

- @karenberan couldn't pick just one thing, saying 'Two month post-Europe Hangover!...It's the Randy Jones Curse - it's ALWAYS his fault!...It's the Dan Cloutier Curse - It's ALWAYS his fault too!'

Solution: No more trips to Europe on the books and Dean has promised to not bring back Cloutier or Jones (at least for the rest of this season).

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Iginla and other Flames on Sutter as the next Kings coach

By now you've probably read our 'Making the case for Darryl Sutter' article posted earlier today. Now, how about a trip up to Calgary to see what a few of the guys surrounding Sutter's former team are saying...

- Flames assistant captain, and former Kings center, Craig Conroy shares a story about Sutter than ends with "From that moment on, I knew everything Darryl did wasn’t personal. It was about winning." - from the Calgary Sun (link to full story)

- "To me, (coaching) is where Darryl’s niche is,” said Flames coach Brent Sutter, Darryl’s younger brother. “I believe it’s something Darryl’s always wanted to continue to do. When he was coaching, he was a good coach." - the Vancouver Sun (link to full story)

- And then there's this, Flames captain Jarome Iginla weighing in...

Making the case for Darryl Sutter as coach of the LA Kings

Life at the top is hard.

It doesn't matter if you're the CEO of a major corporation, a head coach in the NFL or the GM of the LA Kings.

The reason those people get paid big money is to make big decisions.

There's a sign in Dean Lombardi's office at the Kings training facility in El Segundo that reads 'When bluffing, a pair of balls beats everything.'

Reports suggest that within the next 48 hours the Kings will be announcing Darryl Sutter as their next head coach. While that may not be a bluff of any sort, it may take a brass set to make that decision. After all, Sutter will quickly be labeled as a 'retread' and a 'repeat of past mistakes' or some other tired cliche.

Many other articles over the next few days will tell you why Lombardi should have hired this guy or that guy. But, the fact remains, if Sutter is the coach, none of that matters. So, instead of playing the 'should have been' game, let's look at why Sutter is a good fit for the team.

VIDEO: New interview with Lombardi on firing of Murray

Daryl Evans conducted the following interview with Kings GM Dean Lombardi earlier today...


To read the article we posted this afternoon 'Making the case for Darryl Sutter' click here.

The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL
www.facebook.com/MayorsManor

Monday, December 12, 2011

VIDEO: Barry Melrose on the Kings firing Terry Murray

For a guy who has coached less than three full NHL seasons, Barry Melrose has garnered quite the following over the last two decades. Now, as an analyst on the NHL Network, he offered his opinion on the Kings coaching change today.

In the following video he talks about pressure from ownership that may have been placed on GM Dean Lombardi, the play of Anze KopitarMike Richards, Simon Gagne, Terry Murray's system, Darryl Sutter and more.

The most telling quotes may be when he talks about the Kings 'not losing because of talent or systems,' but because 'you don't see a lot of energy or passion in their play.'


One more thing - Melrose is not being considered for the job.

However, early this morning we posted a list of possible candidates here and be sure to vote in the poll on who you think the next coach should be here.


The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL
www.facebook.com/MayorsManor 

POLL: Who should be the next LA Kings head coach?

Early this morning we looked at a list of possible candidates for the Kings head coaching position - from pro coaches to guys in junior hockey.

You may want to review that list before answering the following question (link).

For now, Kings GM Dean Lombardi says assistant coach John Stevens will fill the role on interim basis. On this afternoon's conference call, Lombardi was reluctant to say how long Stevens will hold the position or if he's being considered for the full-time role - only that the team has a 'short list' they're working off of.

So, with that that said, which of the following candidates, would you hire to lead the Kings if you were in charge? (note: the list randomly displays with each new visitor to the website, so the order is not meant to imply anything in terms of preference or priority)




Poll closes Wednesday at 11:30am PST.

The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL
www.facebook.com/MayorsManor 

RELATED ARTICLES:

Making the case for Darryl Sutter as the next Kings coach

Calgary Flames Jarome Iginla Craig Conroy on Darryl Sutter as coach

List of possible replacements for coach Terry Murray

Video: Dean Lombardi on the firing of Terry Murray

Video: Barry Melrose on the firing of Terry Murray - why it happened and possible next moves

order here --> MayorsManor Store
View the store to see full line of shirts for men and women, dozen of styles and colors

Welcome to your new (interim) coach John Stevens

Things change quickly in the NHL.

After seemingly being safe about a week ago, Kings coach Terry Murray will now be referred to as former Kings coach Terry Murray.

Watching his team drop four in a row and being unable to score goals, GM Dean Lombardi had seen enough and made the move today to release Murray from his coaching duties.

For now, assistant coach John Stevens will take over behind the bench.

Stevens was originally drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in the third round of the 1984 NHL Draft. Although he played parts of five seasons in the NHL, he was primarily an AHL defenseman - where he played in 834 games and won three Calder Cups.

Prior to eventually coaching the Flyers, he served as the head coach of their AHL affiliate (Philadelphia Phantoms) for six seasons, including when they won the Calder Cup Championship in 2005 - with Mike Richards at center.

In 2006 he became the Flyers head coach and posted a 120-109-34 record before being let go in early December 2009. In the spring of 2008 he led the Flyers to the NHL's Eastern Conference Finals and was named Coach of the Year by The Hockey News.

Murray was one win away from number 500 as a head coach, a position he's also held with the Washington Capitals, Florida Panthers and Philadelphia Flyers. His overall record as an NHL head coach is 499-383-130. Murray, who coached in his 1,000th NHL game on November 12 versus Minnesota, ranks 17th all-time in NHL history in wins and 19th all-time in games coached.

Just how long Stevens is expected to be the interim head coach will perhaps be addressed on a call later this afternoon with Lombardi. We'll have more on that during the call posted on twitter/facebook.

In the meantime, here's a list of candidates who probably will and won't be looked at as possible replacements.

There is also a POLL of who should be the Kings next head coach should be here - let your voice be heard.


The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL
www.facebook.com/MayorsManor

RELATED ARTICLES:

Making the case for Darryl Sutter as the next Kings coach

Calgary Flames Jarome Iginla Craig Conroy on Darryl Sutter as coach

List of possible replacements for coach Terry Murray

order here --> MayorsManor Store
View the store to see full line of shirts for men and women, dozen of styles and colors

If Murray goes, list of possible replacements for LA Kings

When a tweet appears from a Hall of Fame hockey writer saying 'Kings may be preparing to fire Terry Murray as coach,' you click the link.

And according to a report filed with the LA Times by Helene Elliott and Lisa Dillman here late last night, that may be the course of action in progress at the moment.

Murray's Kings are one game above .500 and have lost four games in a row.

They're in Boston today, preparing for tomorrow night's game with the defending Stanley Cup Champion Bruins. Currently, it's not known if Murray will be behind the bench for that match-up.

If a move is made this week though, here's a quick look at some of the names that may replace him - starting with five known commodities (NHL and AHL coaches), followed by the five leading candidates from junior hockey and wrapping up with five candidates you may hear about - but aren't likely to get the gig.

NHL and AHL Coaches:

John Stevens - LA Kings assistant coach - he may be the short-term solution while a replacement is secured...however, he isn't considered to be a finalist for the job...Stevens is said to coach the same (or very similar) system to Murray and his results while leading the Flyers were mixed

Randy Carlyle - former Anaheim Ducks coach - he's available, due to recently being fired from the Kings Pacific Division rival...supposedly, his players tuned him out a long time ago and he is thought to be extremely hard on players (which may not be such a bad thing for the Kings right now)...his familiarity with the division could be a plus, but according to the Times' article, the 'Kings are not thought to be interested in Carlyle'

Craig MacTavish - another former NHL head coach (Edmonton), he's now coaching Chicago's AHL team...if there is one other team the Kings are most often linked to besides the Flyers, it's the Oilers...so, Mac T has that going for him...he knows several of the current Kings from their days in Edmonton...also another coach thought to be extremely hard on his players and not well liked

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi on the upcoming road trip

Post game comments from Kings coach Terry Murray and Dustin Brown have already been posted and can be found on the homepage.

Following the Kings 2-1 loss to the Dallas Stars, defenseman Rob Scuderi had this to say...

On the team's penalties - "I thought we had a great start to the game in the first five or six minutes, but any time you go to the box it kills your momentum. We were rolling lines, rolling D, and things were going pretty well but when you take penalties you get out of that rhythm; everyone gets out of the rhythm."

On the upcoming road trip - "[The road trip games mean] the same thing as this home one. Let’s get some wins. We are at the point where let’s not care and maybe our goalie needs to steal one for us, maybe [we need] just a little momentum. You’d like to see your efforts pay off. I think we do a lot of things right, we are just not scoring a couple of goals."

On a possible team shake-up - "I like to think and I truly believe that the answer is in here. I’m very, very optimistic that we are going to come out of this. I know it has been a tough stretch and no one is denying that. But I truly believe that the answer is in here. As far as if they think a shake-up is necessary, that is out of our hands."

Brown's comments can be read here...and coach Murray's comments are here.


The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL
www.facebook.com/MayorsManor 

Shop MMAOverload.com Today!

Dustin Brown - 'We need more desperation and more intensity'

Following the Kings 2-1 loss to the Dallas Stars on Sunday, the Kings fourth loss in a row, team captain Dustin Brown shared the following...

On the overall game - "We have to be more desperate right now, we have to be more desperate the rest of the year. We aren’t playing with enough intensity or enough desperation. We are a good team and now we are not playing like one. We need more desperation and more intensity and that starts with individuals. We can’t do it alone, I don’t mean that, but you have to get yourself ready as a player on this team. Right now we don’t have enough guys having that desperation that we need. Look around us. I think we have what it takes in this room regardless who is in or out of the lineup. It’s up to the guys in here. This is our team."

On the penalties taken by the Kings - "I don’t know what the penalties were. I know we took a couple of high-stickings. There are going to be penalties in the game, but I think we need to limit our penalties in the offensive zone; those are needless penalties and I think we took quite a few of those tonight."

Post game comments from coach Terry Murray's presser can be read here.


The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL
www.facebook.com/MayorsManor