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

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

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

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 


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'

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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

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 

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 


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

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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


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, 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 

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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

Coach Terry Murray - 'The power play let us down' vs Dallas

Another game, another loss and still no sign of some offense.

Following their fourth loss in a row - and the final game of a sustained stretch of games at home - Kings coach Terry Murray had this to say at his post-game presser...

On the Kings' lack of scoring - "It’s very tough. We’re losing games because of the lack of scoring. We’re looking at one-goal games every night. I really liked the opportunities we had in the third period to give ourselves a chance to tie the game up. That’s kind of been the story of our offense here in the last while. The guys are working, we killed off a lot of good penalties, it was a great effort on that part of it. The power play let us down though. We’re just not getting anything generated on the power play. Five-on-five, I liked their play. There was lots of work, a lot of compete, and lots of scoring chances. We had to get a short-handed goal to get us going but we have to find a way to finish on those golden opportunities."

On finishing the game - "It’s getting pucks back to the net a little bit faster. Sometimes when loose pucks rebound, if you try to make one move that’s going to pull the puck to your forehand or stickhandle, it’s already too late. You just have to continue to put pucks back to the net. I thought on the luck that [Brad] Richardson had there in the third period, if he had just thrown it right back immediately he would have caught the goalie out of position."

Stars def Kings 2-1 - quotes from the Dallas locker room

The Kings had gone 3-0-1 in their last four home games vs. Dallas, but - once again - couldn't come up with many goals and lost to the Stars 2-1.

After four games played this year, the season series is now tied 2-2.

Here's what they were saying in the Stars dressing room following the game...

Coach Glen Gulutzan

On the overall game - "I thought our power play struggled mightily there in the beginning. It wasn’t actually in the zone, we didn’t win any faceoffs and then we couldn’t get in, and then we changed our breakout a little bit and got in. I thought the last two or three power plays generated chances and shots but just nothing went in. It’s a thing that if we can get that thing going we’d save ourselves some energy…That fourth line played well…We have to utilize everybody. If you look at teams like Minnesota and everybody they’re doing the same thing. We have to utilize that and guys have to embrace that. That’s the sell for us."

On rookie goalie Richard Bachman - "He’s a competitive guy and he’s pretty clean when it comes to rebounds and I thought he had a real good start for us…He looked like himself. I just told him when he went out there it’s the same game that you’ve been playing. He has that ability…He’s going through the natural progression. He’s a good goaltender…He deserves another start and most likely against the Rangers we’ll give him that opportunity and see if he can run with it."