Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Helene Elliott and Lisa Dillman of the LA Times,
Kings executives are poised to dismiss Coach Terry Murray this week, hoping to halt a string of disappointing performances and revive an offense that has produced a league-low 2.24 goals per game despite a beefed-up payroll that puts the team near the salary-cap limit for the first time.
People familiar with the situation but not authorized to comment publicly said a candidate has not been found to replace Murray, who took over before the 2008-09 season. Murray installed a solid defensive foundation but has not been able to take the team to the next level and capitalize on resources enhanced by the off-season additions of skilled forwards Mike Richards and Simon Gagne.
from Lisa Dillman of the Fabulous Forum at the LA Times,
A night of nostalgia ended in boos by the Staples Center fans on Saturday night as Dallas beat the Kings, 2-1. The frustration and anger was visible in the dressing room, which not a surprise if you consider the Kings have lost four in a row, scoring an underwhelming six goals in that stretch.
A major player trade was expected from the Ducks and they ended up switching coaches, firing Randy Carlyle and replacing him with Bruce Boudreau. Do the Kings run the same play with Terry Murray? Or do they end up making a rare major mid-season trade?
King captain Dustin Brown was asked if he thought individuals were anticipating a shakeup, in terms of a player move.
“It’s hard to say. I’ve never been on a team that’s good, that’s gone through this,” Brown said. “That’s probably the biggest difference for me. We have a good team in here. We’re capable of doing everything we need to with the people we have in here.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
• The self-imposed holiday roster freeze for Brian Burke kicked in Friday, but the Maple Leafs GM might be willing to make moves once it’s lifted. The Leafs could be looking for help in the middle, especially with Tim Connolly struggling with injuries. Columbus C Derick Brassard could be an option. League sources say Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson was spotted at the Marlies game last Saturday in Toronto. Apparently, he was in the corner and didn’t want to be noticed. Brassard has a cap hit of $3.2 million for the next two seasons, so Howson can’t afford to let coach Scott Arniel bury Brassard on the fourth line or in the press box much longer. The situation is going to come to a head and Brassard could certainly make sense for the Leafs.
• Nobody is sure what’s wrong with the Kings, but they better find their way out of this mess soon. I’m told GM Dean Lombardi has been one of the most aggressive working the phones and is determined to make changes because he certainly can’t afford to miss the playoffs. He’d move W Dustin Penner in a second. When Kings president Tim Leiwicke and Lombardi ate their words and gave D Drew Doughty a king’s ransom, they talked about winning the Stanley Cup. If they miss the playoffs, you have to wonder what’s going to happen in Tinseltown.
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings have activated defenseman Willie Mitchell from the injured reserve list (lower body injury) and have assigned forward Ethan Moreau to the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced today.
via Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider,
The Kings are on the ice for practice, but without Ethan Moreau, who was placed on waivers this morning. Moreau also did not play in the third period last night. Otherwise, the top two lines are the same and Willie Mitchell is once again a full participant in practice. Moreau’s presumed removal from the roster tomorrow — teams will have until 9 a.m. Pacific time to put in claims — would clear up a roster spot for (Willie)Mitchell.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
The Kings want to be where evolving teams aspire to be: expecting to be in the playoffs, expecting to be a factor in the spring, expecting to be held to a higher standard.
Yet having arrived at this threshold, the Kings seem to have shrunk back from those expectations this season.
On Thursday, they gave up a goal 24 seconds into the first period, another 1:25 into the second period and then fell short after a furious charge in the third period, losing 4-2 to the NHL-leading Minnesota Wild.
The loss was the Kings’ third straight and dropped them below the playoff Mendoza Line in the Western Conference.
“Right now you kind of feel it’s just kind of stuck,” Lombardi told ESPN.com in an interview in his office at the team’s practice facility prior to Thursday’s game.
Anyone out there besides me feel Terry Murray’s job may be in jeopardy?
For the Anaheim Ducks, they can build on this, while the LA Kings know it killed their momentum.
The Ducks took an early 2 goal lead at home, the Kings caught up midway in the 3rd period only to lose the game in regulation on this Bobby Ryan goal with less than 50 ticks left on the clock.
Lars Eller of the Montreal Canadiens gives Drew Doughty of the LA Kings one of those push from behind hits and sends Doughty into the boards.
Eller received two for boarding, should he have received more? Doughty was fine by the way after about 20 seconds or so.
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings have activated forward Dustin Penner from the injured reserve list (upper body injury) and have placed forward Mike Richards on the injured reserve list (upper body injury), Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced today.
Penner has missed the last nine games due to the injury, which he suffered on November 10 in a game against Vancouver. In 14 games this season he has two points (both assists) and 25 penalty minutes.
Richards suffered his injury last night as part of the Kings’ 2-1 win against Florida at STAPLES Center. He has played in all 25 games this season, his first with the club, and he has 20 points including a team-high 11 goals and a team-high two short-handed goals. He also has 17 penalty minutes.
Richards left the game after this hit from
Sean Bergenheim and according to reports, will be re-evaluated again today.
Willie Mitchell also left the game early with a lower-body injury.
added 8:29am, A longer video of the incident can be watched below…
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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