Kings may be preparing to fire Terry Murray

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.

Murray, who coached his 1,000th NHL game Nov. 12 and is one victory from No. 500 in his career, has twice guided the Kings to the playoffs but lost in the first round in six games each time. The Kings (13-12-4) are in 12th place in the 15-team Western Conference and have scored 65 goals — fewest in the conference — while giving up 67, far short of expectations.

General Manager Dean Lombardi has been reluctant to make a move, but the team’s problems have mounted. The Kings’ 2-1 loss to Dallas on Saturday was their fourth straight defeat — they have scored six goals in that span — and left them 8-9-1 at home.

On Monday, Lombardi was scheduled to fly to Boston, where the Kings open a four-game trip Tuesday against the defending Stanley Cup champion Bruins. When contacted Sunday, Lombardi declined to comment on his plans.

His hand might have been forced by the loss Saturday. The Kings have showed little emotion, perhaps mirroring a coach known for his stone-faced reserve behind the bench.

“We have to be more desperate right now. We have to be more desperate the rest of the year,” captain Dustin Brown said Saturday. “We aren’t playing with enough intensity or enough desperation. We are a good team and now we are not playing like one.”

http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-1212-kings-murray-20111212,0,3653815.story


10 Responses to Kings may be preparing to fire Terry Murray

  1. JoelLeafs says:

    Brown, Gagner, Kopitar, Penner, Richards, Doughty, Williams, Stoll…. How does a roster with these kinds of weapons manage the lowest average goals for in the league? Mind boggling.

    Can't say I've seen them play this year (outside highlights), but if my coach couldn't get goals scored with these guys – especially considering the goaltending they've been getting – I'd fire him.

  2. mapleleafsfan says:

    Seriously…  Pretty much 1/3 of their wins have come from shutouts. Without Quick this team is below 500. Brutal considering their line up. 

  3. mojo19 says:

    Ya great point.

    Kopitar 28 points in 29 games is doing just fine.
    M.Richards 20 pts in 25 games is producing as expectedt. Richards is typically a 60-70 pt guy.
    Justin Williams, 17 pts but only 4 goals in 29 games, not great, not terrible.

    After that its pretty disapointing –

    Simon Gagne 15 pts in 27, not great, pace for about 45 pts
    Dustin brown 15 pts in 29 games, 40 pt pace
    Dustin Penner 5 pts in 18 games is brutal.
    Ethan Moreau 1 goal in 28 games (minors)
    Trent Hunter 1 goal in 17 games played
    Doughty and Stoll just 8 points each.

    Also, it does go to show, the whole contract situation with Doughty, maybe he's not happy there? He's clearly not playing up to his abilities.

  4. JoelLeafs says:

    Yeah, they should have traded him. His value was huge and many teams would have ponied up the cash. 

    I really though this team would be a top 5 in the West this year and threatening for a top 3 (if not top) in 2-3 years. Hopefully the change they just made helps…
  5. JoelLeafs says:

    Murray is out. Stevens is the interim. G'luck LA, save Hitchpenis, the other coaching changes this year have not gone so well thus far…

  6. reinjosh says:

    Over expectations is what has defined this team. Pretty much everyone is playing the way they should be with the exception of a few. 

    Kopitar, Richards and Williams are playing as they should, as you said. They have a prototypical 1 center, 2 center thing going and its working for them. Williams fits in nicely as a top 6. 
    Brown is usually a 50-55 point, and sure 45 is playing a little down but its not a terrible dip. Anyone expecting him to get 30 goals, 60 point is expecting to much. He's not a 30 goal guy. He's a well rounded 20 – 25 goal guy that will hit anything that moves (potentially what Clutterbuck could become, tangent, I apologize).
    Penner is underperforming for the 30 goal seasons he had but anyone expecting him to put in a 30 goal season every year is fooling themselves. The guy has no heart and may get to 30 once every 4 years. 
    Hunter, Stoll, Moreau aren't top 6 guys so they can't really be held to anything. They could have a couple more points sure but they won't likely be in a position to get many.
    Doughty I suppose is the biggest disappointment. He's been terrible. I always suspected he might be overrated and might be just a 40 – 45 point dman but I got all caught up in the post-Olympic Doughty fanfare. He's just not a regular season guy. He's a big time guy i think and he will play pedestrian until then. 
  7. reinjosh says:

    According to Lombadi the guy he'd be looking for would be like Sutter. He didn't even allude to it, he outright said the guy he wants to coach his team would be Darryl. 

  8. frankinboltonleafs says:

    If thats the case it seems like a sideways move…not immediately of course if it happens…but in the long run.

  9. mojo19 says:

    I agree that it would be a sideways move in the long run. But maybe they're looking for a short term fix and a known hard-ass to ignite the team. Sutter might be a solid band-aid move for this year.

  10. JoelLeafs says:

    Screw it, make him the GM. Maybe we can get Richards for a Stajan Bozak and a bag of pucks.

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