Frozen Royalty: Kings To Add New Twist To Offensive Attack
EL SEGUNDO, CA — Entering his third season as head coach of the Los Angeles Kings, Terry Murray has watched his team improve each year.
In his first season, 2008-09, the Kings finished 14th in the Western Conference and 26th in the overall National Hockey League standings, well out of the playoff picture.
But the silver lining from that year was a dramatic drop in goals against and shots allowed, as the team learned to protect the “home plate” area in the slot, right in front of the net.
After one year under Murray’s tutelage, the 2009-10 Kings broke through with a 101-point finish to their regular season, launching them into sixth place in the Western Conference and into the playoffs for the first time since 2002.
The Kings went into the playoffs as the underdogs against the Henrik Sedin-led Vancouver Canucks, and, despite showing flashes of brilliance, the Canucks finally capitalized on the Kings’ weaknesses and eliminated them in six games.
“Normally, at the end of the day, you see the best teams winning the Stanley Cup,” said Murray. “When you’re getting into those critical games, when things have to happen—protecting that one-goal lead—all we had to do in a couple of those games was score on the two-on-ones and breakaways we had. In game 6, we could’ve won that game and put it away with that one-goal lead going into the third period.”
“It ends up sorting itself out at the end of the day, and it shows you what we, as a team and as an organization, need to focus on or what we need to get better at.”
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