Los Angeles Kings: Should a Coaching Change Be in the Near Future?
With the Kings starting out the 2011-2012 campaign with a 6-4-2 record this may seem like a silly question right?
But I think it's a little more pressing and serious then some who look at a standings column might believe.
Coach Terry Murray has been with the Kings since 2008-2009 season. Those three years have garnered two playoff appearances and two, 46-win seasons. Not bad right? But the Kings have constantly struggled with offensive problems.
Murray's system is very much a defense first system, and over the last three seasons that has been the fall back of many criticisms, as well as the Kings incredibly thin offensive corps.
Now, the Kings find themselves with an incredibly formidable top six, but where do they find themselves in the offensive rankings after 12 games this season?
28th in goals for per game, 21st in shots per game, but 10th overall in missed shots. They also garner a -2 overall in goal differential and are 26th in total goals for.
How does a team that sports a top six of all-stars Anze Kopitar, Justin Williams, Dustin Brown, Mike Richards, Simon Gagne, and Dustin Penner bottom out the offensive categories?
The last several years it has been because of lack of personnel and a little bit because of the system. But with some great personnel in place, it now is starting to look like a system might be where the snags are occurring.
Is coaching the problem in L.A.?
The Kings are a fantastic defensive team, and yes defense wins championships. But you have to be able to score also, something that has plagued the Kings for four years running.
The Kings, in their last three losses, have looked downright uninspired, unmotivated, lazy and lost. And this is not a new theme for Kings fans to see.
Last year, it was peaks and valleys for the team as well, accompanying 9-1 runs with 2-12 plummets, followed by more 8-0 shots, with a touch of 0-9 to top it off.
Is this a team that really lacks mental focus that bad? Or is it a coach that doesn't know how to turn his team around when the fall starts? I'll let you ponder that one.
I'll also let you ponder how a player like Ponikarovsky can go from a 20 goal scorer, to a quarter of that in one years time, and how Dustin Penner can go from a 30 goal scorer to just two in almost 30 regular season games.
It's still very early on in the season, and many things may yet occur. But it is troubling to me, as a Kings fan, that the same problems that we have always had, are rearing their ugly heads yet again, like clockwork.
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