Tomorrow night vs. Edmonton Terry Murray gets a shot at a little piece of history.
With a victory in his 197th game with the Kings, he can become the quickest coach to reach 100 wins. Tom Webster (1989-92) holds the current record at 211 games.
After practice today I asked Murray to reflect back over his long career and pick out a few of his favorite memories…
“Getting to the Stanley Cup Finals is always a memorable time (1997 with Philadelphia). As a coach, that’s your goal, that’s what we’re here for is to win and to get an opportunity to with a Stanley Cup. That was very memorable and was a great time.
“I guess going back even to the first years I got into the coaching side of the business, as an assistant coach, Brian (his brother) and I take over the Washington Capitals – who had never made the playoffs in their eight or nine years of existence. That year, getting into the playoffs and becoming a pretty good hockey club – that was a big step for that organization. There was a lot of turmoil. There was a lot of that talk of ‘let’s save the franchise, move it to Seattle, Washington’ and all that stuff was going on. David Polie came in as the GM. So, there’s good memories out of that stuff whenever you have an impact on what’s going to happen and how the team plays.”
Assuming the Kings continue to win under Murray, a few seasons from now he’ll start chasing another Murray – Andy Murray.
Andy is the Kings’ all-time wins leader with 215. However, Bob Miller tells a funny story in his book [ Bob Miller's Tales from the Los Angeles Kings], as part of a chapter titled ‘Don’t Count Chickens’ where he explains how tough it was to get the record.
As the story goes, in March 2004 Andy needed just one victory (with 11 games remaining in the season) to become the winningest coach in franchise history. During a TV shoot, Bob pre-taped a congratulations to the coach.
Well…the Kings lost all 11 games to close out the season. And to make matters worse, the following year was cancelled due to the lockout. So, it wasn’t until October 6, 2005 – against the Wayne Gretzky coached Phoenix Coyotes – that Andy picked up victory 179 to top the list.
Surely, everybody in the Kings organization hopes it doesn’t take as long for Terry Murray’s 100th win to get here. In fact, it would probably be a nice early Christmas present for the coach if the team can beat the Oilers tomorrow night at Staples Center.
Interview with Andy Murray – in-depth conversation about his time with the Kings
20 Questions with #20 – Luc Robitaille