A few weeks ago Kings Coach Terry Murray didn’t want to hear any noise about the schedule being part of the team’s problems when they were losing. He wasn’t concerned about the extra time off, basically saying professionals just deal with it.
Some similar thinking may be in order after the LA-Minnesota game on Saturday night because it would be too easy to simply blame the referees. From initial face-off to final whistle the game lacked any sort of flow – mainly due to a feeling that the officials spent most of the game trying to make-up for a call they missed moments earlier.
Heeding Murray’s advice though, set that aside for the time being.
Here are some things the Kings can’t do and expect to win a hockey game most nights…
* You can’t let your goaltender be one of the other team’s most productive players.
* You can’t take an avoidable penalty in overtime.
* You can’t let your best defenseman be the guy in the box during a crucial penalty kill in o/t.
* You can’t score just one goal on nine power plays in a game.
* You can’t take just 26 total shots on goal.
* You can’t be sleeping on the first shift after you score a goal. The other team will make you pay. And they did.
* You can’t give up a short-handed goal.
* You can’t limit Kyle Clifford to just 4:50 of ice time. He’s better than that and has earned more at this point of the season.
Note it all, wrap it up, file it away, absorb it – whatever.
Here’s the bottom line…what you can do after a game like that is take the point and turn the page. There’s a huge game on Monday in Detroit. If the Kings are serious players in the Western Conference this year, they need to play better than they did tonight.
Much, much better.