If you thought the Kings looked like a different team against Detroit than the group who played Anaheim and Minnesota in the previous three games, Murray would agree with you.
“That was the one thing that maybe disappointed me as much as anything in the game, is that we were not skating anywhere near the way we skated in the last three games.”
He also shared some thoughts on what it’s going to take to get some secondary scoring out of the Kings, as they can’t only rely on Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards and Simon Gagne - the trio have accounted for roughly half of the team’s total goal production.
“I’m encouraging the shots,” said Murray. “We’ve been putting better numbers up at the end of the day – shot attempts, shots on net. When you watch a team like Detroit, they’re the number one team in the NHL for shots on goal, average per game. They’re at about 34.6 shots per game, on average. And you can see why they’re a good hockey club. That’s been their mentality throughout the last 15 years. That’s how you score goals.”
And win games apparently. Last season, five of the NHL’s six division winners finished in the top seven for average shots taken per game.
Currently, the Kings are 19th in the league, averaging 29.3 shots on goal.
Given the lack of production coming from the blue line, are some of the Kings defenseman tentative to get shots off?
“No, I don’t think we’re tentative,” said Murray. “I think we’re getting a lot blocked though and that’s because of lack of moving. When you get the puck on the blueline and everybody is in their shot lanes, you have to move yourself or you’re going to have to pop out a forward and move it down to the half board and attack from the seam. But, to me, talking about Jack and Doughty and Voynov, those players have good agility. They just have to get into better lanes themselves by moving their feet, either pulling or pushing the puck. You’re just looking to get it six or eight inches from that player that’s in the lane and get it through. I think we’re standing still right now.”
Be sure to follow along on twitter and/or facebook. We’ll have notes and quotes live from practice this morning – where the Kings won’t be standing still for long.