Coach Terry Murray – A Student of History?

With the Kings returning to the playoffs last year after an eight year hiatus there were many stories to reflect on at season’s end – including the play of Jonathan Quick and Drew Doughty. Yet, in the first half, all of the news centered on Ryan Smyth, Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams.

Specifically, Smyth – who seemed to have unlocked something in Kopitar. The two had instant chemistry from the first day of training camp.  And the magic they produced didn’t go unnoticed either, as in December 2009 Kopitar made his first appearance on the cover of The Hockey News.

Their play helped propel the Kings into becoming one of the hottest teams in the league during the opening months of the 2009-10 campaign. Then, in a flash, it was gone by late December due to injuries.

Still, few thought that Kings coach Terry Murray would enter this season with a different top line.

Thus, when he made the announcement as training camp opened that he was replacing Williams with Dustin Brown, questions began flying from all corners.

The answer was simple though, he was looking for a more balanced attack and wanted to see greater output from Brown (who scored 33 goals in 2007-08, but had dipped to 24 in back-to-back years).

When asked at the time, Smyth said “Whatever coach wants is best for the team.”

Kopitar said of playing with Brown “I played with Brownie before, so I’m not too worried about it. Everything is going smooth. We play the same system anyway. It’s not like we have a different structure on every line. It’s not hard to get used to a (new) guy on the line. You just want to know his tendencies or his weaknesses, whatever the case may be, and go with it.”

Once again, LA got off to hot start in October and things looked to be rolling – especially between Kopitar and Brown.

However, the Kings have lost six of seven, so it’s time to go with something different.

Low and behold, last year’s unit is back together.

Was this about getting the old gang back together, or…

Has Murray been brushing up on his Kings history?

Ironically, it was on this date in 1979 that the Kings called up Charlie Simmer from their AHL affiliate in Springfield and the team’s most famous trio was about to be born.

Simmer played left wing, along side center Marcel Dionne and right wing Dave Taylor – forming one of the most prolific lines in NHL history, The Triple Crown Line.

Then-coach Bob Berry put them together for the first time on January 13th (the same date as the next Kings game this season). It was the seventh game of an eight-game road trip (this Thursday will be the seventh game of an eight game homestand). The line went on to recorded at least one point in 56 consecutive games. Overall, the trio put up spectacular numbers during their run together (’79-84) – Dionne averaged 119 points, Taylor averaged 88 points and Simmer 77 points.

Can Smyth-Kopitar-Williams pick up where they left off last year?  Take two starts Thursday night vs. the visiting St. Louis Blues.

The Mayor
www.twitter.com/Mayor119
www.facebook.com/MayorsManor

RELATED ARTICLES:

Painting by Numbers with Ryan Smyth

Is there a Hockey News Curse?

Interview with Marcel Dionne

Pre-season thoughts from Ryan Smyth and Anze Kopitar

Terry Murray Likes Seals, Not Sharks

Recent Articles

TSN REPLAY: Hoven Breaks Down the LA Kings, Mike Futa Situation

Follow @mayorNHL
Enjoy a free replay of John Hoven on TSN Radio, where he joined host Kevin Olszewski to discuss several NHL related topics – including what went down this week between the Kings and Mike Futa.
Today’s radio segment can be heard using the player below or download any previous appearances for free on the MayorsManor […]

LA Kings 2020 Prospect Rankings – Players No. 7 and 8

It’s time for another pair of prospect reports! After revealing the first two players inside the Top 10 last week, we’re back with another pair of future Kings – and both are defensemen.
For anybody new to our rankings, know that you’ve come to the right place. Many view this as the definitive guide to the […]

LA Kings 2020 Prospect Rankings – Players No. 9 and 10

We hear that all of our loyal readers are bored these days. They’ve caught up on all their Netflix shows and are ready to get after some hockey related reading. So, here we are. Like your favorite pair of jeans or a cozy blanket. We’re back with the latest round of prospect reports.
In all seriousness, […]

Major News Items

LA Kings 2020 Prospect Rankings – Goalie Depth Chart

Before we get started here, some context… While normally our Midseason Prospect Rankings come out shortly after the World Junior Championships, we held off in anticipation of any deals the Kings may make prior to the … [Read More...]

More Prospect News

About John Hoven

John Hoven is a member of the of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and co-hosts Kings of the Podcast. He is also the founder and editor of MayorsManor.com, which has been named Best Sports Blog in Los Angeles by LA Weekly and Hockey Blog of the Year by Yahoo Sports. Click "ABOUT OUR TEAM" above for a full bio.