Dean Lombardi: LA Kings Are A “Playoff-Type Team”

February 23rd, 2010 by Gann Matsuda Leave a reply »
LOS ANGELES — Before Terry Murray took over as head coach, the Los Angeles Kings were a mess. They could score goals, but they gave up so many more that they found themselves hurtling into the abyss, ending the 2007-08 season tied with the Tampa Bay Lightning with 71 points in the standings, the fewest number of points out of the thirty teams in the National Hockey League.

That team scored 2.76 goals per game (GPG), ranked thirteenth in the league. But they allowed 3.21 GPG, ranked 28th in the league, just 0.03 GPG better than the league-worst Lightning and the Atlanta Thrashers.

To make matters worse, the Kings were ranked dead last on the penalty-kill with a dismal 78.0 percent rating.

Indeed, one look at the 2007-08 Kings on defense made many people exclaim “yikes!” In fact, yours truly heard that very word numerous times that season in the Bob Miller Press Box at Staples Center when the Kings’ defense failed miserably again and again.

Murray came on board the following season and taught his young players how to play in the defensive zone, and his efforts paid off as the team allowed 2.76 GPG, moving up to e ...

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