NHL: Why Darryl Sutter Got the Best out of the LA Kings When Terry Murray Didn’t

October 16th, 2012 by Steve Silverman Leave a reply »

Whether you like Darryl Sutter or not, the job he did as head coach of the Los Angeles Kings after he was hired to replace Terry Murray was stellar.

Obviously, the Kings got the results they dreamed about when they hired Sutter. But on the surface, it seemed to be a strange move. Murray and Sutter were both demanding head coaches who preached defense.

With Murray as head coach, the Kings were in 12th place in the Western Conference and languishing. But when Sutter took over, the team began a slow and steady rise.

They clearly got better as they worked their way towards the end of the regular season, but they didn't even know they would become a playoff team until the final week or so.

They qualified for the postseason as the eighth-place team in the Western Conference.

However, once the playoffs began, the Kings asserted themselves. Their defensive play was dominant and they had a team of opportunistic scorers that only got better in each passing round.

They defeated the Vancouver Canucks in the opening round, which got the attention of the National Hockey League. The Canucks were a Stanley Cup Finalist t ...

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