Lombardi said he was angry he had to fire coach Terry Murray. It was a direct message to the players that they were responsible for the poor play. It was a psychological coaching change and it should have sparked something in the players to up their efforts. For a few games it did. Darryl Sutter started out with points in 13 of 14 games. However, the scoring is in a massive slump and the Kings are trickling down the standings. Their inability to finish, both on individual scoring chances and games as a whole, has their playoff chances in danger. The problem is the same as it ever was. It’s often quoted but Albert Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. It’s time for a change.
I was over at Jewels From the Crown and Quisp was suggesting some serious moves to spark the team. Essentially, trading for all new top 6 wingers. I can’t argue with him because the Kings have struggled for years now with support scoring. Kopitar has been solid, I don’t think anyone is ready to give up on Richards yet, but after that it’s a question mark.
Smyth was good while he was here, but he’s gone. Sturm was a flop. Penner was a bust. Gagne has been injured, of course. The call-ups haven’t been consistent. Williams has been good, but also streaky. Brown has been inconsistent, but brings the intangibles. I can’t really argue a good reason why any of those guys who are still with the team are untouchable. Divorce yourself from sentimentality and you’ll likely feel the same.
I’m an optimist, so I’ll try to spin this to a positive. The Kings have value in their ranks. They’re deep in goal and at defense. There’s a point in time when that’s like keeping money under the mattress when there’s a hole in your roof. If Bernier can get something in return, trade him. If you have to choose which of the Kings defenseman will help the most to move, make that choice. If this team needs a culture change on offense, do it.
Dean Lombardi cannot rest on his laurels anymore and expect to have a job at season’s end.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t about discounting the past, it’s about assessing the present and future. I know the great things Lombardi has done to get this team where it is today, but they’ve been spinning their wheels in the mud for nearly 3 seasons now. It’s time to take it to the next level.
About the Author
Written by Eric Cooney
Eric Cooney was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina, and lives in Los Angeles, CA. He shares his thoughts on the NHL as one man who is a northerner, southerner, east coaster, and west coaster. Follow him on Twitter @EricCooney