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02-21-2013, 03:29 PM
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I wish Regier would lay something like this on the players the way Lombardi did to the Kings' players last year, and even name names like DL did:


As reported in recent stories here on Frozen Royalty, much of the Kings’ problems this season have been in how they execute, or fail to execute, their game plan, and that they certainly aren’t coached to fail, in any regard (see Los Angeles Kings: Players Counter Claims That System, Coach Stifle Offense and Terry Murray Likely To Take Fall Soon For LA Kings’ Failures, No Matter Whose Fault It Is).

As such, the vast majority of the responsibility for the team’s failings to this point in the 2011-12 season lies with the players.

Before speaking to the media, Lombardi reportedly blasted his players loudly during a closed door meeting.

“It’s simple,” said Lombardi. “It sounds cliche, but it’s true. Ultimately, the message is that they’re accountable. Unfortunately, the coach has to pay the price. But make no mistake. They’re the ones who are accountable for this.”

Lombardi also stressed that it is not just a matter of young players like Drew Doughty or Jack Johnson not raising their level of play to expected levels. Rather, the veterans get at least as much of the blame, if not more.

“In the end, it still comes down to the player getting his focus, and being the best he can be,” Lombardi explained. “With young players today, it’s a challenge. But I don’t think it’s just the young players. I think it’s been right across the board, so I’m not just pinning [this on the younger players].”

“They are trying to reach their potential, and there’s always stumbling blocks along the road to reaching their utmost,” Lombardi elaborated. “But then you have players with a specific [mode of operation], and have had a certain level of success in this league—I know players who have established themselves are going to have ups and downs, but they should be in the neighborhood of what they have done in the past. I don’t think we have any guys we consider to be old, or on the down side, so, it’s collective.”

“I’ve been through this before. I saw it with [the San Jose Sharks in Patrick] Marleau, [Brad] Stuart, [and Evgeni] Nabokov, but it’s across the board here. You can’t just say it’s the young players. [Jarret] Stoll, [Justin] Williams, [Matt] Greene—all these guys—[Dustin] Brown. They certainly have to look at themselves as much as the younger players.

Lombardi called on his veteran players to take charge.

“It’s possible [to turn things around],” he said. “But, in the end, it comes down to the players. I don’t think you’re going to do this unless you think you’re going to get some improvement.”

“It’s unique here, in that you’ve got the youngest core in the league, and you’re counting on these young players,” he added. “But again, the veterans, the established players, have to step up here. But why else, in any sport, would you make this type of change [if you’re not] hoping for improvement?”


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