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Andy Murray: "We're Fatigued" and other tidbits from the "Breakfast With The Kings"

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01-29-2006, 04:05 PM
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CBGB
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Andy Murray: "We're Fatigued" and other tidbits from the "Breakfast With The Kings"

The 3rd annual "Breakfast With The Kings" took place this morning at the Toyota Health Center in El Segundo, CA - There were 63 tables, around 350-375 fans attended, a jumbotron faced the audience, and the food was better than the last time. Jim Fox was walking around from table to table, they kept the mic far away from me... and Andy Murray reads message boards!

Dave Taylor began the festivities:
“We seem to have a stinker of a game before every one of these breakfasts”

He then introduced Kings assistant GM and Monarchs GM, Kevin Gilmore who entertained us for half an hour with a Show-And-Tell “Slide Show” which outlined AEG’s philosophies for building a winning franchise. I’ll post the details later, but in a nutshell…

It was a “Moneyball” style presentation basically outlining the fact that since 1990 63% of all 1st round selections have gone on to become regular players in the NHL, 29% of all 2nd round selections have gone on to be regular players in the NHL and 22% in the 3rd round. Emphasis was on selecting the top prospects from around the world using our 18 scouts because 71.8% of all “core” NHL players have come in the first 3 rounds.

Luc Robitaille was then introduced:

“I know its been a tough week for us, but we’re gonna work hard to get back on track, we just want you guys to know that. All the players, we really appreciate you guys following us. It’s been great this year. We sell out every game and the players are excited. It’s been a lot of fun to play at home. It’s been a tough few games here lately, but you always go through ups and downs throughout the year. We’re gonna work our kinks out and we’ll make sure we finish strong for you guys and have a great playoff run.”

“It was really special for me last week. I will never forget that night. I know you guys really stick with us through thick and thin.”

Andy Murray was then introduced:

“We’ve got to quit meeting like this… after these losses. Obviously we’ve been a bit of a disappointment to ourselves and to you as well these last few games.”

“Just to give you a kind of a state where we’re at, we just had a meeting with our players and talked about things and our plans and we’re obviously not pleased with what’s gone on the last ten days, the last week and obviously losing the way we’ve lost the past couple of games doesn’t sit very well with us.”

“We have battled so hard due to our unfortunate injuries… and I call them unfortunate because a majority of them there’s not a lot of things we could have done about them. In fact, ALL of them there’s not a lot we could have done to prevent them.”

“I think what’s set in a little bit now, and I recognize that, and we’ve talked about it with the players and talking to Matty (Norstrom) after the game last night and Derek Armstrong and a few of our players that have played all the games is… there’s a fatigue level in our team right now. We have to recognize that and appreciate that and recognize that the players certainly are not playing the way they’re playing right now other than 10.”

“They care. They care for our fans, they care for our team, for everything that’s going on and they want desperately to challenge for the Stanley Cup. But we are physically tired right now. It’s not an excuse, it’s a reality of the situation. We’ve played more games than any other team in the league. 9 of the first 12 games of the year were at home, so that means the majority of the games that we’ve played of late have been on the road. That’s a factor. But you have to recognize that and you have to deal with it. And other teams are dealing with it as well and what we have to do is rely on our mental strength and our determination to see us through until the break. We have to find a way over the next couple of weeks and certainly tomorrow night in Anaheim to rely on that mental strength and that level of determination to make sure that we step up and get the job done because ultimately we’re responsible for getting wins and getting better.”

“We went over our penalty killing today. We have penalty killers. We simply told them “if you can’t get the job done, you can’t play on our team” – We have to be a team that can kill penalties. We have to be a team that when we put our top 2 offensive units on the ice and our defensemen and we have a plan… when you have a chance to shoot on the power play, you gotta shoot and somebody’s gotta bury some pucks. When Luc gets the puck on his stick in front of the net he would tell you the same thing. It’s his responsibility to put it away. We talked about it. We dealt with it. We’re gonna go over some things in practice. There’s a couple of tactical adjustments that we’re gonna make in the defensive zone that take into consideration that we may be are a little bit fatigued and our defensemen are having problems pertaining down low in the offensive zone, so we’re gonna do something there to make an adjustment.”

“We plan to be a playoff team. You can’t challenge for the Stanley Cup if you don’t get into the playoffs. We haven’t played as hard as we’ve played this year and worked as hard as we have with somewhat of a limited lineup due to injuries, to give up on anything right now… the Ducks had their day yesterday and they had some smiles o their faces and their fans were pretty darned happy. It’s our responsibility and our objective tomorrow to make sure we turn the tide and go into their building and knock them off it.”

Questions for Andy Murray

Q: “Three Years ago when we lost Dave Tippet, we should have gone out and got an experienced assistant coach or a head coach from somewhere else that could have helped us out. I don’t think John Van Boxmeer is the answer on the power play. Our power play is so predictable or they’ve tuned him out. And the same thing on the penalty killing. Last time I checked we were like 25th in the league in both power play and penalty killing. We could be 1st in the league overall by a far margin if those special teams were any better. I just see how these assistant coaches can’t be held responsible for what’s going on.

AM: “I appreciate your opinion and I’ve obviously read that on some of the websites. I get some great information from the websites and some of you are very knowledgable. Everything you say we think about. I appreciate the ones that are supportive and I recognize the people that are critical of myself (CBGB?).”

“For example. The buck stops here. I’m responsible for the power play. I’m responsible for the penalty kill. We have assistant coaches that have that as part of their job responsibility but if the power play’s not working its not John Van Boxmeer, it’s Andy Murray that’s gotta make sure it works. “

“It’s really interesting… if I could take YOU and some of the other people that wonder about that particular point into our power play meetings and talk about the flexibility and we show them the things that we want to do on our power play. I’ve sat in on power play meetings when Dave Tippet and I did them. I sit in with John Van Boxmeer when we do them. John Van Boxmeer does every bit a good a job as Dave Tippet did at presenting the power play and the things we need to do. Obviously we’ve got to fix it because its not very good. We realize our special teams are a problem. Its amazing that we’ve been abale to have our standing in the league as it is with such poor special teams, but Mark Hardy.. it may be one of his various responsibilities penalty killing but it’s me on that call as well. “

“There is concept flexibility. We called time-out last night on the 5 on 3 power play. We recognized that they were overplaying Lubomir and we had a left hand shot, we were wanting Michael Cammalleri to work with Craig Conroy… go up and down… if that shot was there, Cammalleri would take the one timer if they didn’t overplay Vishnovski we would slide the puck over to him. If Cammalleri took some shots we hoped that their forward would come out a little bit higher and their other defensemen would come out higher on him… we’d slide it down to Craig and we could go across to Luc or to Pavel. So we had different options. We called a time-out because they were just staying back, they weren’t coming out at all and we thought we needed a one time shot on the other side as well so we put Corvo out there and his responsibility… they were to work together with Vishnovski and slide the puck across for the one timer. We got the puck over to Joe three times and we didn’t shoot the puck.”

“Sometimes you can explain the concepts and so on. When it doesn’t work, the players may not do what you want but you still take responsibility. The game last night, the first person I’d look at is Andy Murray. I’ve got to do a better job. We’ve been a good 1st period team the majority of the year, we’ve also been a very good 3rd period team. But we weren’t very good in the 1st period last night and we weren’t real good in the 2nd and I thought we were a heck of a lot better in the 3rd.”

“We did a statistical analysis. I called all of the other coaches that I know in the league. Dave Tippet, Mike Johnson in Vancouver, Ron Wilson in San Jose. We practice the power play more in practice than any time of the other coaches I talked to. “

“We had a problem of moving the puck out of the zone last night. We had a problem in our defensive zone so we’re changing our concept a little bit.”

“I know people talk on some of the web sites but our system is similar to the one in Vancouver which works very well for them, it’s the system that Anahiem…Randy Carlysle, who is a good friend of mine… their implementing our system as well right now. They’re doing it better than we’re doing it obviously.”

Q: The #1 and #2 teams on the PP in the league have a lot of movement. It’s not stagnant, it’s not standing around passing the puck. What I saw last night was too much of that. I’d like to see more movement”

AM: “Totally agree! That’s exactly what we told our players this morning. If you take a look at the two power play goals we scored.. the one to start the game, we had quick puck movement, guys were moving…. Let me tell you, you’re preaching to the right guy. I believe in what you’re saying. We’re telling our guys. You hear John Van Boxmeer yelling “move the puck, move the puck”. If you’re not moving the puck, move your body. We’ve got guys that have played in a certain way before. Pavol’s a guy in St. Louis he stood on the half boards and got pucks towards the front of the net and he had Keith Tkachuk playing the front of the net and they came up with opportunities. We’re trying to change some habits here and its been a little bit tough. I totally agree with you. We need more movement on our power play, we need the puck to move quicker.”

Questions for Dave Taylor:

Q: “What’s the status on Ryan Flinn”

DT: “He’s still having some symptoms. Having mostly headaches. They’re intermittent and they’re off and on so we have some optimism that he’ll be back. Right now, he’s not at the point where he’s skating.

Q: “Are we going to go out and acquire a scoring defenseman to get us to the playoffs”?

DT: “I hope so. We’re looking at all options and every opportunity to improve our club. Not just on defense, but also up front. When you look at the problems that we’ve had the last couple of weeks, it’s mostly from a defensive point of view and the amount of quality chances that we’re giving up against our goaltender. We’ll continue to work the phones. We have been working the phones. We have the ability from our ownership to go out to acquire a player if we find the right deal”.

Q:“How do the owners define a successful season? I’m tired of just squeaking into the playoffs”

DT: “Our focus is to win the Stanley Cup. We plan to continue to be aggressive in the free agent market and we plan to be aggressive from now until the trade deadline if we have an opportunity to improve our club. The direction here is to build a winning club and we’re prepared to do whatever it takes to get to that goal.”

Q: "When will we see some coaching changes, since we seem to have talent on the ice”? (boo’s)

DT: "I think our coaches do an outstanding job for us (applause). I don’t think there’s a coaching staff in the league that works as hard as our staff does. We’re in a position now where we’re 9 games over .500, we’ve had as many injuries as any team in the league but we can’t use that an excuse. Andy Murray said “the buck stops with him”, it also stops with me. I have to look to see if we can improve the personnel. We’re always evaluating all of our staff but my opinion is our coaching staff does a heck of a job. We’ve had to work through a lot of adversity to get to this point. The way the last couple of games have gone has not been pleasant for me or to anybody in this room. We’re going to work as hard as we can to get that turned around and get going in the right direction again."

Q: "We had Phillipe Boucher a couple a years ago and AEG didn't want to sign him 'cause he wanted a couple of million dollars but you can't just turn Mattias Norstrom who is a defensive defensiveman into a number 1 shot from the point? Pittsburgh just dumped Tarnstrom to Edmonton for a couple of guys, Chicago got rid of Spacek. Both of these guys are offensive defensemen that we could have brought in. Are you just unwilling to part with any prospects?

DT: "Mattias Norstrom is an outstanding defensive defenseman. When we structure our defense, we're looking for a blend of players. We look at Aaron Miller, Mattias Norstrom and we look at Tim Gleason. We think those three players have the ability to play solid defense for us, they can take away the time and space of the opposing forwards and they can play against anybody in the league. From an offensive point of view, we have Lubomir who is tied for 1st in the league in defensive scoring. We have Joe Corvo who has had a kind of a breakthrough season from an offensive point of view and probably Nathan Dempsey (ugh!) would be a 3rd offensive minded defenseman for us. When I look back at our struggles the last couple of weeks, it's not so much scoring goals, it's more from a defensive point of view. If there was one role to fill we'd probably like to get another solid defensive defenseman. It's been a pretty soid group. When we begin to miss them is when we're challenged with our depth and that's an area where I'm looking to get us some help"

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01-29-2006, 04:13 PM
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Hey, Rush Hour 2 is on right now!

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01-29-2006, 04:18 PM
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When I look back at our struggles the last couple of weeks, it's not so much scoring goals, it's more from a defensive point of view. If there was one role to fill we'd probably like to get another solid defensive defenseman. It's been a pretty soid group. When we begin to miss them is when we're challenged with our depth and that's an area where I'm looking to get us some help"
Is DT in the market for a "depth" defenseman, then?

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01-29-2006, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by kingsfan25
Is DT in the market for a "depth" defenseman, then?
Jeff Jillson to the Monarchs????

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01-29-2006, 04:23 PM
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LOL, someone actually wasted precious time asking questions that would require answers from the IHOC handbook. AND... someone asked about Ryan Flinn's status... LOL... That's hysterical.

And, how about Q:“How do the owners define a successful season? I’m tired of just squeaking into the playoffs”

Now that's reason to go into convulsions... how much squeaking have we done in the last few seasons????

Seriously, a good read. I could have written the answers myself without going to the event.

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01-29-2006, 04:30 PM
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Matt, thanks for posting this here also. Nice recap.

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01-29-2006, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TubbyTerrion
LOL, someone actually wasted precious time asking questions that would require answers from the IHOC handbook. AND... someone asked about Ryan Flinn's status... LOL... That's hysterical.

And, how about Q:“How do the owners define a successful season? I’m tired of just squeaking into the playoffs”

Now that's reason to go into convulsions... how much squeaking have we done in the last few seasons????

Seriously, a good read. I could have written the answers myself without going to the event.
Exactly!

I'd like to have asked if the contract extensions for the coaching staff are still on the table....

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01-29-2006, 05:53 PM
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Great post.

So there we have it. On the record, saying he is trying to get help on defence and on forward. That the goal is a Stanley Cup. We should sticky this thread so that if none of this pans out, we will know for sure that we are getting jerked around.

We need to keep these guys accountable for what they tell the fans.

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01-29-2006, 05:59 PM
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A lot of what was said by AM & DT was previously spewed forth at earlier Breakfasts. Looking for defensive help, yada yada yada. For the most part, same chant, different day. It's getting old.

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01-29-2006, 06:32 PM
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Andy Murray: But we are physically tired right now. It’s not an excuse, it’s a reality of the situation. We’ve played more games than any other team in the league.

Hogwash. Playing 2-3 games more than anyone else, spread out over 100 days shouldn't tire any professional athlete, especially not so badly that they play like they have recently. That's just a whopper of an excuse that AM should be ashamed of for pushing on the fans. The only fatigue that I can see is that they're possibly just "tired" of listening to the coaches.

Andy Murray: We have penalty killers. We simply told them “if you can’t get the job done, you can’t play on our team.

Too bad that philisophy doesn't apply to the coaching staff, who, clearly, "can't get the job done."

Andy Murray: We practice the power play more in practice than any time of the other coaches I talked to.

You'd think that this would be a red flag that it's not how much they practice, it's what they're practicing! You can practice bad strategies all you want; it's not going to make them successful.

Andy Murray: You hear John Van Boxmeer yelling “move the puck, move the puck”.

No wonder the puck gets passed around so much, instead of the players, themselves, moving

The most important thing that I learned from all of that is: If people booed when coaching changes were mentioned and applauded when it was suggested that the coaches do an outstanding job, then that tells you right there that the faction of the fans that management cares the most about are quite happy with their performance. You can't expect change when then happens.

BTW, thanks, CBGB.

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01-29-2006, 06:42 PM
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Matt...

This was a great recap of the breakfast meeting. You apparently spent a good deal of time transcribing what was said. I appreciate it and I'm sure everyone else does as well. Thanks.

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01-29-2006, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBGB
“We went over our penalty killing today. We have penalty killers. We simply told them “if you can’t get the job done, you can’t play on our team”
Conroy, Demitra, Belanger, Kostopoulos, Roenick, Norstrom, Miller, Gleason and Weaver must be worried now...

What's next, not allowing them to participate in the pep rally?

This is an expmple of what I consider "arrogance" when I talk about the Kings arrogance. These are ultimatums/threats that the coach of a perennial contender can make and have an impact with players. The players I listed above are the players that typically see the bulk of PK time. Other than TK and Weaver, I don't think any of the others have reason to be concerned about their future with the Kings because of their PK play. Weaver is supposed to be the 7th d-man and TK a 4th liner. Let's move those two in a trade...

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01-29-2006, 07:25 PM
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Great read and well done. I agree with the idea that we shouldn't expect a blockbuster trade. Expect depth guys. Depth guys that are slightly better than our depth guys, or depth guys that are slightly different than what LA's got. When the trade(s) do happen I can already see the "so What" or "is that it" feeling sweep over me. ILuv is right, more of the same that we've heard the last few seasons. I hope we're wrong.

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01-29-2006, 07:54 PM
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Yes we are looking for a forward and a defenseman. Expect your shipment of Eric Weinrich and Dean McAmmond to arrive any day now to save the franchise.

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01-29-2006, 07:57 PM
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Yes we are looking for a forward and a defenseman. Expect your shipment of Eric Weinrich and Dean McAmmond to arrive any day now to save the franchise.
Sadly, that could be the good scenario.

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01-29-2006, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Osprey
Hogwash. Playing 2-3 games more than anyone else, spread out over 100 days shouldn't tire any professional athlete, especially not so badly that they play like they have recently.
Right.

But honestly the team does look tired out there. I'm wondering if there is a conditioning problem with this team.

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01-29-2006, 08:22 PM
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The Kings have given up 20 PP goals in the month of January. Here are the basic numbers of which Kings was on the ice when PP goals were scored by opponents. Far from scientific as Demitra, Miller and Belanger all missed significant time in January:

Miller – 3
Corvo –1
Dempsey – 12
Cammalleri – 5
Norstrom – 13
Visnovsky – 2
Avery – 4
Conroy – 8
Brown – 1
Frolov – 4
Belanger – 2
Kostopoulos – 5
Demitra - 1
Clarke – 1
Gleason – 5
Weaver – 4
Giuliano – 3

So it looks like Matty needs to either pick it up on the PK or find a new team... (8 of Norstrom's 13 came when paired with Dempsey)

Conroy's history...

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01-29-2006, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by johnjm22
But honestly the team does look tired out there. I'm wondering if there is a conditioning problem with this team.
I'm sure that they'd look just as bad out there if they'd played the same number of games as everyone else. Regardless, something that I was thinking while reading that transcript is this: if the problem is that the players are tired, as Andy suggested, then why are they being run into the ground at practice? Why do they practice more than any other team if they're tired? If the problem is fatigue, then just maybe it's due to all of the practicing that they're forced to do. Give the boys a rest. Maybe, then, they'd also not injure themselves so much. Either Andy is just blowing smoke by blaming fatigue or he's just too incompetent to realize that extra practice only exacerbates fatigue; take your pick.

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01-29-2006, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Osprey
I'm sure that they'd look just as bad out there if they'd played the same number of games as everyone else. Regardless, something that I was thinking while reading that transcript is this: if the problem is that the players are tired, as Andy suggested, then why are they being run into the ground at practice? Why do they practice more than any other team if they're tired? If the problem is fatigue, then just maybe it's due to all of the practicing that they're forced to do. Give the boys a rest. Maybe, then, they'd also not injure themselves so much. Either Andy is just blowing smoke by blaming fatigue or he's just too incompetent to realize that extra practice only exacerbates fatigue; take your pick.
I think he meant extra time practicing on special teams...I'm not sure about all around. I just hope we can find a second wind heading into the break. Roenick would provide a big spark for us IMO but he's still a week away. I think most of it is just mental.

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01-29-2006, 08:55 PM
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Roenick, the spark... (the mind boggles.)

Heard Glenn Hall on XM yesterday (he played something like 500+ consecutive games in the NHL at one point... AS A GOALTENDER) and he said that one of the big problems with the NHL in this era is that they practice WAY TOO MUCH, and mentioned specifically "punishment practice." Said that in "the old days" players got a lot more sleep.

Interesting, I thought.

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01-29-2006, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Kingz4life
I think he meant extra time practicing on special teams...I'm not sure about all around.
Yeah, I realize that he was talking about special teams. I'm referring not just to that, but also to other things that we've read before, such as new acquistions (ex. JR) remarking how hard the Kings practice compared to other teams. The Kings seem to practice feverishly, and that may have a lot to with with mid-season fatigue and injuries.

Tubby brought up an interesting point, too. Garon couldn't play even 50 games last year without tiring out and Glenn Hall played 500+ consecutive games? It makes you think. Maybe the Kings should try thumbing their noses at some of the staff's "optional" practices and jump into bed, instead. Maybe that'd also alleviate some of the routineness that creeps into their gameplay.


Last edited by Osprey: 01-29-2006 at 09:13 PM.
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01-29-2006, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by TubbyTerrion
Roenick, the spark... (the mind boggles.)
Yeah, once you get started
You can’t sit down
Come join the fun
It’s a merry go round
Everyone’s dancing
Their troubles away
Come join our party
See how we play!
Oh, yes
We’re going to have a party!
All night long! (all night)
All night long! (all night)
All night long! (all night)
All night long!


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01-29-2006, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TubbyTerrion
Roenick, the spark... (the mind boggles.)
Can't wait until he proves everyone wrong...

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01-29-2006, 09:32 PM
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If JR comes back and is even just as good as he was in his last week (doesn't have to be better), all sins of the first half would be forgiven. He's needed that badly.

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01-29-2006, 09:32 PM
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Location: Lake Forest, CA
Country: United States
Posts: 4,290
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingz4life
Can't wait until he proves everyone wrong...
It's going to take JR the rest of the season just to make up for the first few months of uninspired play.

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