L.A. captain on Murray firing: “We weren’t a hungry team”


Los Angeles Kings captain (and PHT 3rd Dud of the Week) Dustin Brown spoke with Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider about recently-dismissed head coach Terry Murray.

While Brown has experience with coaches getting turfed — he’s played under five different bench bosses in L.A. — he did say it was difficult to see Murray go.

“It’s not an easy thing to go through,” Brown said. “It’s really hard to kind of put into words how you feel, as a group of guys in here, when something like this happens. I think the best thing we can do, as players, is come together and work through it. It’s part of being a professional athlete, going through days like this.”

If the Kings are going to work through their issues, Brown will have to lead the charge. He’s been a major disappointment this year with just five goals through 29 games (on pace for 14) — a far cry from his 2007-08 season, when he finished 19th in league scoring with 33 goals.

When asked if drastic changes were needed, Brown offered some pointed remarks.

“Regardless of how we play the game, I think it’s more about our attitude, honestly,” he said. “We have to have a better, more hungry attitude. We weren’t a hungry team. We’ve got to get back to getting on the puck and having that attitude, that swagger.”

Brown’s comments are interesting given rumors that Darryl Sutter will be L.A.’s next head coach. Sutter’s most memorable coaching performance was taking a workmanlike Calgary Flames squad within a game of the 2004 Stanley Cup. That squad was defined by its hard-hat mentality (leaning heavily on grinders like Shean Donovan, Martin Gelinas, Stephane Yelle, Chris Simon and Chris Clark) and you’d have to think Sutter would try to instill the same mentality in the Kings.

Welcome back, Babs: Red Wings chase Bernier

Mike Babcock
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Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.

As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.

The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.

This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.

Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.

Blue Jackets’ Wennberg done for night with upper-body injury

Alexander Wennberg, Jay Bouwmeester
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It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?

OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.

Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.

There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:

Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.