Tag: Ethan Moreau

Dean Lombardi

Video: Kings GM says team was “wallowing in bewilderment”

LA Kings general manager Dean Lombardi conducted an interesting Q&A with Darryl Evans of Kings Vision this afternoon. It gets compelling around the 1:10 mark, when Evans asks Lombardi if he saw signs that things were going the wrong way:

That quote again, in case you missed it:

I think a lot of this fallout right now is mental. When you heighten the expectations on a team it’s a whole different mindset, and when you don’t look like you can reach that bar you start wallowing in bewilderment.

You can sense it’s put-up-or-shut-up time as Lombardi’s exhausted nearly all his managerial options. He made a trade deadline deal (Dustin Penner), a blockbuster deal (Mike Richards), swung big in free agency (Simon Gagne), sent a message to the veterans (by waiving Ethan Moreau) and will reportedly replace a player-friendly coach with an authoritarian (Darryl Sutter).

If the Kings fail to turn things around, big questions will have to be asked about the core group of players — because shaking up L.A.’s core is really the only move Lombardi has left.

It was a nice run, Ethan Moreau

Ethan Moreau

Ethan Moreau’s run in Los Angeles is pretty much over with after being put on waivers.

The veteran tried to find his game after losing it in Columbus after a great run in Edmonton all those years. As Rich Hammond of L.A. Kings Insider finds out from coach Terry Murray, while Moreau gave them everything he could – it just wasn’t good enough to stay with the team.

“I think his leadership in the locker room was, in a quiet way, very effective. He gave us everything he could. He wanted to win, he cared, he tried hard every time he was on the ice.”

If this were a rah-rah competition Moreau would probably still have a job with the Kings. Instead, it’s all about hockey and he didn’t give them enough grit on the fourth line nor enough offense to make up for it. C’est la vie.


Kopitar on L.A.’s scoring woes: “I’d be lying if I said there was no frustration”

Los Angeles Kings v Phoenix Coyotes

The Los Angeles Kings are the NHL’s lowest scoring team. They rank dead last in goals per game (2.26) and 5-on-5 goals (36) and only have three players — Mike Richards, Simon Gagne and Anze Kopitar — with seven goals or more.

Those ghastly numbers were enough for Kopitar to express frustration to Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider.

“I’d be lying if I said there was no frustration in the room. Everybody would like to score more goals,” Kopitar said. “Sometimes, for the guys, it’s almost better if you lose 5-4 than 2-1 or 1-0, because you have the sense that you did something out on the ice, that you did score a goal.”

Why L.A.’s scoring has fallen off a cliff is mysterious. Outside of a brutal, injury-ravaged season from Dustin Penner, the Kings have had all their offensive stars available. And it’s not like all the scorers are struggling — Kopitar is scoring at a point-a-game clip and prior to getting hurt, Richards was on pace for a career-high in goals.

That said, there are some theories as to why LA isn’t scoring:

— To acquire top-end talent like Richards and Gagne, the Kings were forced to jettison some of their depth. Last year’s key bottom-six guys (Wayne Simmonds, Michal Handzus, Alexei Ponikarovsky) are all playing elsewhere and their replacements (Ethan Moreau, Trent Hunter, Colin Fraser) have done zilch.

— Compounding the depth problem are guys that LA let walk or traded for nothing, like Matt Moulson (let walk as a FA), Teddy Purcell (traded for Jeff Halpern) and Brian Boyle (traded for a third-round pick) — all thriving with their new respective teams.

— GM Dean Lombardi told Hammond “we set out to put a strong defensive structure in place,” and “there’s no doubt in my mind that it starts back there and it’s critical for the playoffs.” This could be a case of a team sacrificing offense for defense, like what we’ve seen with Washington recently.