The Kings Under Andy Murray

For a team that has never won the Stanley Cup, there are moments, not champioinships. For the Kings, there have been three main triumphal moments that have involved the Kings as a team. (Wayne Gretzky accomplished several personal triumphs with the Kings.)

First, the Miracle on Manchester. This is probably the single most famous King moment, and arguably the most stunning comeback in NHL history.

Second, was the miraculous victory over the heavily favorede Toronto Maple Leafs in the waining moments of game seven of the Campbell Conference finals in 1993, led by Gretzky.

Third has to be the defeat of the Detroit Red Wings in 2001. Felix Potvin, Adam Deadmarsh and company overcame the Cup favorite Wings in a playoff round for the ages. The Kings then took the Avalanche, the eventual champion, to seven games.

The latter came under Andy Murray. It was one of three moments in 40 years that matter to King fans. For that, they should thank him. But Murray got so much from so little by pushing the players past the breaking point. His punishing coaching resulted in a team that sustained so many lost man-games to injury that we’ll never know how they would have done otherwise. But the two situations are inextricable. Without the punishing workouts and demanding coach, they might never have been in a position to succeed in the first place.

The problems with this organization run deep. They lack a good, young core group that they can build around, and they have for a long time. They will need to build from the draft for years before they will work themselves into a serious contender. And unfortunately for them, every single team in their division is way ahead. Dallas is a contender again. Anaheim is on the cusp. Phoenix and San Jose will improve markedly next season.

LA needs more than a new coach. A new owner, gm, front office staff, and farm system would be better.