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How the Kings prepare for the playoffs

The words “playoffs” and “Los Angeles Kings” haven’t gone together in a

Terry Murray

Los Angeles Kings head coach Terry Murray looks on against the Phoenix Coyotes during the first period of their NHL hockey game, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2009, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)


few years (since 2001-2002 to be exact) so you’ll have to forgive head coach Terry Murray if being asked about how to prepare for the playoffs is a bit new to him as it’s his first time back there since he took the Panthers to the playoffs in 1999-2000. Yeah, the Panthers.

Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider asked if Murray if going “pedal to the metal” with four games left is the way to play it now that they’ve qualified for the playoffs.

“The last thing you want, as an organization, is someone on the outside, at the end of the day, evaluating the last half a dozen games and saying, `I wish they had played that guy, or started that goaltender, or played harder.’ It just eliminates all doubt on anybody’s part. But the most important part, again, is getting your own team ready, fine-tuning it, pushing to get yourself ready for the playoffs.”

Well chosen words for Murray who, until the Kings hired him to be head coach before last season, had been out of work since being canned by those same Panthers 36 games into the 2000-2001 campaign after the team started 6-18-7-5 that season. Incidentally, remember how much those four number record lines stunk? I need to dust off my old NHL slide rule to figure out what exactly that meant. At least seeing only six wins makes it easy to see that they were pretty bad that year.