LOS ANGELES—The Kings had six giveaways in the first 11 ½ minutes, were out-shot, 30-6, through two periods and gave up a goal from near mid-ice in the third, but coach Terry Murray was most discouraged by the treatment of his team during a lackluster 4-0 loss Thursday night against the St. Louis Blues at Staples Center.
“The most disappointing, frustrating thing was at the end of the second period, when we got booed off the ice by our fans,” Murray said. “That’s the worse I’ve ever been through in all the years I’ve been coaching.”
Murray thought the Kings deserved better after going 4-0 on a road trip that concluded Tuesday with a 4-2 victory in Nashville. He expected fans to show a little compassion for the home team, which entered the game in fourth place in the Western Conference standings.
Not even close.
“I’ve been behind the bench almost 3,000 hockey games in the NHL and booed off the ice by your own fans at the end of the second period, after [what] we’ve been through?” he said. “I’m very disappointed.”
Kevin Westgarth gave Kings’ fans the only reason to cheer when he won a fight against Cam Janssen two minutes into the game. But the momentum quickly got away from the Kings as they were out-shot, 9-1, then gave up the game’s first goal when Matt D’Agostini scored off a bad rebound wth 3:30 left in the opening period.
Kings rookie Kyle Clifford was then dropped in a one-punch fight against Ryan Reaves and never returned.
The imbalance in shot totals continued to mount in the second period, building to 24-3 before the Kings managed their fourth shot with 8:50 left. Quick then allowed a goal to D'Agostini on a tough angle with 6.9 seconds left in the second and the crowd grew impatient.
As the Kings headed to the locker room under a chorus of boos, the shot total read, 30-6, in favor of the Blues.
“It’s very frustrating, and if you’re not frustrated in this room then you shouldn’t be in it,” said Kings veteran forward Ryan Smyth. “It’s for sure a disappointing loss, especially the way we played. But it doesn’t matter if you lose 2-1 or 4-0, it’s a loss and it’s behind us now.”
The Kings only slipped one spot to fifth in the West and face another key Pacific Division game Saturday night against the visiting Ducks.
Los Angeles sports fans tend to have a short memory when it comes to bad performances. Hopefully the Kings will too.
“We have 11 games left, and we are in control of our destiny,” Smyth said.