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Kings' Dean Lombardi says he's not considering a coaching change

The team General Manager says, 'We're all in this together,' with the team in a 2-9 slump.

January 19, 2011|By Helene Elliott
  • It appears Kings Coach Terry Murray's job is safe despite the team's poor performance over the last 11 games.
It appears Kings Coach Terry Murray's job is safe despite the team's… (Mark J. Terrill / Associated…)

General Manager Dean Lombardi said Wednesday he is not considering a coaching change even though the Kings are trapped in a 2-9 slump he didn't expect after they ended an earlier 1-7 slide.

Since their 12-3 start the Kings are 12-18-1, dropping them outside the top eight in the West.

"No. We're all in this together right now in terms of they've shown what they can do," Lombardi said when asked if he has pondered dismissing Terry Murray.

"In terms of our players going through it again after maybe not having learned our lesson the first time is certainly frustrating because you want to grow mentally from the fact that how can you be 12-3 and then go 0-7?"

He added, "Obviously we come out of it and I think we played two games where I thought we were outstanding, in Colorado and San Jose, and then to follow that up with those performances in Phoenix and [against] Philly, we should have learned our lesson. And now we've got ourselves into a call it what you want, an ambush. It's all mental because they showed they can do it and they're going to have to figure it out and grow from it because in the end it has to come from the players."

Murray has drawn criticism for frequently mixing his line combinations, but Lombardi didn't fault him.

"Your coach is looking for ways to get people going," Lombardi, recently returned from a two-week scouting trip, said in an interview. "There's the other school of thought that says you've got to do this to get their attention. And so there's another school of thought, 'They've got to stay the same.'

"In the end it's a feel that your coach has to have and the guy's got 20 years' experience down there and that's why you hire the coach, to make those decisions. And that's one of the ways you can get your team's attention. There's no right or wrong answer."

Getting players' attention by acquiring a top-six forward doesn't appear to be on the horizon.

"The calls I've had, it's just not there. The only thing that's there is the tinkering-type things," Lombardi said. "From what I'm seeing … there's nothing there you can even talk about in terms of what you're saying."

Quick to start

Jonathan Quick, who let a long shot by St. Louis defenseman Erik Johnson slip between his pads Tuesday for the decisive goal in a 2-1 loss, will start Thursday against Phoenix.

"You just focus on the next game, the next period, the next save. I think that's important for the team to do right now, especially with the situation we're in," Quick said. "We got ourselves here, so we have to get ourselves out."

helene.elliott@latimes.com

twitter.com/helenenothelen

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