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Kings' Murray ignoring job-status speculation

Monday, 12.12.2011 / 9:44 AM / News

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Los Angeles Kings coach Terry Murray ran practice Monday in Boston amid rumors that he could be on his way out. The Los Angeles Times, citing unnamed sources, reported Sunday night that the Kings may be looking to fire Murray this week due to subpar results this season.

The Kings have lost four in a row, scoring only six goals in the process, and have fallen to 12th in the Western Conference with 30 points on a 13-12-4 record. They begin a four-game road trip Tuesday in Boston.

"No, it doesn't make it any more difficult," Murray told Rich Hammond of the L.A. Kings Insider blog on the Kings' website when asked if it is harder to do his job knowing there is a report about his impending firing.

The Times' report says the Kings have not yet found a replacement for Murray, but assistant coach John Stevens, who was the coach in Philadelphia from 2006-09, might be asked to become interim coach. However, the report also says Stevens is not viewed as a long-term replacement because of his similarities to Murray, including the fact that both coached together in Philadelphia, as well.

The Times contacted Kings GM Dean Lombardi, who declined comment. Hammond wrote that Kings governor Tim Leiweke declined to comment in an e-mail.

"I'm going to approach every game and every practice the same as if we had seven or eight wins in a row. You want to win the next one. So that's the approach that I take every day, every game. I like the way we're playing. The effort, the compete, the intensity, the chances that we're getting -- everything is in place. We just have to find a way to get a 'W.'"-- Terry Murray

Murray is staying positive.

"We're trying to win hockey games," he said. "I'm going to approach every game and every practice the same as if we had seven or eight wins in a row. You want to win the next one. So that's the approach that I take every day, every game. I like the way we're playing. The effort, the compete, the intensity, the chances that we're getting -- everything is in place. We just have to find a way to get a 'W.' "

After two straight seasons of making the playoffs, expectations around the Kings were raised this summer when Lombardi traded for center Mike Richards and signed free-agent forward Simon Gagne. The Kings, though, haven't found any type of offensive rhythm. They're averaging a League-worst 2.21 goals per game and are on pace for just 181 goals this season.

Star defenseman Drew Doughty, who missed training camp on a contract holdout, has just 2 goals, 8 points and a minus-4 rating in 24 games. Leading scorer Anze Kopitar hasn't scored a goal in the last eight games.

And Richards, who leads the team with 11 goals, has missed the last four games with a head injury and did not accompany the team to Boston.

"We had a meeting here before practice. We have to know that we are playing good," Murray said. "With a young group of guys, you want them to go on the ice and have some fun with the game, too. You want to play instinctive hockey and not become, in any sense, a robotic team, where you're so stationary and hesitant that now you do look really out of place. We want to play the right way, play instinctively and get after the puck, hunt it down and make sure we're doing the right things. I think that's where we're at."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

I didn't think it would actually work, but it ended up working, so I'm thanking my lucky stars tonight.

— Columbus forward Nick Foligno on scoring the overtime goal after telling the Blue Jackets in the locker room that he would win the game