The last few weeks have been tougher for the Los Angeles Kings, but that won't persuade general manager Rob Blake to let go of head coach Todd McLellan.
Before Thursday night's game against the Nashville Predators, the California team had lost nine of its last ten games. This damning observation spoiled a very good start to the season and the rumor mill quickly went into overdrive.
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However, Blake confirmed at a press conference on Thursday that McLellan will remain in his position until the end of the campaign. The Saskatchewan native is therefore certain that he will complete his fifth season in Los Angeles.
“We have always relied on structure, system and defense and I would say that has eluded us a little bit recently. “We have to rediscover these aspects of our game. “Todd has done a great job implementing all of this over the years and we need to keep it going,” the GM said.
Instead of throwing stones at McLellan, Blake assured that he was positive about the coming months. Instead of immediately thinking about contract negotiations, he would rather see the reaction of the players. It began on Thursday at the Crypto.com Arena after a journey of six meetings.
“I will rely on the players and their leadership to get us out of this situation,” he said. Nobody came back from this trip happy, but they want to find it [leurs bonnes habitudes] And that starts with good defense.”
Dubois is lagging behind
Speaking of players who need to show more: Pierre-Luc Dubois is at the top of the list. The Quebec native was disappointing in his first season with the Kings, as he only managed 19 points in 40 games while posting a -11 margin.
“When he has the puck, a lot of good things happen,” Blake assured. There are ways to get the puck that we need more of, but that's not his fault. It belongs to the team.”
It remains to be seen where Dubois will figure into the plans. He was recently sent to the fourth line; An unenviable position for the man who will be the club's highest-paid striker next year.