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Column: Todd McLellan has Rob Blake’s support, but is he Terry Murray 2.0 for the Kings?

Related Topics: Todd McLellan, Rob Blake

A season that began with great expectations dissolved into a struggle to stay afloat as the Kings hit the halfway mark. They had more reason to look nervously in the rear-view mirror at the teams gaining on them than to look optimistically ahead toward the top of the Pacific Division, which is where they thought they’d be after they acquired Pierre-Luc Dubois and his eight-year, $68 million contract in an effort to counter their rivals’ superior depth and size.

General manager Rob Blake’s answer to the 1-5-4 slump that left the Kings with a record of 21-12-8 and 50 points after their first 41 games was to say the team must go back to its defensive foundation, even though defense is a pronounced weakness for creative but careless winger Kevin Fiala and for Dubois, who had scored a paltry nine goals and 19 points at the halfway point and is often clueless when he doesn’t have the puck.