Sharks say they were snubbed by Kings Coach Terry Murray
Did Kings Coach Terry Murray commit a grievous sin by not shaking the hands of San Jose players after the Sharks eliminated the Kings from the playoffs Monday?
Murray’s assistants joined the traditional on-ice handshake line after San Jose’s 4-3 overtime victory ended the series in six games, but Murray himself shook the hands only of the Sharks’ coaches and not the players.
That led two Sharks players to express their outrage via Twitter. Said Jamal Mayers (Jamalmayers10): “Kings battled hard! Tough series with 3 OT games! Too bad Murray didn't have class to shake hands like players (who bled) and Asst Coaches!”
Winger Devin Setoguchi (@seto1661) said: “Would like to know why coach of the kings Terry Murray never shook our hands?? Might be a first??”
Uh, sorry, kid, it wasn’t a first. Far from it.
But was it rude?
Not every coach congratulates opposing players at the end of a series, and Murray told Darren Dreger of Canada’s TSN network that it has never been his custom.
“It has always been about the players, my opportunity to compliment the opponent is through the media which I did several times in the series,” Murray said. “And [Monday] night I said that they were good enough to win four series in this year’s playoffs. That’s high praise coming from me.”
Maybe so, but he also got in several shots at the Sharks during the series. Murray accused Sharks forward Dany Heatley of slew-footing Kings defenseman Alec Martinez in Game 4, a play Murray called “gutless.” Murray also said San Jose defenseman Jason Demers’ hit on Kings winger Ryan Smyth in Game 1, which did not result in a suspension, was “five times as severe a hit” as the blow by Kings center Jarret Stoll on San Jose defenseman Ian White that got Stoll suspended from Game 2.
So even though the games ended, the gamesmanship didn’t.
The Kings, incidentally, will have their exit interviews Wednesday at their El Segundo practice facility and we’ll have coverage on that Wednesday. The Ducks, eliminated in six games by Nashville, said their farewells on Monday. Check back for coverage on that later Tuesday.
-- Helene Elliott
Photo: Dustin Brown #23 of the Los Angeles Kings shakes hands with the San Jose Sharks after being eliminated in Game 6 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. Credit: Harry How/Getty Images