The LA Times and I disagree on the meaning of the word "myriad"

picture-22From Helene Elliott today: "Kings Bad Loss Exposes Myriad Problems":

It's understandable that Kings defenseman Alec Martinez was nervous in his NHL debut Saturday against Phoenix. It's beyond comprehension why franchise defenseman Drew Doughty played the worst game of his NHL career and the team imploded in a season-opening 6-3 loss at Staples Center. Coach Terry Murray said Sunday he might replace Martinez with Peter Harrold on Tuesday against San Jose because he didn't like the defense pairings and "passes that were bobbled and kind of end up being soft plays that were turnovers coming back at us." Or he might continue to mix the pairs, as he did in mid-game. Fixing the other problems could be more difficult. Murray on Sunday had players practice battling along the boards and generating offense in five-on-five situations. The Kings were one of the NHL's weakest five-on-five teams last season and repeated that Saturday, when they sustained no five-on-five pressure and scored only on power plays. "I don't know how to explain it," said winger Wayne Simmonds, a preseason standout who took one shot and made a bad turnover. "We weren't hard on the boards. We didn't play hard." If there were drills for handling adversity, the Kings could have benefited from those too. They handled it as badly as they handled Phoenix's speedy forwards. "We went down one goal and started making a few errors on the defensive end, in the defensive zone. I think after that, things kind of started going downhill," said Doughty, who made two giveaways that led to goals and was in the penalty box on the Coyotes' first goal. "We were making more and more mistakes." That bothered Murray most of all. "It's not the way to get yourself into the playoffs," he said. "Stuff is going to happen, shifts, plays, goals against. Adversity is staring you in the face every time you step onto the ice and you've got to be able to manage that the right way."

Now...

Myriad, according to me, means countless, or, if you're from the middle ages, ten thousand. Let's count the myriad problems listed by HE.

1) Alex Martinez was nervous.

2) Drew Doughty played his worst game as a pro.

3) The coach didn't like the defense pairings.

4) Passes were bobbled.

5) Players were not battling along the boards.

6) Team was weak 5-on-5.

7) Team couldn't handle "adversity."

8) Team couldn't handle Phoenix's speedy forwards. [GRRR, f'ing emoticon! That's supposed to be a "#8"]

So, at most, myriad means eight. I would have really enjoyed "Kings' Bad Loss Exposes Eight Problems." It's so specific. However, I was being extra generous in my counting. "Martinez was nervous" is not a problem exposed by the loss, it's just what happens when you play your first NHL game. How will the Kings ever be able to correct this new-found problem? Oh, right. Never mind. It's already fixed. Everyone is assuming that Martinez is headed to Manchester when SOD comes back after the next game, so this really can't count as a legitimate problem. Onward: "Doughty sucked." Yeah, nobody thinks this is a chronic problem. It's what you call a bad game. I'm surprised it didn't happen last year. I will be happy to enjoy the Doughty "problem" for the next 10-15 years, thanks. "The coach didn't like the defense pairings." Why would he, when Martinez was nervous and Doughty sucked, and SOD is out on suspension? This "problem" is just restating the first two non-problems. Okay, now: "Passes were bobbled." I agree. That was a problem, and it cost the Kings the game. To what so we attribute this problem? Lack of skill? Laziness? I'm going to go with nerves. Not exactly a long term problem. But it was a problem and it was exposed. So, we've got one so far. "Players were not battling along the boards." I agree. However, note that this is almost always what the coach says after a loss. Does anyone think that Brown, Simmonds or Smyth have a problem "battling"? How about Williams, Stoll and Handzus? Yeah, I don't either. Because that only leaves Frolov and Purcell. Frolov is a puck-possession genius who usually doesn't have to fight for the puck because he usually has the puck. But, Purcell: battling along the boards is his oft-stated #1 issue. So let's call the problem what it is: Teddy didn't get the job done in game #1. We can quibble about the meaning of "exposed" but I won't because I'm already quibbling about "myriad." The Purcell battling thing is not exactly news to anybody following the Kings. "Team was weak 5-on-5." Agreed, big problem. Also, not news. And I'm going to say if you're bobbling passes and not battling, you are going to suck 5-on-5. So it's either the first two or the last one, but you can't have all three. I'm going to go with the 5-on-5 problem, because it covers the other two, because nerves is not a long term problem, and because -- oh yeah -- it happens to be the real problem. "Team couldn't handle 'adversity.'" I don't really even know what this means. What adversity? The adversity of losing? Presumably, the adversity in question is getting down 3-0. But, hey, they handled that just fine, right? They played 3-3 after that. What they couldn't "handle" was playing the game. There wasn't any adversity when it was 1-0, or even 2-0. Even at 3-0 it was pretty obviously possible for the Kings to get back in it, especially with the number of posts they were hitting. (You could argue, however, that this "adversity" cliche is really touching on a bigger issue, which, if the Kings were to continue to lose games like this, you would wonder about their leadership on the ice. I'm not really sure if DB is getting the job done as captain -- without being in the locker-room or on the bench, it's hard to make that call -- but it certainly can't be said to be a problem after sixty minutes of hockey.) Last: "couldn't handle speedy forwards." Um, well, yes, Phoenix is one of the fastest teams in the league. But by my count at least four of their goals were caused by blatant idiocy (Doughty, Doughty, Simmonds) and a really soft goal let in by Quick. Those four had nothing whatsoever to do with Phoenix's speed.

So, the revised tally:

1) Alex Martinez was nervous.

2) Drew Doughty played his worst game as a pro.

3) The coach didn't like the defense pairings.

4) Passes were bobbled due to nerves.

5) Players were Purcell was not battling along the boards.

6) Team was weak 5-on-5.

7) Team couldn't handle "adversity."

8) Team couldn't handle Phoenix's speedy forwards. (I'll give half-credit for that one)

So, to sum up, the LA Times definition of "myriad" is...

...1.5

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