Terry Murray – Weekend To Do List

In the end, the Kings were able to finish the month of January on a high note.

After a dismal 2-6 homestand a few weeks ago, they’ve now won three in a row – two against division opponents.

The road ahead won’t be any easier. They’ll be spending the next four weeks away from Staples Center, playing ten games.

So, while most of the hockey world will be focused on the NHL All-Star Game in Raleigh, NC over the next few days, coach Terry Murray is looking forward to using the time in ways that can improve the Kings.

He admits that after last season’s Olympic break the team came out flat and he thinks they “have to give this one a good focus to come back out the same way we’re playing right now” – something we talked more specifically about in the exchange below…

MM: Assuming you’ll be reviewing offense, defense, the power play and many other aspects of the overall game – is there one particular area you’re most excited to spend some extra time on?

TM: Yeah, I want to try to build some more speed through the middle of the ice. I think at times we get a little stagnant, a little stale with a stationary look – where we’re one-touching the puck quick deep off a quick counter. It’s deep to get a forecheck going, but now we have to build our speed to recover that puck. Sometimes it’s too late. So, I’d like to continue to push that part of it. In fact, what we’ve been doing the last few days in practice is to generate more foot speed and more movement from all three forwards, rather than one or two. That’s a focus we’ll continue on pushing as we get out of the break and back into practice and playing games.

MM: To push speed up the middle – does that mean you might think about moving Andrei Loktionov back to center, where he was playing with Manchester?

TM: No. I’m not going to think that way. I’m not going to do that. We brought him up to play on the left side with Kopitar. We wanted a skilled player to fit in there and see what kind of chemistry we could develop and also for him to play on the power play. I like what I’m seeing on that look and we’ll keep him there.

MM: How about the goaltending while the team is out on the road for the next month – do you have a rough plan of how many games you’d like to get Jonathan Bernier into?

TM: I haven’t thought about how many games he’ll get. But, he will play. In fact, he’ll probably play the first game out of the break. I don’t have a number though, where I’m sharing the net every second game or anything like that. I don’t think it will work that way. He will play games. There’s no doubt we have some heavy travel in there and it’s going to be very demanding. So, he just needs to keep himself ready and keep pushing his game in practice to improve his game and he’ll get his opportunities.

Murray appears to have the team back on track and obviously, hopes they can pick up where they left off.

As for Bernier, in a previous interview here he talked about possibly needing more playing time to build his confidence. He’ll get his first shot next Tuesday vs. the Minnesota Wild. Yet, regardless of how he plays, he probably won’t be getting another start for 10 days – until the Kings have back-to-back games in Washington and Philadelphia.

The defense has looked better and the goaltending has looked solid lately. Now, if Murray can improve the offense a little, the Kings can start making a playoff push and more importantly, be in a good position to add some assets around the February 28 Trade Deadline.

He has his work cut out for him though, that’s for sure.

The Mayor
www.twitter.com/Mayor119
www.facebook.com/MayorsManor


RELATED ARTICLES:

Interview with Andrei Loktionov

Clearing the Crease with Jonathan Bernier

Terry Murray – A Student of History?

Recent Articles

July 2017: Update on LA Kings Salary Cap Situation and Roster Projection

Fresh on the heels of forward Nick Shore and the Kings agreeing to new one year contract, with an average annual value (AAV) of $925,000, we have updated our look at the team’s current salary cap situation.
2017-18 LA Kings Projected Opening Night Roster (with important notes at the end of the article)
 

Cammalleri
Kopitar
Brown

1,000,000
10,000,000
5,875,000

 
 
 

Pearson
Carter
Toffoli

3,750,000
5,272,727
4,550,000

 
 
 

Kempe
Dowd
Brodzinski

894,167
650,000
950,000

 
 
 

Clifford
Shore
Lewis

1,600,000
925,000
2,000,000

 
 
 

Nolan
Andreoff
 

950,000
677,500
 

 
 
 

 
 
 

Muzzin
Doughty
 

4,000,000
7,000,000
 

 
 
 

Martinez
LaDue
 

4,000,000
1,500,000
 

 
 
 

Forbort
Gravel
 

650,000
950,000
 

 
 
 

Folin
 
 

850,000
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 

Quick
Kuemper
 

5,800,000
650,000
 

 
The above 23-man roster […]

NHL Radio Replay: Hoven’s Kings Updates – Thornton, Brown, Phaneuf, Bernier, Iginla, etc.

Follow @mayorNHL
//
Enjoy a free replay of John Hoven on NHL Network Radio, where he joined host Nick Alberga of Ice Cap to discuss a plethora of topics surrounding the LA Kings roster heading into free agency, including: Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks, Dustin Brown-for-Dion Phaneuf trade speculation, goaltender Jonathan Bernier, forward Jarome […]

Yannetti Evaluates Kings Selections from 2017 NHL Draft

Although the Los Angeles Kings have gone through significant upheaval in their management ranks over the past few months, the 2017 NHL Draft was largely business as usual. While GM Rob Blake was present at the draft table, the event was largely run by Mark Yannetti, Director of Amateur Scouting – just as it has […]

Major News Items

LA Kings 2017 Mid-Season Prospect Rankings: Top Two Players Revealed

The wait is over; it's time to reveal the top two players on our 2017 Mid-Season Prospect Rankings. Which player has earned the coveted No. 1 spot? As we finish off this multi-part series, we'll begin with a thank you … [Read More...]

More Prospect News