|Scott Parse of LA Kings (photo: M. Zampelli)|
When his post-game press conference included comments like ‘There’s not much happening on either side of the puck for him right now’ and ‘His plays and decisions with the puck are not real good,’ things didn’t sound well for the 27-year old forward – who GM Dean Lombardi once said he hoped turned into a Kris Versteeg type player.
Today after practice, Parse said Murray hadn’t shared his feelings with him – yet.
“He hasn’t talked to me yet, but he’s right. I have to skate better and play with more energy,” Parse said.
“Nope, I’m good,” was the reaction when I then asked if maybe he was still nursing some nagging injuries.
So, is it all between the ears then? “Yep,” was what he quickly said.
Knowing that camp started with upwards of ten players vying for spots on the Kings third and fourth lines doesn’t seem to be placing any additional pressure on him though.
“It’s not about that. It’s about going out there and playing,” Parse explained. “I have to do my job and just play. Don’t think – have fun and play.”
About ten minutes later, down the hall from the Kings locker room at their training facility, Murray acknowledged he has tried to be patient and understanding with a player coming off major surgery.
“I’m trying to give him a lot of time. I was little more compassionate with what I’m looking at. But, at the same time, after a couple games, I need more work. I need more skating. I need to see him moving his feet just to show that ‘Yeah, it’s starting to come. I’m starting to get my confidence down. I want to handle the puck, I want to do the right things and solidify this position on this line.’ But, he’s reluctant to grab a hold of it right now.”
Murray went on to say that he’s changed his mind about playing Parse in every pre-season game this year. He’ll now rest tomorrow. Where things go from here is unclear, as Murray wants to meet with Parse later this afternoon to try and get a better read on exactly what is going on.
Regarding it being a ‘between the ears’ thing, Murray said – “Well, there’s something…there’s something going on and I just want to hear what he has to say.”
That was followed by some praise for Parse – “Those plays that are happening and that he’s not finishing right now are things that he has been able to make with ease in the past. He’s a skill player, he has good hands, good vision. He’s always able to make the nice five-foot, six-foot pass. Right now, it’s coming right back down into our zone and we’re spending more time recovering pucks again.”
As for Murray’s decision to not play him tomorrow night in Kansas City, Parse had this to say…
“It’s his call. I’d like to play, yeah. But, it’s his call.”
Just a guess here, but if he’d like to play another game this pre-season, the usually short-answering Parse needs to expand his thoughts during that meeting with Murray.
As Ricky Ricardo used to tell Lucy, you’ve got some splainin’ to do.