|Moreau, LA Kings practice (photo: D. Sheehan)|
Grit, sandpaper, character…
The veteran forward was thought to be somebody who could come in, be a physical presence, chip in a few goals from time to time and help mentor some of the Kings younger players. After all, the former first round pick served as the captain in Edmonton, an assistant captain last season in Columbus and has been to the Stanley Cup Finals.
To date, he’s played in every Kings game this season - recording zero goals and three assists. Among the skaters on the team who have played in all 22 games, the only one to see less total-ice-time than Moreau has been Kyle Clifford.
However, even with those limited minutes, he’s fourth in hits (44) - and perhaps more disturbing though – he’s third on the team in penalty minutes (20) and tops among players who don’t have at least one fighting major to boost their totals.
His slashing penalty with less than three minutes to go in the game Wednesday night is what ultimately led to the Stars’ tying the game.
After practice today, he spoke a little about the play:
EM: You have to be conscious of (it) and take responsibility. That was a bad time to take a penalty to say the least. I was just trying to go through the defenseman. But, you can’t give the referee an option on that play.
MM: How do you feel about your play with the Kings so far this season and talk about the role you thought you’d have versus what it’s ended up being.
EM: I feel good. Obviously, like a lot of guys, I’d like be scoring more. Depending on the game, I’ve had different roles. But, I feel good skating. I feel good with my physical play. Definitely, I’d like to score some goals though.
MM: Are some of the younger players becoming more comfortable asking you, as a veteran player, for your help with things?
EM: It’s a close bunch (here). There’s not really a big separation between the younger guys (and the older players). Our leadership group is pretty young. So, I think everybody is comfortable and everybody helps each other out. I look to guys for advice and motivation, as well. That’s just the way a team works. You need your young guys to feel comfortable and as an older player you make sure you put them in that position, where they are comfortable and they’re able to succeed. It’s a different game now, where your young players are huge parts of your team. So, you have to make sure they feel comfortable in every position.
Ending on a lighter note, he also assured me that Willie Mitchell is still still bending his ear at the back of the bus on road trips – something Moreau talked quite a bit about in an earlier interview here.
If you really want to know more about Moreau’s career, a few years ago, when he was still captain of the Oilers, he did an in-depth interview here on MayorsManor. It’s recommended reading (link).
His brother Chad, the former Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Oilers, also gave an interesting interview on MayorsManor - where he talked about many of the back stories involving the inner workings of the famed Edmonton franchise. That story is linked here.
Back the the penalties, coach Terry Murray will share some thoughts on Moreau’s recent play in the next post.