Sometimes, with guys like Kevin Westgarth and Matt Greene, it’s hard to tell if they’re being serious. The humor is always present. With other people, say – Kings coach Terry Murray – you’re not always expecting a joke or even a wise crack. Like any good leader though, he’ll keep you on your toes if you start to get too comfortable.
After practice yesterday, he was standing in his normal spot answering questions from the gathered media. It was noted that through all of his line shuffling during the first 11 games, one constant has been the pairing of Dustin Brown and Mike Richards on the second line.
So, has he liked the chemistry between those two?
“That’s a big part of (what you’re) looking for coming out of training camp,” explained Murray. “You’re looking for individual confidence to be high. You’re looking for team confidence to be high. And, certainly, when you have new players coming on board, you want to see some chemistry starting to develop. I felt pretty good about the look that Brown and Richards were showing coming out of camp.
“In Richards, you have a guy who’s a very good puck handler, he sees the ice extremely well,” explained Murray, as he described their styles of play. “Brownie plays that power forward kind of role and has speed, size, strength and goes to the net. We’ve seen some good things happening with those two playing the game with that kind of an attitude. There’s (been) some good plays to the net. Brownie gets to the top of the crease, he’s in his tripod, he presents his stick and Richards being such a good passer, he just has to stay strong in that situation and usually the puck will be able to find a stick.”
“Overall, there’s a good foundation starting to take place and starting to build. I think with another scorer on the left side, in Scott Parse – who’s starting to find the back of the net a little bit – there’s a pretty good chance that line could be a line I keep together for another three or four games.”
Perhaps sensing there was a high likelihood he wasn’t kidding, that comment elicited silence.
Always quick on his feet, Murray added “That was just a joke.”
Then, the usually serious Murray started laughing.
But, wait, what was the funny part?
What I’ve learned so far… by Matt Greene – the always entertaining defenseman
What I’ve learned so far… by Mike Richards – includes a warning for Dustin Penner
What I’ve learned so far… by Dustin Brown – responds to Westgarth’s allegations
What I’ve learned so far… by Kevin Westgarth – more good comedy from Westy