Lewis has benched for a large portion of coach Terry Murray’s final month with the Kings and in 28 games played this year he’s posted zero goals and one assist. Primarily used as a defensive forward last year, the Kings were hoping for more offense from the former first round draft pick this season.
Loktionov is also scoreless in 17 games played since his recall from Manchester in mid-November. On several occasions, it’s appeared that the talented Russian was hours from being returned to the AHL, only to some how find another lifeline to stay in the NHL.
After practice yesterday, coach Darryl Sutter offered some impressions on both players after five games behind the bench…
Has there been a player that’s caught your eye so far? – “The player I didn’t really know much about is Trevor Lewis. I’m trying to show lots of confidence in him. I know he’s, obviously, struggling to score – with a goose egg, right? He has a good enough skill set. I’m impressed with his attitude. How come he hasn’t scored? I don’t know. I think he gives us a speed dimension. I see guys like Vancouver, players like (Jannik) Hansen and kids like that. There’s similarities. He just needs to do all those things and then chip some in for us.”
On Loktionov at wing vs. center – “Well, he’s only played two games on the wing. I didn’t see him at center. He’s played fine. He created two great scoring chances yesterday, could have scored two goals on the plays that he made. So, I don’t care what position he plays. Most of these guys, that’s the advantage they have, they can play two positions. Mike Richards is just as good of a left winger as he is a center. Brownie can play both sides. Jarret Stoll can play two. Again, it’s no so much about finding balance in our lines as it is trying to find what works. If you want to play him at center, where’s he going to play? That’s why he wasn’t in the line-up before. If he can be utilize all of his ability and play in all three zones, both ways, then we can really use his skill set because he has an offensive offside. But, we can’t be trading this for that. I don’t think one player is going to impact us this team offensively or defensively. If they have a good enough attitude and they’re going to try and contribute, they’ll play more. He’s been really good though. For not knowing him, and being able to talk with him and see what he wants, I have no issues.”
To read more of Sutter’s comments from Friday, please see the articles linked below.
Coach Sutter clarifies his plans for the assistant coaches – notes on Stevens, Kompon, etc.