|Lewis – LA vs Anaheim (photo: M. Zampelli)|
Things can change fairly quickly in the NHL, just ask Kings forward Trevor Lewis.
He came into camp riding the high of a strong second half and playoff performance – where he was one of the team’s top penalty killers and was starting to find his offensive touch. Lewis went on to play in 19 of the Kings’ first 20 games this season.
Then, after zero goals and just one assist, coach Terry Murray sat him out of the line-up nearly two weeks ago and he hasn’t been back since – with tonight being the fifth straight game he’s a healthy scratch.
After practice yesterday, I asked both men about the situation.
Murray on what it will take for Lewis to get back into the lineup – “Play a little more grittier. That’s the meeting that we had. I’m not talking out of school here. We’ve had that meeting and that’s the kind of game that I want to see him start to add to his game – his dot-to-boards (play). He needs to be bigger, he needs to be stronger, he needs to come up with more pucks and just dig in on that checking part of the game. He’s very good when it comes to penalty killing. He was (in) our first pair out there last year – in the second half of the year (he) did a great job. He’s a player who can grab the puck when it gets a little hot in your own end and he can settle things just by moving his feet and getting it out of danger, carrying the puck himself because of his quickness and speed. So, there’s nothing that I don’t like about his game. I just want him to add to his game.”
Was that a new message delivered to Lewis in the meeting or was it something they’ve talked with him about before?
“I’ve definitely been told before,’ said the former first round draft pick. “I think I’ve done it before. I just need to get back to it and get more gritty, like Terry said. I don’t think it’s as much about the game as it is more a mindset. I just have to get my head around that and I have to go out and get more gritty, like he said.”
How does one show a coach he’s ramped up the grit, if the only time he’s playing is in practice?
“I think by always being focused and in the compete drills, just be gritty. Even if it’s against your own guys, you have to prove that you want to play and you’re ready to go.”
He’ll sit out at least one more game, tonight against Florida. Murray has already said he’ll go with the same line-up as he used in Monday’s victory over San Jose.
Will Jonathan Bernier in net be the only change for the Kings on Saturday afternoon? Time will tell.
Lewis has shared several funny stories on MayorsManor lately – they were kind of gritty in their own right. You can check them out in the ‘Related ‘Articles’ section below.
Stories and pics from the Kings Halloween Party – includes photo of Lewis as pro wrestler