Jamie Kompon was perceived to be the fall guy for the Kings inept power play over the last few seasons. True or not, he’s now working in Chicago and former St Louis Blues head coach Davis Payne came to Los Angeles over the summer to replace him on Darryl Sutter’s coaching staff.
“I haven’t really gotten to see how he is on the bench and everything yet, but in practice he’s definitely an intense guy,” said Anze Kopitar earlier today, talking about the Kings’ newest assistant coach. “He definitely wants to be part of the team, part of the guys.”
To that end, Payne was heavily involved today in the on-ice coaching of the two power play units.
“We’re working on getting better, trying to put the pieces in place,” surmised Kopitar.
Meanwhile, Brown seemed upbeat about the new looks.
“I think our power play finished in the middle of the pack last year in terms of team rank,” said the captain. “But it’s something you have to work on. It’s a big part of the game nowadays. I think we’ve got two pretty good units…I think they’re different types of (groups) too. The first one is more of a skill group and I think my group’s more of a ‘get the pucks to the net and crash.’ We have three righties too so it’s a unique situation where we all kind of interchange and just read off each other.”
Williams, part of Brown’s ‘crash’ unit, is already noticing what Payne brings to the coaching staff.
“Davis is obviously trying to put his stamp on things, and he’s obviously trying to help our team,” said the two-time Stanley Cup Champion. “He has a lot of insight though. He’s been a head coach in this league, so he has a lot of experience. Obviously, you get a little bit more respect when you have that.”
He was also quick to point out that after the Kings went 0-for-5 with the man advantage on Saturday, things need to turn around quickly.
“Everything is magnified right now,” explained Williams. “Normally, you might struggle the first 40 games and then have the rest of the 40 games be good and your power play suddenly ends up alright. In a 48-game season, it’s important to get it going right away. There’s no luxury of time.”
Following today’s workouts, where rookie Jake Muzzin was part of his unit, Doughty liked what he saw.
“Muzz was playing back on the point with me on the power play on the left side,” he said. “And we also have Kopi back there now running the half wall, so that should definitely help us be more successful.”
They’ll get another crack at things tomorrow night in Colorado against an Avalanche team who gave up two power play goals in seven tries this weekend.
– If you’re not familiar with Davis Payne, click here to listen to him on the MayorsManor show. You’ll hear some funny stories about his playing days and get some background on the interview process he went though with Darryl Sutter before getting the job in LA.
– You can also catch Jamie Kompon and Jeremy Roenick on the MayorsManor show here.
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