Following the Kings practice earlier today we spoke with several players about the recent line juggling. In years past, under then-coach Terry Murray, this used to be a more common topic. However, under Darryl Sutter, the lines have usually remained the same for long periods of time. That said, starting during the first period of Tuesday’s game in Minnesota – and continuing through the game in Detroit, after Dustin Brown was suspended – it’s been a bit dizzying to follow which forwards were playing together.
– Kopitar on the recent line changes: “It happens. I think at that point, the way we were going you just kind of expect a little change in everything and so it’s really not a big deal. I mean it’s the same system and you know you see the guys every day and you know what their strengths are. You know where they’re going to be on the ice so it does take a little bit of time to get used to, but I thought we had a pretty good practice today and we should be ready to go tomorrow.”
– Lewis on if it’s still an adjustment for him moving to different sides of the wing: “I don’t think it’s really too big of an adjustment. I mean other than playing left wing, right wing, or center, I’ve played them all before. So I’m kind of comfortable playing wherever, and whatever role I need to fill. I’m pretty comfortable with that. I think we’re missing Brownie here. So you don’t really replace a guy like that. So just trying to do as best as we can without him.”
– Stoll on the recent line changes: “Well, if they’re changing on a shift-by-shift basis sometimes or during the game – once, twice, or more than that – you can see how it’s not really a big deal to us. We’ve had lines pretty much set for a lot of games, a good portion of the season. Brownie’s out so we have a little bit of changes here and there. But I’m sure once the playoffs start – I’m not sure what’s going to happen, but that’s looking a little too far ahead already. But, it just happens, most coaches do it. We were struggling at the start of the year there (and) guys were all over the place, that’s just the way it is. I think, any coach, you have to try things if you’re not getting enough shots, not getting enough goals, you have to try things. That’s just the way it is.”
– Stoll (who was paired with Dustin Penner and Justin Williams at practice) on what Penner needs to do: “I think just simple, a couple games ago I remember at home he was – I think it all starts with moving his feet and getting in on the forecheck and getting physical. When he’s moving his feet like that, he is physical and I think that’s that’s the main thing…It’s intimidating, a guy that size with that speed and can skate like that. I know it’s intimidating, I’ve played against him. I think if he just starts with moving his feet, getting his feet going, getting his feet up and bumping into guys out there, that’s where his game starts.”
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