Kings coach Murray says Wayne Simmonds ‘hit a wall’

Obviously, there is more to player evaluation than just stats.

However, let’s start there for Wayne Simmonds

2008-09 – nine goals, 14 assists, 23 points, 73 PIM, minus-8, 127 shots

2009-10 – 16 goals, 24 assists, 40 points, 116 PIM, plus-22, 127 shots

2010-11 – 14 goals, 16 assists, 30 points, 75 PIM, minus-2, 117 shots

Many people were predicting a ‘breakout’ year for Simmonds this season. The numbers suggest it didn’t materialize. He also went through scoring slumps of six, seven, eight plus games where he wasn’t scoring a goal – and he was given top line minutes at various points throughout the season.

So, I asked coach Terry Murray – did he regress in his development this year?

Murray – “He hit a bit of a wall. I don’t know if he took a step backwards – maybe a half of step. I thought in the first couple of years there was a lot of physical involvement, a lot of grit, a lot more confrontational stuff, more of that – sometimes you have to get into that ‘f-you battle’ all the time on the ice, send a message that way. I think sometimes this year I would have liked to have seen more of that, in year three. I don’t want to say it’s a natural progression for young players, where you come in with a big bang and now you’re trying to sort out and trying to improve and you kind of have a tough time getting to that point, you have to sort it out. What’s critical here is the off-season and, for me, that he continues to push. Not only in the physical part of it, but now you have to analyze your own self and your own game and watch your game again, by actually bringing clips or the game itself home with you and analyzing it, so that you’re going to get yourself ready to get back to where we want you to be.”

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