Kings enforcer extraordinaire Kevin Westgarth played his best hockey when it mattered most last season, in the playoffs. Then, on the 19th of last month, #19 was rewarded with a two-year contract extension.
So far this season though, Westgarth hasn’t seen much ice time – getting into only two of the team’s first five games.
Coach Terry Murray provided the following explanation after practice…
“He’s not out of the line-up because of any other reason than I just need him to be better. I think he’s had a little bit of a setback from what I saw in his game at the end of the year, through the playoffs and that little scrum he had against Anaheim (with Brian McGrattan during the pre-season). He’s a veteran guy, an older guy, who needs to be able to do some fundamentals in the game. He was doing that all through the end of the second half of the year last year and it’s slipped on him a bit. I talked to him about it (on Tuesday), to bring some attention to it and said ‘get your game back on track, have confidence and composure with the puck, make the play that you have to make on breakouts, and just do the right things on the checking part of the game.'”
Earlier today, Westgarth spoke about the possibility of squaring off with Paul Bissonnette when the Kings take on the Coyotes tonight – linked here.
To read what Ethan Moreau has learned about Westgarth since joining the team in August, click here.