Praise (and concern?)
Asked about Teddy Purcell’s season so far, Terry Murray had effusive praise for Purcell’s play at both ends, some of the strongest praise I’ve ever heard Murray give any player. Given that Purcell was supposed to be the key to the second line, that should bode well for the Kings, yet the three players on that line — Brown, Purcell and Stoll — have produced only two goals in six games.
First, Murray talks about Purcell’s game, then answers the question of whether he’s concerned about a lack of second-line production…
MURRAY: “He’s tremendous. He is so smart. He makes so many good plays and reads and he’s playing the right way. He was in on the forecheck, he got the puck stopped up because of taking a hit, and again, that’s critical on the forecheck. That allows your second man to get in and give support and battle for the puck.
“I really like what Teddy is doing. He has grown tremendously from last year. You know, the little play that happened last night, when he flipped the puck up and Brownie got in on the forecheck, not many guys make that decision, that fast. That’s special play. He’s getting better all the time.”
MURRAY: “Not yet. We want to see production. They’ve come up with a couple of huge goals so far this year, but their whole attitude is in the right direction. They’re doing the right stuff, with putting pucks to the net, and traffic. Brownie drove last night off the wing, and I don’t know if he did that last year or not.
“Maybe there were a couple times, but often he would delay and spin and try to beat the guy 1-on-1, but he got his shoulder on the inside. Once he did stop, and the second time he drove to the net. That’s power forward play, and that’s what I want to see from him all the time. That brings Stolly to the net and Purcell to the net, and results will happen off those kinds of decisions.”