Big changes coming?
Today is a total rest day for the Kings, with no practice or team responsibilities. The goal of the day, according to Terry Murray, was to get as healthy as possible. The Kings, last night, even took the step of buying additional hotel rooms, so that most players wouldn’t have to double up in rooms. Murray said that, in general, the players are feeling better than yesterday.
It seems as though the full complement of players could be available tomorrow, and Murray indicated that lineup changes could be in store tomorrow, with Peter Harrold and Brad Richardson available and Oscar Moller staying.
MURRAY: “I have some ideas that I’ve been floating around since the end of the game last night. I’m not ready to make a decision on anything yet. If everyone is healthy and ready to go and feels 100 percent, then it’s a good decision I have to make. I’ve got some guys who are hopefully hungry and ready to step in and play at a high level. So I’ll find that out as we get through today and get to the morning skate tomorrow.”
To follow up, I asked Murray if he was planning to make changes that would be considered significant, beyond just what he’s done so far, in tinkering with the fourth line and such. Could a veteran player – Frolov? – end up being scratched to send a message? Probably not, but Murray said significant changes might take place tomorrow.
MURRAY: “I’m thinking that way, yeah. The easiest thing in the world is changing your fourth-line guys or your sixth defenseman. You know, I take Harry (Peter Harrold) out of the game last night, and I had my reasons for doing it, but historically, as coaches in this business throughout the millennium, that’s where it happens all the time. There is a level of accountability and responsibility for everybody. You don’t take your best players out of the lineup because of an off game. You do have meetings and you do back off of minutes, or you do take one of your top players off the power play or off the penalty kill. You make changes to send a message, or to talk and say, `You’ve got to regroup here. If you’re a little off, physically, then backing off the minutes hopefully will refresh you.’
“So there’s different ways of looking at it. You have to have your best players in order to win in this league, and they have to be the best players, every game and every night, in this league, because of the parity that’s out there. Especially for a team that hasn’t been in the playoffs for a lot of years. The L.A. Kings need their best players every night.’’