For the fist time in a couple weeks, Terry Murray indicated that he plans to get goalie Erik Ersberg in a game sometime soon. Jonathan Quick will start tomorrow against Phoenix, and likely Thursday’s and Saturday’s games as well, but Murray said Ersberg “probably will” play sometime on the five-game road trip the Kings start a week from tomorrow. There is one set of back-to-back games, Friday at Atlanta and Saturday at Tampa Bay.
Murray was asked today if he was happy with Ersberg’s recent efforts in practice…
MURRAY: “Ersberg is bringing more intensity, pushing it at every practice, every drill. I like what I’m seeing out of his practice time right now. He had a little bit of an issue going back, even when he played in the Ranger game, with his hand, with his catching glove. He had a bone bruise that was a little bit tender. It wasn’t prohibiting him from playing, and playing well, but I’m seeing that kind on intensity, that kind of focus and hard work, in the practice drills now, that he showed me last year. He was missing that in the early part of the season.”
Injured hand, you say?
MURRAY: “The hand was fine. It was not something that was brought to my attention through him. He wants to play. You’ve got to play hurt. You’re not going to play injured, but you’re going to play with some bruises. That’s the way it is. Everybody has them at this time of the year, whether it’s the first game of the year or the 80th game, you have them.
“When I did speak with him one day out here, when we had the small group in the morning skate, I found out that he had a little bit of… He got hit on it with a shot, and he would have a five-second `ouch’ kind of a thing. But it’s fine now. I want to get him into a game. I’m not going to be standing here saying he’s not going to play. He is going to play. I want to get him in and I want him to be on top of his game when he’s ready to go.”
Murray handled that well with us reporters today, but as a coach, you can’t like to hear that your player didn’t tell you about playing while hurt. Maybe it wouldn’t influence things at all, but maybe it would. Regardless, it looks as though Ersberg will get another chance sometime in the next week.