Tuesday’s line changes were certainly, in part, motivated by a desire to see if Teddy Purcell can get going, but they were also clearly designed to help Andrei Loktionov feel more comfortable by pairing him with Russian countryman Alexander Frolov. The joke at practice today was that their third linemate is going to have to start going by the name Dustin Brownov…
Asked about that shift, Terry Murray said, “Fro is the one I moved down to play with Loktionov, just to help out with some communication. Maybe I’m trying to put a little more responsibility on Fro’s shoulders.”
It’s an interesting theory. Given that part of Murray’s problem with Frolov early in the season was a question of whether Frolov was “buying in” to the team, perhaps having a certain sense of responsibility for the 19-year-old Loktionov might be a good thing for Frolov.
After practice Tuesday, Frolov served as an interpreter for Loktionov, even though Loktionov’s English is improving. Loktionov will wear No. 48 with the Kings.
Question: What was the reaction to getting the call about coming to the NHL?
FROLOV: “He said he was pretty happy about it, when he had a talk with Dean after the game and he told him he’s going to play here and that he’s playing good and he’s going to play here for a while.”
Question: What did Dean say about what he expects?
FROLOV: “He just said to keep playing well. He’s been playing good in Manchester and to just keep going the same way and try to do the same thing here.”
Question: Will the two of you playing together help him on the ice?
FROLOV: (Without asking Loktionov the question) “Absolutely.” (laughs)
Question: And who’s going to teach Dustin Brown to speak Russian?
FROLOV: (laughs) “I will.”
Question: Do you feel like you’re ready for the NHL?
LOKTIONOV: (smiles) “We’ll see.”
Question: What was the main difference between playing in junior and playing in the AHL?
FROLOV: “It’s more with the size. People are bigger and more mature probably. It’s more intense and it’s more speedy, kind of, and you have less time to make a decision. Everything is quicker.”