Here’s what Terry Murray had to say about today’s line changes, the most notable of which was the promotion of rookie Andrei Loktionov to a first-line left-wing role alongside Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown…
MURRAY: “That’s probably what I will go with tomorrow. It’s a young guy who has come through the training camp and played well for us. We really like the puck skills that he shows, and the management of the puck and looks that he generates in the offensive zone. It’s an opportunity for him. It’s all about him and how he played through the training camp. There’s nothing else. It’s not about Ryan Smyth. It’s all about this young guy getting an opportunity to play with one of our best players, maybe our best player, in Kopitar. Hopefully he can just continue with what he did in the training camp.”
Question: How much have you seen of Loktionov on the wing?
MURRAY: “A couple shifts. He has played there. I talked to him. He played in the KHL, about 10 games on the wing. I’m not concerned about that. I like him in the middle of the ice, because he’s a very skilled player who handles the puck and makes plays, but playing with Kopitar on the left side, when you do get in the offensive zone, there are a lot of reads that they make off each other, so you’re not in a fixed position at that time. I hope that he has the puck on his stick as much as what we saw in the training camp.”