Showing their experience
The Kings, collectively, have five goals and 10 assists this season. Four of the goals and four of the assists have come from the trio of Ryan Smyth, Jarret Stoll and Justin Williams, who are now together on the second line. Or is that the first line? All three players looked sharp in Tuesday’s win over Atlanta, and they will get another look tomorrow night. Incidentally, the Kings’ first line, of Anze Kopitar, Andrei Loktionov an Dustin Brown, has an average age of 22.7, while the second line has an average age of 30.3.
MURRAY: “I really like the secondary scoring we got. That’s exactly the kind of effort that we need, and we’ve got three players in place there who are at the peak time of their careers. This is the way we need to ask them to play every night. I’m not going to let that slide, if I don’t see it. We need that pursuit, that attitude, the puck-possession plays. If they give us that, that’s going to be exactly what we need going through the year.”
Stoll, in particular, arguably had his strongest game of the three this season, with one goal, one assist and four shots on goal in 16:33 of ice time.
MURRAY: “In the game that we just played against Atlanta, he ended up being that high, F3 (forward) shooter, checker and tracker in a lot of the situations where the puck is being cycled in a two-man cycle with the two wingers. Stoll was reading and finding seams, finding an open area in that gray area in the high slot. He had five or six opportunities, not only to shoot but to look for that little back-door play, where Willy or Smytty is beating his man off the boards, to the net, for a little tap-in play. That’s nice stuff. Again, that’s what we’re going to have to have from them every night.”