As posted earlier, the Kings will go with fourth-line changes tomorrow night against Carolina, with Kyle Clifford and Trevor Lewis replacing Brayden Schenn and Kevin Westgarth. Clifford and Lewis will be wingers for center Brad Richardson, who moves over from left wing. Schenn averaged 14-plus minutes in his first two games, but that slipped to 9:35 against Atlanta and 7:06 in Friday’s game. Westgarth played only 2:10 on Friday. Here’s what Terry Murray said about the changes.
MURRAY: “I want to get Lewis into a game. Coming out of the training camp, he’s been sitting there patiently, waiting to get going. … You have young players who have gone through the summer and the training camp and put in a great amount of work and had real good camps, so I want to give them an opportunity. Same thing with Clifford. He played a couple games and I took him out. We needed to address a couple areas with him, and now the same scenario pops up with Schenn, which I talked to him about this morning, about parts of the game that we’ll keep giving a push through the days off, on the ice and through video review.”
Murray was asked what, specifically, in Schenn’s game needed to be addressed. Schenn can play five more games before the Kings must decide whether to return him to his junior team or keep him and burn a year off his contract. So far, Schenn has zero points, nine shots on goal and a minus-2 rating in four games.
MURRAY: “On the D-zone coverage part of things. What happens in this situation is, you come back after a penalty kill — and this is exactly what I told him — you come back after a penalty kill, and he’s in the middle with whomever I put him out with on the wings, and you end up against the Sedins. They’re coming right back with their top line. Now you’re looking at the MVP of the game last year, and they can expose a lot of players. They recognize a young player, and there were some situations there that we need to address and get him to close faster and be more firm in those situations.”