November 28, 2010 6:00 pm

Anyone have matches?

Terry Murray grew up in frosty Quebec and spends part of his free time in Maine, so he knows something about firewood and kindling. In referencing his team’s recent play today, Murray said, “The wood is wet, and the spark is not setting a fire right now.” Is it possible that John Zeiler could be “dry wood”? Nobody is suggesting that Zeiler — who has zero goals and five assists in 22 AHL games this season — is going to be the Kings’ panacea, but assuming he makes it through recall waivers tomorrow, Murray’s hope is that Zeiler’s energetic play might rub off on his new teammates. I asked Murray today if he had an idea as to how he might use Zeiler…

MURRAY: “I have a little bit of an idea on that one. What we’re looking for is to just get that energy, that physicality, in there. The one thing that he has done, when he was here two years ago, is get in on the forecheck and get some bodies. It brings everybody into the game, whenever you’re playing that physical game. I’m not real sure what position yet. I know he has played a lot of center. I was down there last year, watching the playoffs, and that’s the position he played. So I’ll take a look at it, if things work out that he gets here.”

Given the fact that the Kings have scored four goals in their last three games, and have had first-line inconsistency for much of this season, it was suggested to Murray that perhaps skill, not grit, has been lacking more in the Kings’ game…

MURRAY: “Yes, but to me that’s a separate issue. The physicality is something in itself, and I need more of that. I need it at both ends of the rink, in our D-coverage in front of the net, at both ends. We’re in and out a little too fast on the offensive part of the game. In recovering pucks, the only way you’re going to get it in behind, which, 90 percent of the time you have to do, because of the way teams are playing, with five back, it’s that first man getting in fast, with a real attitude, and getting the puck stopped so that support can arrive. The only way you can get it stopped is playing physical, playing the body, separating the man from the puck, getting the puck stopped so, again, support can arrive. That’s inconsistent in our game right now.”

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