Marco Sturm is inching toward his Kings debut, and to his first NHL action since he tore up his knee in a May 1 playoff game. Terry Murray seems to be chomping at the bit to get Sturm into Tuesday’s game at Colorado, but Sturm seems a bit less certain about that. Sturm got in his fourth consecutive day of practice today, and was on the ice for roughly a half-hour longer than the players on tonight’s game roster. Murray seems to be stressing to Sturm that he doesn’t need to feel perfect, in terms of conditioning, in order to get into his first game. I asked Sturm today whether Tuesday’s game would be realistic for him, in terms of getting in the lineup.
STURM: “I’m just going to go day by day here. We were testing it today a little bit, and we’ll see how it is tomorrow. So I think it’s either Tuesday or Thursday. That’s the plan. … I’m getting more comfortable every day, and getting stronger. I’ve got to be patient, I know that, with this injury, but of course I’m trying to get back as soon as I can.”
Murray said he would talk with Sturm today and gauge Sturm’s comfort level in terms of getting back on the ice.
MURRAY: “I did talk to him yesterday a bit about, I guess, the expectations that players sometimes — and he would certainly be one of those players, in my mind — put on themselves, that he needs to go in and play at peak performance. That’s not the case. You’re coming back after a big injury, and been out for an extended time now. You just need to get in and get your feet wet, get a few shifts in, play limited minutes, give us some looks here and there, and I can spot you in a different look, a different line, and feel comfortable that mistakes are going to happen and just play. I’ll talk to him about how he’s feeling.
“We’re not going to have any morning skate in Chicago, so we’ll have an off-ice workout with him and then we’ll kind of shoot for the Colorado game. We’ll see where that is, in his mind. Right now, when a player is going through that kind of injury, he’s the (one) who has to make that step. It’s a hurdle, and once he makes the decision to go, that’s a huge decision and he will feel more comfortable after the first game.”