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December 22, 2010 3:30 pm

Murray pleased with Sturm’s progress

The Kings essentially got what they wanted out of Marco Sturm in his debut last night. Sturm played almost 12 minutes in a low-profile, fourth-line role, and didn’t look out of place in terms of the pace or level of the play. It will likely continue to be a slow build-up for Sturm, who before last night hadn’t been in an NHL game since May 1, and the plan is to once again have Sturm as the fourth-line left-winger tomorrow when the Kings host Edmonton. Here’s what Terry Murray said after practice today about Sturm’s debut and his near future…

MURRAY: “When the trade was made, my view of that was that he was going to jump in and have an impact with our No. 1 line immediately. That’s the scenario you’re always kind of hoping would happen. But in reality, you have a player who is coming back from a very serious injury, and as you saw last night in the game, it’s now (about) getting into the game, get your legs under yourself in playing situations, in stressful situations and finding your game again, basically, at a more controlled pace, playing on that fourth line. I thought his game was fine last night. I wasn’t really evaluating any parts of his game. It was just great to see him get out there for those 11-plus minutes and feel pretty good at the end of the day, and get on the ice today without fatigue or muscle soreness, and get himself prepared for tomorrow.

“But I do see it, eventually, getting to where I’ve been penciling it in, and that is playing on that left side with Kopitar and Brown. He’s a player who we know, at full strength and healthy and ready to go, is a dynamic guy with speed, a north-south player. He puts some points up on the board, and he’s a responsible player both ways in the game. So he will have an impact on our hockey club once he gets on a roll.”

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