After six games as the Kings’ first-line left winger, Marco Sturm has been moved to a third-line right-wing role. For those who saw the third period of Monday’s game, that’s not a huge surprise, given that Terry Murray flipped Sturm and fourth-line winger Brad Richardson in the third period. Sturm has two goals and one assist in eight games since returning from offseason knee surgery. Sturm played a season-high 19 minutes, 5 seconds, Saturday against San Jose but fell back to 12:49 on Monday. This is very common for players coming back from long-term injuries. In fact, it’s almost universal. There’s an initial burst of energy and success, followed by a series of games in which effectiveness drops. I don’t know the science behind it, but it almost always happens. Here’s what Murray said today about Sturm, and Sturm’s new role with Jarret Stoll and Kyle Clifford.
MURRAY: “I think that Marco is still going through training camp. I think he’s behind the play. There’s a little bit too many situations where there is too much space between him and the puck, and the support is not where it needs to be right now. So I’m going to back away right now, and put him in a situation where he can keep getting his conditioning, his game conditioning, get his legs under him and still play the game and have a little more responsibility, with Stoll and with Clifford, as that line that’s going to match up on the checking part of things.”