Often, a coach changes a player’s role because he is dissatisfied with the player’s work ethic. Nothing could be further from reality when it comes to Michal Handzus, who is recognized as one of the hardest-working players on the Kings roster. That made it particularly surprising to see Handzus skating in a fourth-line role in practice Friday. That’s where he is scheduled to play tomorrow against Edmonton, even though Handzus has three goals in his last five games. Fortunes can change dramatically for Kings players now, it seems. Just a few days ago, Brad Richardson was in the healthy-scratch doghouse, and now he has moved into Handzus’ spot. Terry Murray talked about the move today, as did Handzus…

MURRAY: “To me, he’s going through a little bit of a difficult time right now, a rough stretch where he’s working hard, and the only way to get through it is through hard work. I’m not necessarily backing off on his importance or his minutes played. I want to use the four lines, to be able to keep a tempo and get our game back. But I still, in saying that, feel that he’s going through a bit of a tough stretch here, right now, with his play — which has been checking as the focal point over the time that I’ve known him, and he has played so well in that area — and there are just a few situations that are creeping into his game. I talked to him today, and we need to get back to his kind of a game.”

HANDZUS: “We talked about it. The bottom line is, I’ve got to get better. Obviously, I wasn’t real happy with my game last night, and I’ve got to get better. I’m not going to read too much into it. I think it’s normal for a coach to do what he’s trying to do. My thing is, I’m just trying to get better. There’s not much more to it.”

Handzus, known as a quiet leader and one of the Kings’ most intelligent players, also gave his thoughts on the latest 1-7 skid…

HANDZUS: “At times, it’s not only about Xs and Os. It’s about us playing the game. Sometimes we look so good and then, even in the same game, at other times we look so bad. I think that inconsistency is hurting us, big time, and that’s what we have to change. We have to be way more consistent, to play the game, compete, work hard, win the battles and do all those things. I think that’s the most important thing. I think we are losing too many board battles, and I think that is hurting us. We don’t come up with the pucks in our zone and in their zone. It’s all about us getting better, everybody, just doing the little things better, winning some more battles and being more consistent. It’s me, too. I’m way too inconsistent this season, which is hurting us. I have to get more consistent and put a little more focus on it and just play the same way every game.

“We’re going to turn it around. We’ve got a great team here. If you get it right, it’s going to make us a better team, for sure. I really believe that we’re going to be a better team because of what we’ve been through so far. But we’ve got to get it right, right away.”

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Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

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Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

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Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right

Bio

Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

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Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.
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Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

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Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.

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