The Kings have reached the point in the season in which morning skates will start to become optional. It’s the same strategy Terry Murray employed last season, and the same strategy employed by most coaches around the league, at varying times. There’s a balance between keeping players sharp, through on-ice work, and making sure they’re well-rested, and as the games start to pile up and the nagging injuries take their toll, coaches are more inclined to give players the option to stay off the ice on the mornings of games. All players still report to the rink, for meetings and off-ice work, and some players — particularly young players and those who are regularly scratched — don’t always get the “option” of staying off the ice, but for the most part, the bulk of the Kings’ work will get done in between-games practices.
MURRAY: “That’s what we’ll look at, probably, for the rest of the year. When you get into this time, and the way things are with the scheduling, a lot of optionals. We might look at something different in February here, because of all the road games that we have, to get some morning skates in, but in general it will be a lot of morning optionals.”