After the Kings’ overtime loss to Pittsburgh, Terry Murray made a point of praising the effort of Wayne Simmonds, with Murray noting that Simmonds’ game “was one of the first times, in a little while, that he’s had his feet going, holding onto the puck, creating some offensive opportunities and bringing the work into the game.” The strong play seems to have carried over. After the Pittsburgh game, Simmonds was moved up into a first-line role with Michal Handzus and Anze Kopitar, and Simmonds looked particularly strong on Sunday against Philadelphia. His gritty play behind the Flyers’ net helped set up the game’s only goal.
MURRAY: “Simmonds, his play has been really big. But it’s really big because it was really off at one time. He’s back to showing the kind of play that we saw through most of last year and his first year. He was a hard, gritty player. He was a very physical player that played a north game and did the right things with his skill. He has a high-end skill in the offensive zone and he’s allowed to use that skill in the right areas of the ice. When he gets in, and does the things that he did again yesterday, with his forecheck and his physical play, and creates plays through hard effort, picking up a loose puck and getting to the net with proper positioning, he’s a very effective hockey player when he plays with that attitude.”