Will offense come from center swap?
The Kings tweaked their lineup a bit today, with center Michal Handzus and Jarret Stoll changing lines. Handzus played a strong game last night against Anaheim — including a brilliant centering pass to Dustin Brown for the third-period, game-tying goal — and after practice today, Terry Murray was single-minded in explaining why he made the center swap…
MURRAY: “I just want to change it up here. I talked to everybody on both lines and made them aware of the change before the practice. I’m looking to, obviously, get some offense going here. We need to score some goals. We’re putting a lot of pucks to the net. We had 73 shots at the net last night. We’re still getting quite a few that are missing the net, unfortunately, and that’s critical to generate offense. Just hit the goaltender and look for those opportunities off of that. So the change is with the two centermen, and I’m hoping that there are some good results from that. We’ll give it a try tomorrow and see how it looks.”
Question: What did you think of Handzus’ game last night?
MURRAY: “Really good. He has responded very well to the conversations that we had, going back a month ago probably. We ended up moving him down, to give him a little bit of a break in minutes played. He has put a lot of focus on his game on the ice, and he has come back to a nice level right now.”
Question: And he might have made the best pass of the season…
MURRAY: “You go back to his early days in the league, he was making those plays pretty regularly. I’m talking about St. Louis and Philadelphia. You saw these plays happening pretty regularly. So it’s still there. It was a great play. The good players know where the options are before they get to the puck. You’re looking, and you know what the options are so you’re moving immediately, and that’s what we saw. It was a great play. Brownie made a great read on it too. He got lost behind the net, then popped out the other side. He kind of loses himself on the defenseman. It was a very timely play.”