Don’t let it be said that the Kings aren’t maintaining a sense of humor in the midst of this Drew Doughty mess. Asked today about improving his power play, which ranked 21st in the regular season in 2010-11, Murray said, “We’re going to get Drew Doughty back and put him on the blue line and say, `Take charge of this thing,”’ then followed with a hearty laugh.
MURRAY: “The power play, at times, last year was really good. In the playoffs, it was really good. Our percentage was right there with any other team in the National Hockey League. It’s one of those areas that you just have to work out. Young guys were in a position to be successful at times last year. We missed some critical opportunities. With Richards and Gagne and Kopitar and Doughty, we have the people in place in order to have a good power play. We’ll get a little more movement, get more of a shot mentality, I think, is the first step.”
Jarret Stoll, a regular point man on the Kings’ power play, also was asked for his thoughts on improving the power play.
STOLL: “You could say so many things, and I’m sure you’ve heard it all, but it’s got to stay simple. Any time you complicate things, and you try to make too many cute plays…the penalty kills today are so good. When I came into the league, which wasn’t that long ago, there were some penalty kills that were bad, and there were wide-open seams. Now you don’t see very many seems. Everyone is in the lane. Either their stick is in the lane or their body is in the lane.
“It’s so technical now, with video and stuff. You’ve got to stay simple, I think, with getting pucks to the net and getting bodies to the net and good movement with your guys. If you’re standing on the side and passing the puck around, it’s easy for a penalty-killer. As long as there are good sticks and good bodies, as a power-play guy you’ve got to move, you’ve got to create those 2-on-1s, create those seams and, when you have them, take the shot. Don’t be too cute with it. We’ll figure it out. We’ve got some skilled guys up there that can make plays and shoot the puck. We’ll be better.”