Reports from Phoenix last night from Kings coaches, management types and staffers brought solid praise for — in no particular order — players such as Trevor Lewis, Dustin Penner and Jonathan Bernier, but the unofficial award for eye-opener of the night went to Tyler Toffoli, who had one goal and one assist but impressed with his all-around play while skating on a line with Lewis and Ethan Moreau. Toffoli certainly didn’t come out of nowhere. He’s a second-round pick from 2010 who totaled 57 goals and 108 points to lead the OHL last season. Toffoli isn’t expected to make the Kings’ roster out of camp — he has one more season of junior eligibility, and skating and conditioning still need some improvement — but Toffoli did well for himself in the Kings’ 3-2 victory over the Coyotes last night, according to Terry Murray…
MURRAY: “I heard a very good review (of Toffoli) also, so you got the same report I got. We’ve seen it right from the start of the training camp, through the rookie camp and the two games that were played. He’s a guy that shows a lot of composure. He’s very strong on the puck. His skating has improved dramatically from last year, when I first saw him. Now he’s getting that confidence that some players get early (and) some players need to go through some time before they get it. Right now, he’s strong on the puck, playing very confidently, seeing the ice, making plays, taking pucks to the net. When you hear about all that stuff, and you see it, you get a little bit excited. There’s a lot of potential for being a good pro.”
Murray was also asked to share some of the reports he got from the game. Murray coached the Kings in Los Angeles while assistant coaches John Stevens and Jamie Kompon handled the duties in Arizona.
MURRAY: “(The Coyotes) had a good lineup in Phoenix. The feedback that I got from my assistant coaches was that things went well. There’s stretches of the game where they played extremely well, with a lot of structure and a lot of purpose, and other times — similar to the game that was played at the Staples Center — there were some breakdowns, getting away from the team play. Very understandable, this early in the training camp, that this would happen. So we got right back to work here this morning with a hard practice and review a lot of the system play. We’ve got some new things that we’re putting in place this year, so again we just do the repetitions so that it becomes more of an instinctive part of the game.”