September 28, 2011 3:00 pm

Loktionov caught in numbers game

The Kings are pleased with the progress of Andrei Loktionov. But they’re also pleased with Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards, Jarret Stoll and Trevor Lewis, who happen to play center, Loktionov’s natural position. Loktionov gets another look tonight, as he will center a line with Kyle Clifford and Scott Parse, but is there a spot for him in the lineup? Loktionov played a bit of wing last season but looked far more comfortable playing at center. I asked Terry Murray today whether there was a possibility that Loktionov could move to wing…

MURRAY: “There’s always a possibility, I suppose, but I think he’s a center iceman. That’s why he’s at that position through all these games, and again tonight. We saw him play (left wing) with Kopitar for a while last year, and I thought he did a pretty good job, but at the end of the day, when you see him play there, and now you’re evaluating, I came away saying, `He is a center iceman and that’s where he should play.’

Question: When you look at Kopitar, Richards, Stoll and Lewis, who seems to be having a real good camp, there wouldn’t appear to be a lot of space for Loktionov…

MURRAY: “That’s what you’re looking for, though. You’re looking for that competition situation, and I think we’ve got it with Lokti, with Lewie. They’re both great kids and have worked very hard. Lewis played very well for us last year, and I thought his game last night was real good. He’s able to carry the puck in situations and makes good, veteran decisions with it. But I’m very happy with how Loktionov has gone through the training camp also.’’

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