Kings can relax, but not too much
The Kings can relax a bit now, but will they relax too much? October was an absurd month for the Kings, who — from the end of the preseason through the start of the regular season — spent 22 of the 31 days on the road. Now, from Nov. 1-20, they won’t leave California. That includes seven home games, a bus ride to Anaheim and a quick flight to San Jose, in which they will only have to spend one night away from home. That’s a natural time to build some momentum at home, but don’t forget, this is the Kings team that had eight consecutive home games in December and January of last season and went 2-6. How will they respond this time? All things considered, 6-3-2 isn’t a bad start considering all the travel, Terry Murray indicated, but now it’s time to win some games at home with a rested team.
MURRAY: “I feel good about the start of the year, very good actually. When I take into consideration how the schedule was for us, from the week before we went to Europe, it was very busy for us. Five games in seven (days), then we go overseas and have a couple games over there. We make the adjustment to come back to the East Coast. That was demanding in itself. That was a big test, and I was very concerned about it through the offseason, looking at that part of the schedule, about how fast you get re-adjusted. I had never done that before, really, as a coach of a team. I did it as a player, but I never paid attention to it. You just do it. I’ve heard a lot of stories over the years, and seen teams, where they come back and have a tough time getting things on track, getting settled in and getting the fatigue out of the way and start to play the game at the right pace again. I really liked the way we handled the overall part of the schedule here. Emotionally, the players understood what it was all about and prepared themselves very well for that.
“I think our game, going into this last road trip, starting off in Dallas, was high-energy. There was compete, there was a good pace to the game. It was a very good game, going into Dallas, and we end up winning it. There was just a nice continuation over the rest of the two games, in my opinion. We only got the one point out of it, but still, coming out of Colorado, I felt good about it. I was proud of the way the players played, with three in four nights. To sum it all up, in a nutshell, I’m very pleased with how the early part of the season has unfolded for us. Now, as for specific parts of the game, I won’t get into that… [laughs] There are always things that are a concern. We’ll make a big push, in specific parts of the game, to get that to a better level of play.’’