Video review is always a big part of an NHL coach’s preparation, but in the last couple days, Terry Murray and the Kings might have been better served viewing what the Edmonton Oilers did Thursday night. The Oilers scored three goals, and none of them were from more than a stick’s length away from the net. The Oilers scored because they were in position to score, to take advantage of fortunate opportunities, while the Kings too often treated the Edmonton net like a no-fly zone. While the Kings were too often hovering on the perimeter, the Oilers made things happen around the net and got rewarded with three goals.
MURRAY: “Those are the goals that you, maybe, need to start to score so that the other part comes, the pretty part. The highlight-reel kind of goal comes later. But you have to get back to getting dirty and getting to the front of the net. It’s always been a big part of the game anyway, net presence and shooting pucks and paying the price there is an important part of the game, every game that you play. I feel that we’re in and out on that part of it right now.’’
Question: Like the way the Oilers scored their goals, all around the net…
MURRAY: “Yeah. And there’s two very lucky ones. The first one, and I thought the third one was a lucky break. It’s a pass that hits the back of Kopi’s skate and comes back into our end. Now it’s a quick, bang-bang play between the feet of the defensman to the man at the weak-side post. But those things happen when you get on a little bit of a roll. Your game is confident. You feel confident as a player. I think our individuals are confident, but our offensive part of the game is maybe off a little bit. So the greasy goals, the digging in around those hard areas, I think, will get things turned around. That was a big part of the focus of practice here (Friday).’’