We missed you, Elliotte Friedman. In his first 30 Thoughts column of the season, his prelude details the fallout of Slava Voynov’s return to Russia, before Thoughts 2-6 provide updates on Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards, and the Jake Muzzin-Drew Doughty pairing.
3. Jake Muzzin drove down Highway 401 a few times per week in late August to play some games with regular defence partner Drew Doughty and a collection of NHLers who stay in the London, Ont., area. They didn’t pair in scrimmages — “I see enough of him,” Muzzin joked — but did work on a few things.
“We looked at all our shot attempts and practised getting them through more often,” he said. “Being more mobile on the blueline, changing the angles…shooting off different feet. What else can we do instead of making a dead play? We play so many games, you get tendencies and habits…good and bad ones. We worked to change the bad ones.” Muzzin also watched a lot of video of himself, seeing if there were different reads to make on the penalty kill and “whether you’re leading the rush or the fourth man, being more aggressive — or less — and still being an option.”
In other news, congratulations, Jeff Schultz! … Clayton Stoner is being charged with multiple counts for conducting an illegal grizzly bear hunt. You probably shouldn’t be killing grizzly bears. … A stick tap to Daniel Carcillo, who is hanging up his skates and moving on to assist players who are transitioning away from their playing careers.