This road trip came at a good time for Randy Jones. Claimed off waivers from Philadelphia on Oct. 29, Jones had a few days to get acclimated in Southern California, then left for this nine-day road trip, which allowed him to get to know his new teammates.
Jones made himself popular early, as he scored the game-winning goal in his first game with the Kings. He has a minus-1 rating in three games so far, and tonight he picks up a new partner, as he will pair with Drew Doughty and likely log some major ice time. It should be an interesting pair, since both defensemen are mobile and not afraid to jump up into plays, but they have to be careful to be responsible on the defensive end. Here’s what Jones said this morning about tonight’s game…
Question: What are your thoughts about playing with Doughty tonight?
JONES: “I’m excited to play with him. This is his second year in the league and, in my eyes, he’s an all-star. He can move the puck, he can skate, he’s got great moves, he can play in his own zone, he’s physical. In my eyes, he’s an all-around player. To be able to play with someone of that caliber, I’m thrilled.”
Question: What is going to be the key to success for the two of you?
JONES: “You have to rely on each other. When one guy is jumping up, you can’t have the other guy jumping up as well. I think it will be a good combo. We both know the game pretty well and we can read plays and know when it’s a smart time to jump up into a play and take a risk, and at other times sit back and let the play come at us. I’m excited to play with him, and I’m looking forward to it tonight.”
Question: Has this road trip been good for you, in terms of feeling more comfortable within the team?
JONES: “Absolutely. You’re around the guys pretty much 24/7. When you’re at home, sometimes after you leave the rink you kind of split off a little bit, and spend time with your families, but on a road trip like this, when you’re new to a team, it’s always a good feeling to get to know the guys a little more. You go to the meals and all that. It’s been fun, and hopefully we can finish it off with a `W.”’
Also, here’s what Terry Murray said he expects for the Jones-Doughty pair…
MURRAY: “I’m seeing a pair of very good puck handlers, two guys who can go back and carry the puck and get it out of trouble, get it out of our D zone. Both smart, play well defensively, have got great sticks, and a pair that should be able to play in all situations.”