From second line to fourth line to third line to first line — or was it second, third, fourth, first? — Teddy Purcell has been all over the Kings’ map this season. Now, he’s at the only place he really doesn’t want to be: off the map completely, as a healthy scratch tonight against Phoenix.
Purcell’s ups and downs have been well chronicled. After two goals in his first three games, Purcell went 16 games without a goal. He scored one, but now has gone five consecutive games with nary a point.
Despite his offensive struggles, Purcell maintained a top-six role for quite a while — plus power-play time — but with the return of Brandon Segal, Wayne Simmonds and Ryan Smyth, coach Terry Murray decided to keep rookies Segal and Corey Elkins in the lineup, rather than Purcell…
MURRAY: “Teddy’s game is about the offensive part of it, mainly. Most importantly, he’s got to be able to put some points on the board, whether it be creativity and making things happen on the power play or going out and scoring some goals. I think his game, on the checking side of it, he’s focusing on that. He’s trying to give that a better look, and it has improved from when I first met him a year ago. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to take a player out when there has not been a lot of success.
“You’ve got to bring attention to it, and have a meeting with him and make sure that he understands clearly what the reason is that he is coming out for. We’ll stay with him, on that side of it. Get a day off today. We have plenty of hockey in front of us, and he’s just going to have to make sure that when he gets back in, he’s going to stay in the lineup through his own good play.”