Net presence needed

Just to put a final point on the day’s discussions of Teddy Purcell and the first line, Terry Murray this morning talked about the need for that line to play a certain way, and the way in which Ryan Smyth can help them play that way. It’s the “net presence” that is often talked about, and it’s the type of play that elevated the Smyth-Kopitar-Williams line to success in the first six weeks of the season. Today, Murray talked about that type of game and how the Kings can get back to it…

MURRAY: “I know he’s going to take the puck to the net. He’s going to play around the net. He loves to play the short hand-off, same-side pass plays. That, again, will bring people to that five-foot, six-foot area around the net. If Teddy is going to have some success there, and that line is going to start to click, that’s where it needs to happen. If you’re going to score, it doesn’t matter where you’re going to play, whether it’s the NHL or the American Hockey League or ove in Europe, where the ice is twice as wide as it is here. The scoring area is still exactly the same. Same size, same place, in front of the net, those hash-mark areas to the net, that’s where most of the goals are going to come from, whether it’s a smart play that’s made or a shot from the blue line and rebound.

“The goal scorers have to learn to play the game in that inside area, especially today, even more so in the last 10 years. The structure that every team plays with, in the checking part of the game, there’s very little success from the perimeter. So that’s an attitude. You have to make your mind up that, `This is where I need to go to score,’ and again, I’m hoping that it all works out for Teddy Purcell, especially, with this opportunity.”

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