It’s not typical for a fourth-line player to get power-play time, but Oscar Moller has earned it of late for the Kings. In his last four games, Moller has played a total of just more than 37 minutes, but he has one goal (on the power play), one assist and 12 shots on goal. Since his return to the Kings in mid-December, Moller appears to be getting progressively better, and is being rewarded with more minutes, both 5-on-5 and on special teams.
MURRAY: “That kind of says it right there. His game has improved. He’s a better player today than what he was when we started the season off this year, in training camp. His confidence has grown. He looks like he’s physically stronger. He’s dealing with that 1-on-1 stuff much better in traffic. He’s skating very comfortably. We know he’s got the skill. He showed it last year throughout the year, and his power-play skill. It’s getting better. It’s been a big challenge for him, going back down and playing in the minors. He seems to have handled it very well, and he’s getting some recognition for what he’s been doing.”
There’s still, of course, the matter of Moller’s size. He’s listed at 5-foot-10, 186 pounds, which is quite, shall we say, generous. Today, I asked Terry Murray whether Moller, in order to play an even bigger role in the NHL one day, is going to have to add more bulk…
MURRAY: “He’s going to have to get better control of his body. I don’t know if it’s a matter of putting on more bulk, but strength is critical. That’s what I’ve always felt with young players, that they have the skill to be able to come in and play the game, but physically they’re not able to match up. When you have complete control of your body as a player out there, then you’re able to compete in all situations. He’s getting to that now. He worked hard over the summertime, and it looks like there is a great deal of strength that’s been added to him since last year.”