It’s not yet known — mostly because of Ryan Smyth’s weather-related delay — exactly what role Teddy Purcell will fill for the Kings tonight, but it is known that he will get a chance to end his nine-game run as a healthy scratch, and a chance to show that he can be the scoring threat the Kings hoped for at the start of the season, when they made him their second-line winger.
Purcell, almost certainly, will see some power-play time, and based on what he says below, it might be with Alexander Frolov and Michal Handzus. Here’s what Purcell said today about his return to the lineup (he talked before Terry Murray confirmed that Purcell would be in the lineup tonight)…
PURCELL: “I’ve been working pretty hard in the last little while, and I’m ready to go, so if it does come, I’ll be ready.”
Question: Nobody likes to sit and watch, of course, but are there things you can learn from watching, and getting a different perspective on the game?
PURCELL: “Sometimes, but it’s like anything. It always seems easier when you’re watching. When you’re high up (in the press box), the game looks slower than when you’re actually playing. But you always learn things. Maybe you have a little more time with the puck than you think you do, when you’re watching from up there. You watch players and watch how hard they work, consistently I think, and you try to take some things from that. In a negative situation, you always try to take something good out of it.”
Question: One of the reasons you’re likely going back in is because of the power-play struggles. What can you bring to that?
PURCELL: “We’ve been talking about that, Zeus, Fro and myself. Last year, we had a lot of success because we kept things simple. We were talking about how we haven’t really hit our stride yet, because we’re not desperate enough to get the puck back on the faceoffs, and our retrievals aren’t good enough on the entries. You don’t want to do too much. You try to make perfect plays, cross-ice passes aren’t there, and you force things. You just try to keep things simple, and when that happens, other things will open up. We got on page the last couple days, practicing it and watching some video, so I’m going to be excited if the chance comes tonight, and hopefully we can execute.”