Simmonds still rising

If I were to have a Kings player-popularity poll on this blog — which is actually an interesting idea, now that I think about it — I have to think that Wayne Simmonds would finish pretty high. It seems as though he might finish high on Terry Murray’s list as well.

Murray was asked today about Simmonds’ play, particularly against Detroit on Saturday, and his ascension to a first-line right-wing role in the absence of Justin Williams. Simmonds, much like new linemate Brad Richardson, isn’t be asked to do anything different than he did before. That’s just fine with Murray…

MURRAY: “He has shown a lot of good things. The board play, the dot-to-board play, has always been a big part of his game. That’s probably what attracted my attention to him at the start. His puck skills are good. He’s good great puck-protection skills. He can make plays pulling it off the boards, can see people in tight spaces, tight situations.

“Just on the other goal the other night, the first goal of the game, he’s the guy that probably set it up, just with a good stick, a stick on the puck. He ends up getting a pick on the pass from (Jonathan) Ericsson. He had the puck behind the net. He gets his stick on it and jumps on it and the puck goes to the net, and as a result it’s the first goal of the game for us. So he’s got a pretty well-rounded game for us. We’re using him on the PK, 4-on-4, and I don’t see where it would be too far down the road, he will get some power-play time. He’s developing the right way.”

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