What is Terry Murray’s plan for beating the Columbus Blue Jackets tomorrow?
MURRAY: “I’ve got to take Hitch [coach Ken Hitchcock] out to dinner tonight and I’ve got to feed him a whole bunch of beer. That’s going to be important. (laughs)”
Murray and Hitchcock are friends with a shared recent history, as Murray was an assistant under Hitchcock for two-plus seasons in Philadelphia before Hitchcock was fired and took over in Columbus. After his joke, Murray took a serious crack at the question, no doubt mindful that Columbus beat the visiting Kings 4-1 on Oct. 17 (although the Kings returned the favor, 6-2, in L.A. on Oct. 25).
MURRAY: “The keys to the game for me are, first of all, recognizing that Columbus — as we are — are very desperate for points. It’s going to be a heck of a battle. There’s going to be a lot of intensity, a lot of heavy play, board play. They’re a team that is going to come after you on the forecheck and play you hard and physical. They make it very difficult to get to the front of the net, and that’s where you have to have the attitude that you’re going to battle for your ice. If you’re not willing to compete in those areas, then it’s going to be a long night for you. That’s an attitude that we have to establish going into it.”