This time yesterday, it seemed likely — or at least highly plausible — that Teddy Purcell would return to the Kings’ lineup in place of Scott Parse. That’s how the Kings practiced yesterday, and afterward Terry Murray indicated he was leaning in that direction. Today, Murray decided to keep Parse in the lineup.
“I thought about it,” Murray said. “We went through the practice yesterday with Purcell there. I changed my mind.”
Even though Murray has expressed some frustration with the inconsistencies in Parse’s game, he basically likes Parse’s game, and decided to give him another chance on the line with Alexander Frolov and Michal Handzus. Murray, in the recent past, has said that while Parse has good ability, his shift-to-shift intensity is not always there. Today, I asked Murray whether he thought there were still some peaks and valleys in Parse’s game…
MURRAY: “Yes, I do. I think it’s something that he will work through as he continues to play at this level. It seems to be a pretty common issue, whenever you go through the process with young guys, calling them up. There’s a lot of adrenaline, a lot of emotion, and they step back a couple paces after maybe five or six games and you’ve got to give them a little push up. Or, in the past, that player would go back down again and learn how to develop that attitude that you’ve got to bring it every day, every practice.
“He’s improved. It’s coming, and he’s a bright guy, a smart guy, and he’s going to grab onto this thing. He’s kind of an intriguing player for me. He can score some goals. He’s got high skill level, and he brings that element of, you better keep your head up or he can lay a pretty big hit on somebody if you’re not paying attention. That’s the right attitude for him to play with. He doesn’t have to show that on every shift, but certainly the consistency with the intensity and the compete is demanded on every shift. That’s maybe where there’s a little drop-off at times.”