Sturm stepping into bigger role - LA Kings Insider

In the third period of Thursday’s game against Edmonton, Marco Sturm moved up to the first line with Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown. Sturm’s first five periods with the Kings were spent on the fourth line, as Terry Murray wanted to ease Sturm back into the NHL after Sturm spent the summer, and the first two-plus months of this season, recovering from knee surgery. Now, the Kings believe Sturm is ready to go in a higher-profile role. This morning, Sturm and Murray talked about the move…

Question: The plan was to use those first couple games to help you get your legs under you. Do you feel like you got in the work that you needed, in that area?

STURM: “I will probably need some more, but that was definitely the right way to start it. We kind of switched it last game, in the third period, and that’s when I found my game slowly coming back. That was a good start, but I know I can do a lot better.”

Question: The thought is that you can use your speed to help open up things for the other guys. Is that the plan?

STURM: “Definitely. I’m a pretty simple forward player. I’ll just try to create some more room for them with my speed, and I’ve just got to find a way to use. It should be a really good line.”

And here are Murray’s thoughts, starting with his decision to elevate Sturm to the first line tonight…

MURRAY: “I talked to him this morning, before the practice, and he’s had a couple of games now, to get his feet under himself. He felt better in the third period. It’s time to move up and just get his game going at a higher level, with the top line.”

Question: Is the thought there that he can use some speed to open things up for the other two guys?

MURRAY: “The whole part of his game should be very good for Brownie and for Kopi, using his speed. He’s a north-south player. He can recover pucks. He’s got great quickness. He gets on those opportunities that are laying there, with recovery, and generate some second and third opportunities. Away from the puck, he’s responsible. He’s a veteran player. That’s why we made the move to get him, is to add that experience and that depth on the top line.”

Question: Would he stay with that unit on the power play as well?

MURRAY: “We haven’t really gotten into that yet, quite honestly, on the power play. There will be a time when we talk about it. Once we see him feeling real good on the 5-on-5 part of it, then we’ll address that.”

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.