The other day, in the comments section of LA Kings Insider, I made this comment, in response to the opinion that Andrei Loktionov ought to be sent back to Manchester when Marco Sturm is healthy.
Growing process continues for Loktionov " LA Kings Insider
The Kings are 13-3-2 [note: now 13-3-3] with Loktionov in the line-up. He has four goals and two of them are game-winners. He has two goals and two assists in the last five games. Kopitar has one goal and three assists; Brown has 1g and 1a; Smyth has 0g and 3a; Stoll has 2 goals and no assists; Handzus 1g/2a; Simmonds has 0g/3a. Only Williams, 2g 4a, has been better than Loktionov in that time and no-one has more goals. And he’s doing it with at least 25% fewer minutes than the others. (Oh, and one of Williams’s two goals came off of Loktionov’s deft little kick-pass last night).
And, as far as giveaways go, he has nine on the season, in 18 games. Per game, that’s better than Simmonds, Smyth, Kopitar, Brown, Williams (also better than Doughty, Johnson, Scuderi, Greene and Mitchell, but D get credited with more giveaways by nature, so that doesn’t really count).
Almost forgot: Loktionov leads the entire team in G/60 (goals per 60 minutes of ice time).
By all means, send him down! He has a lot to "learn."
That was before the Rangers game, after which:
Loktionov’s learning curve " LA Kings Insider
MURRAY: "Lokti, I thought the game got a little heavy for him there at times. I’m just seeing an NHL level of play, right now, starting to expose a young player. [...] Every play is critical, those 1-on-1s, those 3-on-3 — whether it’s in your D-zone or the offensive zone — there are situations right now that are happening a little too fast.
In the middle of the ice, though, he’s good.
He’s getting back, tracking back.
He is very strong on his stick.
He did recover some pucks last night, what I call stealing the puck from behind.
But in other areas, there’s just some other stuff that is happening that is not what I want to see right now. So, it’s just coming too fast for him, maybe. [...] I’m going to back away probably, tomorrow, and get a more experienced player in that situation."
I'm perfectly willing to give Terry Murray the benefit of the doubt, and I happily concede that his hockey knowledge is vast, his experience as a coach is, well, look at the numbers:
- 18th all-time in regular season wins, more than the great Roger Neilson, more than Jack Adams or Punch Imlach, chasing Toe Blake and Pat Burns.
- 7th in wins among active coaches.
- 22nd all-time in playoff games coached.
- 22nd all-time in playoff wins.
- 5th in playoff games coached and wins among active coaches.