Kings/Coyotes: Final Dash
Kings Roster Notes: (IN) Jonathan Quick, Oscar Moller, Brad Richardson, Kevin Westgarth. (OUT) Davis Drewiske, Peter Harrold, Scott Parse, Anze Kopitar, Justin Williams.
Coyotes Roster Notes: (IN) Ilya Bryzgalov, Ed Jovanovski, Lauri Korpikoski, Taylor Pyatt. (OUT) Martin Hanzal.
It's the first game after the Kings' most lopsided loss of the season, and Terry Murray is dishing out more scrambles than a busy diner on Sunday morning. The defense pairs, juggled even during the course of the SJ debacle, have switched again. Murray also re-united two lines that weren't previously effective (Smyth-Stoll-Brown and Penner-Zeus-Moller). Trevor Lewis is still on the 4th line. I am left to wonder if he truly believes they are the best combinations, or if he's just trying to (once again) get their attention by shaking things up. The message is: my way above all else.
I said before that I think Penner is being Murray-tized. I still believe this. TM notes that he's hesitant in his execution of the new system. He's being asked to change his game and being told that his instincts are wrong, on top of losing skilled linemates in Kopi and Williams. I think everyone should settle down a bit. Many other players before Penner have needed time to adjust to Murray's conservative ways. He also wasn't brought in to be the savior, and this monumental task is not going to rest with any single player. We need everyone.
I get the sense rest of them feel they need to "answer the bell" at the same time they're supposed to be playing it extra-safe. Kopitar and Williams do leave a lot to make up for. But even if it tends to limit offensive production, TM's extra-careful, disciplined method could work to throttle the Coyotes.
Two teams tied in points. Let's see what happens.