Frozen Royalty: Justin Williams Has A Lot To Prove In 2010-11
It’s clear that Gann Matsuda of Frozen Royalty has been reading the KingsCast Twitter as we have been saying Justin Williams has been the best forward on the ice for a week now. But, as usual, Gann goes into great depth with quotes from the organization. It’s a contract year for “Jay Dub” so his early success can’t come at a more important time. Read this excellent piece by Matsuda for the full analysis.
LOS ANGELES — Three games into the 2010-11 National Hockey League regular season and goin back to the start of their 2010 training camp, perhaps the biggest concern for the Los Angeles Kings has been who is going to score goals besides the usual suspects, including Anze Kopitar, Ryan Smyth and Dustin Brown.
Perhaps the biggest question mark in that regard has been right wing Justin Williams, who was a solid contributor offensively last season, until he suffered a broken right leg at Phoenix on December 26, 2009.
Williams, who turned thirty years old on October 4, missed 28 games because of the injury, and was nowhere near the same player he was prior to suffering the injury upon his return.
At no time was that more clear than when he was scratched from the lineup after the Kings lost Game 1 of their Western Conference Quarter Final series at Vancouver on April 15, 2010.
Williams sat out three games of that series, returning in Game 5, a 6-4 Canucks win, giving Vancouver a 3-2 series lead.
Add to that his injury-filled 2008-09 season when he played in just 44 games for the Carolina Hurricanes and the Kings, Williams’ last two NHL seasons were memorable for the wrong reasons.
“I’ve had a couple of tough years that I just want to forget about and put behind me,” he said.
But Williams certainly isn’t forgetting. In fact, his last two seasons appear to be providing inspiration and motivation, and that has shown since training camp began—Williams has been, arguably, the Kings’ best forward since the pre-season began and that has extended through the first three games of the regular season.
Head coach Terry Murray has taken notice as well.
“This was his best game here tonight, going back, before his injury,” Murray said following the Kings’ 3-1 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers at Staples Center in Los Angeles on October 12. “In that first 22 games of last year to this game here tonight—that’s what he was like in those first 22 games.”
Read the rest on Frozen Royalty.