Frozen Royalty: Terry Murray Talks Defense, Goaltending
EL SEGUNDO, CA — As the saying goes in hockey, defense and goaltending is what wins championships and for the Los Angeles Kings, while their goaltending looks to be on the rise, there may be a question or two on defense, despite the presence of James Norris Trophy finalist Drew Doughty and the increasingly confident Jack Johnson.
Veteran defenseman Sean O’Donnell is now with the Philadelphia Flyers and Randy Jones has signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning over the summer.
In the case of Jones, conventional wisdom dictates that his departure actually improved the Kings defense—call it addition by subtraction. In the case of the 38-year-old O’Donnell (he will be 39 in early October), time has taken its toll, which became quite evident during the playoffs against the Vancouver Canucks.
Nevertheless, add in the loss of veteran blue liner Matt Greene to a shoulder injury for at least the first month of the season suddenly, the Kings defenseman corps looks rather thin, even with the signing of unrestricted free agent defenseman Willie Mitchell, 32, to a two-year contract on August 26.
But head coach Terry Murray does not seem worried, at least, not yet, pointing out that one option to fill a spot on the blue line will be defenseman Davis Drewiske, who suffered what was believed to be a dislocated shoulder on January 4, 2010, and was never able to work his way back into the lineup.
“Drewiske is going to be ready to go,” said Murray. “He had a very unfortunate injury last year and I think it really had a big effect on him emotionally because of other injuries he’s been through.”
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