Here’s what new Kings coach Terry Murray had to say about the first day of training camp. To give you some idea of Murray’s day, he spent it watching both of the practices, rather than either of the scrimmages. He also said that he will be staying in Los Angeles for Monday’s preseason game, rather than traveling to St. Louis with half of the team. Here are Murray’s thoughts on the first day…
Question: Your impressions of the first day?
MURRAY: “I was very impressed with the overall conditioning of the team. The veterans really stepped up here today, I think, in the middle of the practice and started to show the experience and started to show their superior knowledge of the game and set the tone for the younger guys.”
Question: The tone seemed to be pretty intense and some of the guys said it was really fun…
MURRAY: “Yeah, the way the rules are today, you’ve got a three-hour rule with the players and you’ve got a couple days to get ready for the games. So yes, you come into the first day now and you’re hitting the ground running, basically, with scrimmage and practice. You’re trying to get a lot of things covered in a short period of time. Again, the veteran guys, I thought, really were prepared, emotionally and physically, and did a great job to come out and set the tone in practice, to jump at the front of the lines, to show the young guys the proper way of doing things. It was very intense. There was a lot done in a short period of time.”
Question: You implemented some systems at rookie camp. Are you still looking for improvement in those areas?
MURRAY: Yeah, absolutely. The system part of it, with the rookie camp, I thought it was very important for them to have some ground work and give them a good sense of how the game is going to be played from our system side of it, so they could come into the main camp and maintain pace and proper positioning. It really helps the veteran players to be able to play with younger players when they know exactly where they’re going to be. Normally with a veteran player, you only have to review it one time on video and they can come out and execute, whereas the young guys need some repetitions. Everybody fit in very well today.”
Question: When you look at young players who perhaps we haven’t seen before, so you look for skating ability, knowledge of the game, presence of where to be and what to do? What are you looking for.
MURRAY: Well, the hard-work part of it is expected. That’s what everybody brings, and has to bring. The skating part of the game is, again, mandatory. The rules have changed. You have to be able to get up and down the ice and maintain proper positioning. You’re looking for an understanding of how the game is played, to be able to read off of people, to be able to stay out of the middle of the ice if a centerman is there, get back wide again if you’re a winger. It’s just reading and reacting to how things present themselves. Again, some of the younger players today showed some really good stuff and have improved their game from the first day of the rookie training camp.