Shoot the puck!

The Kings had almost 15 minutes of power-play time last night, including two 5-on-3s, and they scored two power-play goals in 10 chances. That’s pretty consistent with their power-play percentage this season, but the 5-on-3s, in particular, seem to be a point of frustration for fans because of the Kings’ apparent reluctance to shoot the puck. If you feel that frustration, well, Terry Murray seems to be with you…


Question: When you’re on the power play, you hear the fans yelling for players to shoot. Are you yelling that too?

MURRAY: “Yes, I do it all the time. If I’m not saying it, I’m thinking it. I’ve been around long enough to see 5-on-3s happen where… You might have a 5-on-3 for 40 seconds, and if you do too much of that passing stuff, next thing you know you’ve got five seconds left and you haven’t taken a shot. You’re trying to set up the perfect play. Shooting the puck is where it’s at on the 5-on-3.

“To keep it simple is best. Plays happen off loose pucks in the NHL. That’s all there is to it. You get the opposition defensemen turning around, the penalty-killing team is facing their net, loose pucks and scrambles happen and good things happen for you as a team that is shooting the puck. Goaltenders are human. There is a lot of stress and there is a lot of pressure on them, and fatigue does become a part of the power play and it works for you.

“So I’m constantly looking at power plays that shoot the puck. I really believe that the blue line is where it starts. In order to have a successful power play, you’ve got to be able to bring the puck from the top. The statistics are — and I have this someplace but I don’t know where I put it — but the percentage of power-play success rate from the top, shots that come from the blue line as opposed to any other area on the ice, it’s incredible. It’s like 78 percent, as opposed to 15 percent. It’s an incredible stat. So when you ask that question, yes, I’m constantly saying that guys have to get the puck to the net. They’ve got to shoot it.

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