Young but tested

The Kings are, somewhat remarkably, still in the Western Conference playoff race even though they have the NHL’s youngest roster. One explanation for their success is that while the Kings are young, they do have some experience in high-intensity games. Rookies such as Drew Doughty, Oscar Moller and Wayne Simmonds have experience in intense World Junior Championships games, and Jonathan Quick played some huge games down to the stretch last season to help Manchester reach the AHL playoffs.

I asked Terry Murray if that experience, at lower levels, can translate to the NHL and help these young guys feel more comfortable in this playoff race…

MURRAY: “You definitely can take all of your winning experiences, from all levels, and bring them to this moment. It’s very important that you have winners in your organization, coming up through the beginning of their hockey careers as a pee-wee. We see that, clearly to me, with a young guy like Doughty, who has been through so many experiences as a young guy, as a 19-year-old. He has been put in a lot of very high-level game and tournament scenario, and you can see and feel the composure that he brings out there on the ice. Those World Championships and Juniors, in particular, that’s a big deal. If players respond in those situations, you’re going to be able to connect the dots and carry it right through to the next level. So all of the young guys that have been through it, and then you have a couple older guys who have been through it also, and that means a great deal to your team at this time of the year.”

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