It was only last week when we discussed here whether Teddy Purcell might end up being the key to the Kings’ season. If anything, that feeling has only become stronger. As the Kings’ second-line left wing, Purcell not only needs to show that he can be a consistent NHL player but that he can score enough to justify second-line minutes and play physical enough to satisfy his coaches and general manager. It’s a lot to ask — particularly of someone who has played only 50 NHL games — so I asked Terry Murray if it was safe to say that Purcell’s play was a key to the season…
MURRAY: “To me, he’s right at the top of the list. Maybe not the very top, but he’s certainly a priority for us, to have Teddy Purcell play well and play an important role for our hockey club. He’s a very gifted guy. He’s got incredible skill and playmaking ability. We’ve discussed this before; that’s where I see him, on the left side where he can be a real good playmaker with Stoll and Brownie. I know that those two guys are going to work hard for him also, and find him opportunities to be the shooter. He’s a guy who can finish pretty well.
“He has adjusted well to the left side. I think his play has been pretty good from the start of the training camp. In one of the (preseason) games, I thought he was the best player on the ice for both teams. He was just playing tremendous hockey, playing very competitively and doing the things we talked about many times last year, as far as board play. It’s a courageous thing that you have to do sometimes, when you’re playing along the boards, and that’s where I will keep going at Teddy. He’s got to give us that same kind of look in every game that he plays.”
The question is, do you think he can do it?