Sidney Crosby had his family’s dryer. Jake Muzzin had his family’s fence.
Every young Canadian hockey player has to practice his shot somewhere, and while the Muzzin family fence will never be as famous as the Crosby’s dryer, it served its purpose. Muzzin developed his heavy shot from near the blue line by wearing out a fence with a steady barrage of pucks.
“My dad always stressed a lot of shooting pucks in the driveway,” Muzzin, a rookie defenseman, said after the Kings’ practiced Saturday at their El Segundo training facility. “We had a fence that took a beating and we had to take it down after a while. I’ve always kind of worked on it and he’s always stressed when I was young to, ‘Work on your work, work on your shot, work on your shot. So, it’s just one of those things that’s developed. … If I was going to do it, I was going to do it. I wasn’t going to half-(try) it. So, he pushed me.”
After a few false starts, Muzzin’s hard work translated into NHL success. He went into tonight’s game against the Dallas Stars with seven goals, tops among Kings’ defensemen, and nine assists in 41 games since he was promoted from Manchester (N.H.) of the American Hockey League.