Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Murray confident Jones learned lessons
By Arash Markazi ESPNLosAngeles.com
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Kings coach Terry Murray will make a lineup change before his team's Game 4 matchup with the Vancouver Canucks in their Western Conference quarterfinal series Wednesday night.
Mistake-prone defenseman Randy Jones, who has sat out the past two games, will replace Peter Harrold, who didn't play in the third period of the Kings' 5-3 win over the Canucks in Game 3.
Murray had benched Jones after the Kings dropped Game 1 in Vancouver, 3-2 in overtime, when the 28-year-old defenseman gave up a turnover that eventually produced Mikael Samuelsson's game-winner for the Canucks. Murray, however, said he was more discouraged by Jones' activity on the ice than the turnover.
"I have an experienced player going in, in Randy Jones; he's been in this situation many times," Murray said. "He was taken out for reasons that I did speak to him about and I think he got the message and I'll get him back and get him going."
Murray talked to Jones about moving his feet and making the simple plays, which he noticed Jones wasn't doing when he watched tape of the first game. Jones also has struggled to regain his form after suffering an upper-body injury in December after a collision with Edmonton Oilers left wing Dustin Penner.
"That's exactly what happens with Jonesy and it goes back to my time with him at Philadelphia," said Murray, who was an assistant with the Philadelphia Flyers from 2004 to 2008 while Jones with the team. "He came in and showed flashes of being a top-four defenseman in the National Hockey League and then he gets into this lull in his game where he's standing and watching and waiting for things to happen and gets the puck on his stick and instead of being assertive with it, he throws it around the boards and it turns into a turnover situation."
Murray said he was confident after reviewing film with Jones that those issues have been resolved.
"Those are the areas I address with him on a fairly regular basis. The most important thing is to get your feet moving," Murray said. "Get skating, He's a good skater and he can take the puck out of danger and make good plays."
Arash Markazi is a writer and columnist for ESPNLosAngeles.com.