From Rich:

MURRAY: “We’re going to have to make sure that we’re getting pucks in, to get a forecheck and cycle game. I think scoring the first goal of the game is very important, against any team but certainly against Minnesota. The last two games that they’ve played, I’ve watched them over the last few days. When they had a lead against Chicago, they really clamped down on the checking part of it. It was a 1-4 look. The two defensemen are at the top of the circle and they gave up absolutely nothing on the scoring part of it to Chicago. I think you’ve got to give that a big focus, making sure pucks are deep, recover and get as many opportunities as you possibly can.”

I agree with Terry Murray that getting the lead is important against a team like the Minnesota Wild. However, if the Kings do fall behind, Murray’s two dimensional perimeter system will make it much harder to climb back against a team that plays a 1-4 on defense because that defensive system takes away lanes and keeps the puck to the outside. If Murray is going to keep trying to break through with the same cycle focused on the outside and getting the puck to the point for a shot that their 1-4 is designed to prevent from getting through, we may see the definition of insanity (doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result) yet again on display.

I believe that turnovers will be a critical part of tonight’s game. The Kings have found success recently on transition, taking advantage of giveaways and turnovers and attacking with speed, something the second line with Stoll and Williams possess in spades. Look at where nearly every one of the LA Kings’ goals have come from in their wins – the middle of the ice – and almost all of them did not occur on the cycle but from turnovers and broken plays. That sort of opportunistic attack mentality has paid dividends in the past three wins while the defense did the rest. GO KINGS!