If Terry Murray didn’t make random and illogical roster changes that contradict objective observation or even his own spoken sentiment, he wouldn’t be Terry Murray. Expect the unexpected is Murray’s Mantra. Let’s not hold that against Scott Parse. The fact Parse has played below average this preseason and arguably earned nothing in either of the past two seasons (27 years old, 64 career games, 12 goals, 16 assists) doesn’t mean he can’t finally have a break through. If he does well, great, the Kings have unexpected depth in their top 6. If he doesn’t, Terry Murray made yet another questionable call. We’ll add that to the list. If that happens, Scott Parse may be packaged in a trade, as I doubt the L.A. Kings will waive him.
My concern for Scott Parse is this – in Terry Murray’s perpetual cycling system, if the left wing has the puck, he carries the puck up the boards and cycles it back. The wing would then dish off the puck to the defenseman. Under Murray’s system, if Parse were to pick up Dustin Penner’s duties, he would also get to the front of the net to deflect shots or pick up rebounds. Do such duties play to Scott Parse’s strengths? If you answered yes, I look forward to your comments. If you answered no, I am with you. I see Parse getting knocked off the puck a lot and not establishing much of a net presence.
Now, if we didn’t play an outdated offensive game, Scott Parse would take the role of carrying the puck more and getting shots on net, he would make lateral passes to a center or hit a rushing defenseman. He would also receive the pass from the right wing while spreading the defense and forcing the goaltender to move lateral – less time against the boards, more time generating quality scoring chances, especially the ever deadly one timer.
It will be interesting to see how Parse does in this first line role and, most importantly, how long he will last. One bad game and he’s out or will he be given a fair opportunity? Expect the unexpected.