|Alexander Frolov has tallied 2-4=6 in three games since his benching.
It’s only been a week, a small sample size, since Alexander Frolov got benched, but the difference in Frolov’s game since then seems evident to Kings coach Terry Murray.
In the three games since being scratched, Frolov has two goals (both of which came in Sunday night’s victory over Columbus) and four assists and seems to have found a groove playing on a line with center Michal Handzus and right wing Dustin Brown.
The goals from Frolov, who hadn’t scored since the first game of the season, were a welcomed sight for Murray, but the coach was more focused on other parts of Frolov’s game. Murray had publicly questioned Frolov’s effort and commitment to the game.
"Fro played really well, the (first) game back. I really liked his effort against Dallas," Murray said. "He was strong on the puck, he holds onto it, he makes great plays in the offensive zone with his puck protection, and he got a result here (Sunday).
"He can be a top player. Again, it's, `Make your mind up if you want to be that.' The last three games here, he's making that kind of commitment to the team."
NO PRACTICE, NO WILLIAMS
Murray gave the Kings the day off Monday, since they don’t play again until Wednesday in San Jose.
In that game the Kings will, once again, be without forward Justin Williams, who suffered an undisclosed "lower-body injury" last week and has missed three games.
Murray said, "At the end of this week, I think he’ll be ready to get going," but the Kings play Wednesday, and Thursday at home against Vancouver, but then not again until next Monday, so it’s unclear as to which game Murray might be referring.
As long as Williams is out, rookie winger Scott Parse will remain on the left side, beside center Jarret Stoll and right wing Teddy Purcell.
Parse has two assists in his first two NHL games, both on nice passes that led directly to goals by Stoll. And although Parse took two minor penalties Sunday, he played almost 13 minutes and seems to be earning Murray’s trust.
"He's surprising the heck out of me, anyway. I didn't even play him in an exhibition game. How smart am I?" Murray joked. "But you know, he's smart, he plays, he reads, he scans the ice, he makes good decisions. He has always had good puck skills."
Kings center Anze Kopitar was named, by the league, as the "First Star of the Week" for a four-game stretch in which Kopitar totaled six goals and three assists.
Kopitar entered Monday with the league lead in goals (10) and points (21).
Also, Kings goalie Jonathan Quick entered the day tied for the league lead with eight wins. Quick is expected to be back in goal Wednesday at San Jose.