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Training Camp Update (Sept. 21)

by Andrew Howard / Los Angeles Kings
Prospect Brayden Schenn is making the Kings roster decisions tough.
The Kings took the ice Monday morning at the Toyota Sports Center for short practice before boarding a flight to Kansas City, where they will "host" the New York Islanders Tuesday night at the Sprint Center at 5 p.m. (PT) The team will then travel to Denver to play the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center Wednesday night at 6 p.m.


Saturday the Kings and Avalanche will play again at Frozen Fury XII in Las Vegas at 6 p.m.

Here is a training camp update.

SCHENN’S SOLID
One of the stand-out performances of the Kings’ 4-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks this past Saturday was the play of Kings’ rookie Brayden Schenn.

Schenn, the Kings’ first round pick (5th overall), scored his first two goals of the pre-season, the first of which came on a power play to give the Kings an early 1-0 in the first period.

"That was a special effort," coach Terry Murray said. "(He) plays a real competitive game, very courageous game, and that’s what it takes to be a good player in the National Hockey League. Everything is in such small spaces and the play is so hard along the boards that you have to be a very courageous player, and he shows that every shift.Then to show the offensive instinct part of the game was very nice to see. He’s making things very hard."

Schenn said that with each game he is beginning to feel more comfortable out on the ice.

"I think that was one of those nights where the puck was finding you and you’re getting a few breaks here and there, so it’s good for me to get those breaks," Schenn said. "For me to score those goals it was some nice feeds from the guys I got the puck from."

While Schenn passed Sunday's cuts – the Kings cut 17 players – he emphasized the need to play well on a consistent basis if he wishes to stay on the team.

"That’s only first cut, so I know I haven’t made it in the clear yet," Schenn said. "I’ve got a lot of work to do and I’ll just take it from there."

Center Anze Kopitar had some encouraging words for Schenn Monday after practice. Kopitar, entering his fourth season in the NHL, recalled when he was a rookie and how much of a confidence-booster a performance like Schenn’s is.

"He’s been playing really good for us and he’s had a lot of minutes," Kopitar said. "He’s been thrown out there in different situations too, so it’s really good for him just to learn about the game in the NHL. Like I said a big confidence booster with those two goals. I think it’s just going to lift him up to the next level."

MURRAY ON MOLLER

Oscar Moller will start the season at Manchester.
After filling in the for the injured Stoll in the beginning of training camp, Oscar Moller was one of the 17 players that were cut on Sunday.

Moller will play for the Manchester Monarchs.

On Monday, Murray expanded upon the reason behind Moller’s demotion.

According to Murray, Moller suffered a broken collarbone during the World Juniors, yet played for the remainder of the tournament. When Moller returned to the Kings, he was forced to miss some time as a result of the injury.

"In my opinion talking with Oscar yesterday, never really got back to the game he had previously in the first half," Murray said. "So I think that kind of hurt a bit, and then coming into the training camp this year, I know he did a lot of work in the off-season putting attention on the areas we talked about when he left."

Through the beginning of training camp, Moller played center on the second line with Purcell and Brown, a position he played last year with the Kings. In 40 games last season, Moller scored seven goals and notched eight assists, yet Murray admitted that Moller was overmatched physically at the center position in terms of not being able to keep possession of the puck on breakouts from their end.

In Murray’s mind, he sees Moller as a better wing, yet with the recent additions of Justin Williams and Ryan Smyth, there was no room for him to play.

"I can’t dictate where they’re going to play him down in Manchester, but I see him as a better player on the wing," Murray said. "He’s not exposed as much with speed and he’s a very courageous guy to compete on those dot-to-board plays. He’s smart, intelligent, gets good body position and he comes up with pucks and makes plays."

STOLL, FROLOV TO PLAY
Murray said that center Jarret Stoll and left winger Alexander Frolov will play Tuesday night against the Islanders in Kansas City.

Stoll will make his preseason debut after recovering from arthritis after skating on Sunday. Stoll will play on the second line with Dustin Brown and Teddy Purcell.

"He’s looking good, he feels good and back to full strength, so I’m excited about that to get him going," Murray said. Frolov will be back on the third line with Michal Handzus and Wayne Simmonds after tweaking his groin in last Thursday’s 2-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks. Frolov skated along with Stoll on Sunday while the rest of the team worked out off-ice.

KINGS EXCITED TO GO ON THE ROAD
For the next week the Kings will be on the road, away from the Toyota Sports Center, a fact that is not only accepted, but welcomed, by the team.

"It’s good to get away for a couple of days from here," Kopitar said. "We’ve been here now for a week, the young guys were here two weeks already, so it’s good to get out of this place for a little bit. Get team dinners and bonding a little bit, just get to know everybody a little more than you already know."

Another player who is excited is Schenn, who will be making his first road trip as a professional player.

"Everyday it’s new for me being the young guy here," Schenn said. "Getting to know guys everyday and its great guys around the room. I’m happy to be around here and its been fun so far."

ISLES WITHOUT MORENCY
New York Islanders' forward Pascal Morency has been suspended for the remainder of the pre-season and five regular season games as the result of a game misconduct penalty in a pre-season game against the Calgary Flames, September 17, the National Hockey League announced today.

Video

At 5:35 of the second period, Morency was assessed a Game Misconduct under Rule 70.2 for leaving his players' bench on a legal line change for the purpose of starting an altercation. The rule states:

Legal Line Change – A player who has entered the game on a legal line change or legally from the penalty bench (penalty time has expired) who starts an altercation maybe subject to discipline in accordance with Rule 29 – Supplementary Discipline.

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