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An Inside Look

September 30, 1990|STEVEN HERBERT

Both Prime Ticket announcers for the Kings believe this could be a great season for the team.

"There's no doubt in my mind that this is a put up or shut up year," said Jim Fox, a former Kings right wing who is beginning his first season as an analyst. "This is their third year with Wayne (Gretzky), so we're going to have to see if they play up to their potential.

"With Wayne and the people they've brought in around him, the potential exists to go all the way, there's no doubt about that. The big word everybody throws around is chemistry, but in this instance it's right on the nose. If they can find the proper chemistry, I think they can be battling with the best teams in the league."

Coach Tom Webster is promising a more defense-oriented approach this season. Last season the Kings allowed 337 goals, fourth most in the league, while falling to fourth place in the Smythe Division and 15th overall among the 21 teams.

"The key is going to be if this team can play as well defensively as Tom Webster wants them to play," said play-by-play announcer Bob Miller. "I've heard for 17 years that we have to cut down on the goals against, and for most of the 17 years, it never happened."

Both announcers consider the Edmonton Oilers, defending Stanley Cup champs, the team to beat.

"I give Edmonton all the credit in the world," Miller said. "I don't know of any other team that could have traded a player of Wayne Gretzky's stature and win the Stanley Cup again two seasons later," Miller said. "That's a tremendous feather in the hat of the management of that team.

"It's just unbelieveable that they came back and played as well as they did and won the Stanley Cup. Of course, they'll miss Jari Kurri (the all-star right wing who signed to play with a team in Italy) but they still have a great nucleus of players up there.

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