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KINGS REPORT

Murray Still Has Faith in Storr

November 02, 2000|JIM HODGES

ATLANTA — It was about this time last season when goalie Jamie Storr went on a 6-3-3 run, playing the best hockey of his career.

"I see the potential in Jamie to be that goalie again," Coach Andy Murray said Wednesday after a practice in which the Kings tried to shake off a 4-1 loss to the expansion Columbus Blue Jackets.

"I'm sure Jamie is thinking a lot about things," Murray responded to questions about Storr's replacement.

"Jamie's our guy, and I plan to support him."

With Stephane Fiset sidelined by a knee injury, Storr has struggled since being blasted by Phoenix on Oct. 15, when he gave up four goals before being relieved after only 11 shots.

A benching sent him to goalie consultant Don Edwards, and to the ice with a renewed work ethic that got him back into the lineup Oct. 21 at Dallas.

Since then he has given up 16 goals in five games, losing three of them.

"I'm starting to get to the point where I feel better every game," said Storr, who gave up three Columbus goals Tuesday night, one he considered a "bad" goal, or one he definitely should have stopped.

Whether it's delusion is open to question, but Storr has to feel that way to keep playing.

"You can't think about the last goal you gave up," he said. "You have to think about stopping the next shot."

He can't afford to brood about a 3.15 goals-against average, more than half a goal a game more than his average last season.

And he can't afford to worry about his .880 save percentage, well below enough to win.

Instead, he has to take what Murray says at face value. The two met Tuesday morning in Columbus, and Murray told Storr that the final two periods of Saturday night's 3-1 loss at Phoenix "showed that you have turned the corner."

"I have to believe him," Storr said. "He has been the first to come up to me and say 'that's your fault. You should have stopped that shot.'

"When he says he thinks I have turned the corner, you have to believe he's speaking the truth."

*

Murray paired defensemen Aki Berg and Jere Karalahti in practice Wednesday and is expected to play them together tonight.

Also, Rob Blake is expected to rejoin Mattias Norstrom, Blake's partner for the last three seasons until the Kings signed Mathieu Schneider as a free agent in the off-season.

Schneider is expected to join rookie Lubomir Visnovsky in a first-time pairing.

That would leave Visnovsky's partner all season, Jaroslav Modry, as a scratch.

TONIGHT

at Atlanta, 4:30 PST

Fox Sports Net

* Site--Philips Arena.

* Radio--KRLA (1110).

* Records--Kings 5-6-2, Thrashers 1-3-5.

* Record vs. Thrashers (1999-2000)--2-0.

* Update--Atlanta is unbeaten in its last four games (1-0-3) and is led by former Kings Donald Audette and Ray Ferraro. Audette is among the NHL's leaders with seven goals and 14 points. He has points in his last seven games, but did not play in the Thrashers' last game, a 2-2 tie with San Jose. Audette, who has a slight groin strain, is scheduled to play tonight. Ferraro has four goals and four assists. Goalie Damian Rhodes hasn't practiced in two days because of a groin strain and will be a game-time decision by Coach Curt Fraser tonight.

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