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Coach Sees the Benefit of His Criticism

KING REPORT

October 06, 2001|Jerry Crowe

King Coach Andy Murray felt better about his criticism of Glen Murray last week after the winger opened the season with a bang.

Glen Murray, scoreless in three exhibition games, seemed to be all over the ice in Thursday night's season opener, scoring the Kings' first goal, assisting on the second and snapping off seven shots in a 2-2 tie with the Phoenix Coyotes.

"The comments I made are justifiable based on how he played," said the coach, who had questioned the player's commitment and work ethic. "That only shows me that that's what we should be expecting from Glen Murray.

"He should play that way all the time. We're such a better team when you have a 6-foot-3, 225-pound guy who uses [his size] like he did last night."

Said Glen Murray after the game: "This is when it counts. They don't remember the games in September. They remember the games in the regular season."

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Nelson Emerson, sidelined while recovering from a concussion, could be in jeopardy of losing his spot on the No. 2 line. Newcomer Steve Heinze played with Bryan Smolinski and Glen Murray on Thursday and had two assists.

"It looked like a pretty good fit," Andy Murray said of the Smolinski-centered line, which produced all six points. "It's unfortunate for a guy like Nelson, who played pretty well with them last season.

"But we have to deal with the present and what's going on, and if there's production and effort, then you have to recognize it."

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Defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky has struggled through training camp to show the form that landed him on the NHL all-rookie team last season.

"He's being pressed right now to stay in the lineup," Andy Murray said. "But I'm giving him a little bit of the benefit of the doubt. We're having trouble getting his girlfriend over here from Slovakia ... and I think that's bothered him."

Visnovsky's girlfriend, Nina Nemcova, is experiencing visa problems.

"You worry about it, but you come here and do your job," Visnovsky said through an interpreter, teammate Jaroslav Modry.

Added Modry: "But he says he comes home and he's lonely."

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When Adam Deadmarsh comes off the injured reserve list, possibly today, the Kings will have to make a roster move.

Most likely to be reassigned to the minors: Scott Thomas or rookie Jaroslav Bednar, neither of whom would have to clear waivers.

Rookie defenseman Andreas Lilja would have to clear waivers.

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