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KING REPORT

Murray Still Preaching a Team-First Mentality

October 22, 2003|Mike Bresnahan | Times Staff Writer

Sticking to his team-first mantra, Coach Andy Murray said he'd just as soon see the Kings with more points in the standings than see Ziggy Palffy atop the NHL scoring list at this time.

"It's only important if [Palffy's] leading the NHL at the end of the year," Murray said of the right wing, who has a league-high 12 points through six games, including two assists in Tuesday's 4-0 victory over Philadelphia. "To me it doesn't mean much right now. What would be more important to me is if our team had more points. If you equate the two things, I'm as excited about Ziggy leading in scoring ... as I would be with our team having more points."

Palffy, the temporary captain while Mattias Norstrom is out with a bruised chest, has not yet maxed out his performance, Murray said.

"He's leading the league in scoring but I think he can play better," Murray said. "When you're wearing that 'C' there's a lot of responsibility that comes with that, too.

"Lead by example as much as anything. I'm not saying he's been poor or anything like that, obviously he's got [12] points, but Ziggy could be better."

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Defenseman Aaron Miller skated with the rest of the team Tuesday morning, but his broken left wrist is still not fully recovered and he probably won't be in the lineup for at least one more week.

"I can shoot slapshots and one-timers really good," Miller said.

"Wrist shots or hand on the stick with one hand, it's still pretty painful."

Miller said it felt good to skate with the team, even though it was a non-contact practice.

He had been skating earlier in the morning with a small group of injured players.

"It was nice to get out there," he said. "Some of these guys, it seems like I haven't talked to them in weeks [because] I'm so separated from them. It was nice to get out there and get into some real drills."

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