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KING REPORT

Latest Injuries Aren't Serious

October 25, 2003|Lisa Dillman | Times Staff Writer

So often, the news is not good when King Coach Andy Murray walks into the practice facility each morning.

"Well, you just kind of get numb to it," he said. "You just move on."

He was talking about the daunting number of injuries, and specifically, the ones incurred by right wing Ziggy Palffy and defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky in the 5-1 loss to Buffalo on Thursday night. Palffy has a strained neck and Visnovsky a strained lower back.

For once, though, in an upset, the news Friday was good. The players in question were expected to be available tonight, Murray said.

Which still left the unsettling matter of the Sabres' rout and an 0-for-7 power play.

The Kings stayed off the ice and did not practice, enduring something much more painful -- watching video breakdowns of the Buffalo thrashing .

"Our margin for error as a team is small," Murray said. "In other words, we can't play at 95% or 90%. We were quite a bit below that."

Said left wing Luc Robitaille: "We had a good talk [in the meetings]. We know we can't play like that. We're the type of team that has to play all out every night."

*

Injured forward Jason Allison was examined by an ophthalmologist Thursday, and said he was going to visit another one Monday. He has had vision problems and lightheadedness.

Times staff writer Mike Bresnahan contributed to this report.

TONIGHT

Chicago, 7:30, Fox Sports Net

Site -- Staples Center.

Radio -- KSPN (710).

Records -- Kings, 4-3-0-0, Blackhawks 2-4-1-0.

Record vs. Blackhawks -- 1-0.

Update -- There was high drama far away from the Blackhawks' practice in El Segundo on Friday. General Manager Mike Smith, who had started his fourth season in that position, was fired during an afternoon meeting in Chicago. Senior vice president Bob Pulford will take charge -- for the fourth time -- until a replacement is found. Apparently, philosophical conflict between Smith and Coach Brian Sutter had been building, and Pulford made specific reference to behind-the-scenes strife this week in a conference call with Chicago reporters about the management change. "From personal experience, I can tell you that hockey is a team game and everybody has to be pulling in the same direction," Pulford said. "That just was not happening here."

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