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KING REPORT

Lack of Production Gets Modry Grounded

March 30, 2004|Mike Bresnahan | Times Staff Writer

DENVER — The Kings played again without leading goal-scorer Alexander Frolov, more this time because of Frolov's tender ankle than a punitive decision by Coach Andy Murray.

The same could not be said about defenseman Jaroslav Modry.

Modry, who has 30 points and a team-high plus-12 rating, did not play Monday against the Colorado Avalanche because of a recent slump that bottomed out with a careless no-look pass Friday that led to an Edmonton Oiler goal. He has been benched since the next night's game against the Calgary Flames.

"Mo's been a good player for this organization for a number of years and will continue to be, but his performance of late has not been at the level that we need from him," Murray said. "All areas of his game have not been as sharp: his puck movement, his defensive containment, I would say it's his overall game."

Murray said he warned Modry three or four games before that improvement was needed, but there was none.

"You can only say that so often and then you've got to take some action and that's what we did," Murray said.

Modry, an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, was apologetic.

"It's been an interesting road trip," he said. "I didn't expect to finish the season like this as a team or an individual. It's definitely frustrating; one of those things you don't want to have happen in your career. I consider myself as a leader on this team and I'll take full responsibility."

Frolov, benched Saturday against Calgary because of his slipping on-ice performance, sat out Monday because of his ankle, Murray said. Frolov skated with the team Monday morning but did not play at night.

"His ankle's bothering him," Murray said. "We would have put him back in [if he was healthy]."

*

Center Jozef Stumpel is out with a sore left shoulder that could end his season a week early. Stumpel, injured Saturday after being checked into the corner boards by Calgary Flame winger Ville Nieminen, did not play Monday against the Avalanche.

"I'm not feeling real good," Stumpel said when asked whether he would miss the Kings' final four games. "It'll have to get better in the next couple days if I'm going to play again this year."

Stumpel, an unrestricted free agent after the season, has eight goals and 29 assists in 64 games. He missed 14 games in October and November because of a bruised chest.

*

Defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky played Monday after missing Saturday's game with flu-like symptoms. Right wing Ian Laperriere also returned after missing one game because of a bruised right wrist.... Martin Straka played Monday after being a healthy scratch against the Flames.

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