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|16 октября 2008
Checking role for Frolov? // Los Angeles Times.
Back home in Russia and in his first five NHL seasons winger Alexander Frolov repeatedly heard one message.
"I always get told by all the coaches in my life I have to shoot more, and I know good things happen when I shoot and you bring the puck on net," said Frolov, the Kings' second-leading scorer last season with 67 points.
"So that's what I try to do. I try to focus on my shots."
Terry Murray has a different idea.
"I want him to check more. That's what I want," the Kings' new coach said Wednesday.
"I want to see him match up with [Michal] Handzus playing against top lines in the league. I want to see him be a good checker. I actually spoke to him after the practice and told him this is a role that would, I think, really suit him."
That's significant, since Frolov tested his faith by committing a potentially costly gaffe late in the Kings' 6-3 victory over the Ducks on Tuesday at Staples Center.
Frolov needlessly iced the puck with 1:35 left, bringing the faceoff back to the Kings' zone as they protected a 5-3 lead. They held on -- and Frolov scored into an empty net -- but Murray wasn't pleased.
"That's something that shouldn't happen with a veteran player," he said. "You should be managing the puck better, making better decisions."
True, but Frolov has made another decision that's a good one.
After years of displaying talent without consistency, he wants to be in the forefront of the Kings' rebirth. He has another platform to do that as part of a leadership group chosen by Murray, who also selected Handzus, Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar, Matt Greene and Sean O'Donnell.
"I'm ready to do my best for the team and try to get a playoff spot. I'm pretty sick and tired of what was going on here the last few years," Frolov said.
"I'm looking forward for a good season and I will do all I can for that."