It’s a combination that Kopitar, one of the NHL’s top two-way centers, thinks could work rather well.
“We’ve got a good shooter in Gabby and then Looch gives us a little bit more pounds on the line, too, and maybe a little bit more physicality,” Kopitar told the Daily News. “I’ll just try and do what I’ve been doing so far, and I’ll take care of both ends of the ice and try to make plays and get those guys the puck in scoring areas.”
Chemistry is a tough thing to predict. Maybe the trio works, maybe it doesn’t.
“We think it’s a good fit,” said Sutter, per LA Kings Insider. “Finding out where Looch fits, where [new defenseman Christian Ehrhoff] fits, where two or three of the young guys fit, so the best way to find out is during the game. You can practice all you want.”
So far, they’ve been the story of Ryan Murray‘s young career.
In 2015-16, he’d love — and expects — for that to change.
“I want to stop talking about injuries,” the 21-year-old defenseman told the Columbus Dispatch recently. “I just feel really good now, so keep it up. I worked pretty hard this summer. I couldn’t do that last summer (because of his knee), remember? I’ve been here in Columbus for a while, skating a lot. I haven’t felt this good since I was a kid.”
Murray, the second overall pick in the 2012 draft, was limited to just 12 games last season. According to The Dispatch, the plan this season is for him to skate with David Savard on the Jackets’ top D pair, followed by a Jack Johnson–Fedor Tyutin duo.
If you had to identify a potential Achilles’ heel of the Jackets’ roster, the defense may be it. But if Murray can stay healthy and play the steady-hand role he was drafted to provide, this could be a playoff team, with the talent up front and in goal to do some damage once it gets there.
Ho-Sang was among the OHL’s top scorers last season, piling up 81 points in 60 games with Windsor and Niagara.
But he didn’t escape controversy. He was traded to Niagara early in the season, with Windsor coach Bob Boughner saying later:
“It was mandatory that we had to trade him. For many, many, numerous internal reasons, the people that truly know what went on behind the scenes would understand why we had to trade him. We might not be a better team in the standings because of it, but we’re definitely a better team within our four walls and it’s only going to help for the future.”
Now, to be fair to Ho-Sang…
Couple #Isles folks said Ho-Sang's behavior had been exemplary during week of rookie camp that preceded today. Same with camp in July.
“Absolutely, with my skating ability and the things I can do on the ice, I think it will be more effective come game time,” Morrow said, per NESN.
“It’s just more of an offensive-minded approach. Push the pace of play and show more of a skill level this year rather than the gritty performance and gritty defensive aspect of things. It’s still going to be there 100 percent, that part is not going to change at all, but you will see a lot more of the skilled forwards and skilled defensemen contribute to the offense a lot more.”