Sports

Ducks' Bob Murray says staff is trying to improve roster

SportsAnaheim DucksNational Hockey LeagueBob MurrayLos Angeles KingsMinnesota WildAndrew Cogliano

His team has the NHL's best record, just swept the rival Kings in consecutive games and is getting career seasons from stars and others alike.

Yet, Ducks General Manager Bob Murray is taking nothing for granted, telling The Times in a telephone interview Monday that he and his staff spent an hour mulling ways to improve the roster earlier in the day.

"This is no different than any year; you're always trying to get better, never satisfied," Murray said. The NHL trade deadline is March 5. "Lately, our team play has not been as good as when we were banged up."

The power play is an average 16th-best in the league, for instance. But the Ducks do own an NHL-best 39-10-5 overall record and 21-1-2 home mark.

"I'd be lying if I said our record would be what it is at this point in time," Murray said. "It's been surprising for everybody. The time when we had all the injuries and we played well — better than we are now … this group, they stick together, like to play well and like to play well together."

Center Ryan Getzlaf has a career-high 25 goals, forward Corey Perry has 28 goals, and players such as center Nick Bonino, forward Andrew Cogliano and U.S. Olympic defenseman Cam Fowler are enjoying career seasons.

"You watch players progress and grow … you could feel them starting to click," Murray said. "They're following their natural progression. They work at themselves, they figured out what it would take."'

Stadium Series

Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller, who made 36 saves against the Kings on Saturday, was able to take in the sights and sounds of Dodger Stadium … briefly.

"During commercial breaks, you always find a minute or a couple of seconds to look around," he said. "You kind of see the whole thing. You look up and the seats just go higher and higher. It's pretty impressive how far up the people are. You have a couple of seconds, but then you are back focusing on the game.

"I thought it was a pretty good way to stay sharp and not worry about all the other stuff."

Saturday's Ducks-Kings matchup produced a 2.38 rating in Los Angeles, the highest rating in the market for an NHL regular-season game on NBC Sports Network.

Recharging

The Ducks were hitting the refresh button after the excitement and big-game atmosphere of Saturday's 3-0 win against the Kings.

Perry was given Monday off as a recovery day, healing from assorted bumps and bruises.

After Saturday's game, Coach Bruce Boudreau talked about the elements of the Ducks' success.

"Well, timely goals, timely goaltending, a great desire of character to pay the price to be successful," Boudreau said. "Even tonight. That comes when you're blocking shots and everything. We're seeing guys limping off the ice and not wanting to miss a shift. I think it's true character.

"I know other teams have it and that, but I know we have it in spades. I think it's something that keeps us going is the desire to be successful."

TONIGHT

VS. MINNESOTA

When: 7.

On the air: TV: Prime Ticket; Radio: 830.

Etc.: Wild star Zach Parise, who sat out 14 games because of an injured foot, returned to action Thursday against Chicago. He is pointless in two games since coming back, and played nearly 22 minutes in Saturday's overtime loss at San Jose. Wild captain Mikko Koivu, the younger brother of Ducks forward Saku Koivu, is still on injured reserve because of a fractured ankle.

lance.pugmire@latimes.com

lisa.dillman@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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SportsAnaheim DucksNational Hockey LeagueBob MurrayLos Angeles KingsMinnesota WildAndrew Cogliano
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