Handzus waiting to click

Times Staff Writer

Location, location, location.

Not only is Kings center Michal Handzus coming off a serious knee injury and surgery that limited him to eight games with Chicago last season, he had tonsillitis over the summer and lost 15 pounds. Then there is another factor in his Kings’ transition: simple relocation.

“Let’s face it. Anybody that moves to a new organization, it doesn’t click like that,” Coach Marc Crawford said Thursday. The Flyers’ “Daniel Briere might be the one case right now in the league in where a guy that’s made a big change that’s had immediate impact. I’m looking at other guys and I don’t see anybody else that’s done it.

“It takes a while. The normal human being, all the studies they’ve done, said it takes six months for you to be at your optimum productivity when you change jobs.”


Handzus, who was signed as a free agent in July, has one goal in four games and has been a solid fixture on the penalty-killing unit.

“He’s a very committed player away from the puck,” Crawford said. “That is a nice interjection to our team. We didn’t have a lot of that last year. We all believe Mike can be better. Last night, he had a number of opportunities to make plays and it’s not quite there yet. I sense that is coming.”

The way things were going for Brady Murray, he wasn’t overly surprised to be a healthy scratch in Dallas on Wednesday. It was his first stop watching from the press box in four games.

“I mean, I’m not going to put up a lot of numbers,” he said. “They don’t expect that out of me. Provide a little spark once and a while. I felt like the first game went well but the last two, I just felt like I was chasing the puck and I was not really involved or having an impact.”

Tom Preissing, who missed the Dallas game with flu-like symptoms, did not practice Thursday and Crawford said the defenseman would probably sit out against Boston, meaning another appearance for Kevin Dallman, who played 15 minutes and 49 seconds against the Stars.