Luc on thin ice

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:54 AM ET

The determination in Luc Robitaille's voice can't be missed.

"I believe I can still produce in this league," said the Los Angeles Kings great after yesterday's morning skate.

"I believe in what I can do and it's up to me to show it out there."

It's the same resolution that helps a ninth-rounder become a surefire Hall-of-Famer.

The same obstinacy that allows a player selected 171st overall to become the highest scoring left winger in NHL history.

And that strength is what he needs to get through the tough times he's facing right now.

Lucky Luc's scoring prowess has waned, as shown by the five goals and three assists posted in 21 games prior to last night's clash with the Calgary Flames.

Just as difficult mentally is being a healthy scratch the last three games prior to battling in the Stampede City.

As a result, there has been some unsettled feelings in the Kings' dressing room between Robitaille and head coach Andy Murray but the veteran forward won't use the opportunity to blast the man making that decision.

"I don't need that to motivate me because I love the game. I've motivated myself to play every single game I've played in the NHL," Robitaille said. "I've never taken one for granted."

There's no doubt Father Time has taken his toll on Robitaille -- the cake last month had 40 candles on it -- but it's hard to believe he's completely lost it.

After all, we're talking about a player with 1,378 points (658-720-1,378) in 1,387 games.

Murray, who inserted Robitaille back into the lineup due to the injury suffered by Jeremy Roenick, said he expects production in a similar vein.

"With Luc, it's not about forechecking or backchecking, it's about goals," Murray said.

"Luc is a goal scorer and has to score goals for us."

Which Robitaille expects to do now he's back into the fray, especially now his ankle injury has fully healed.

"I felt really good before I broke my ankle," Robitaille said. "As a player, you always want to come back. It wasn't really the injury to my ankle was bad, it was walking around with a boot and so forth, my back was off.

"Thinking back, I may have come back too early. I should have just skated a few more weeks."


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