Nick Nickson, radio play-by-play voice of the Los Angeles Kings, was on NHL Live radio this morning.
Below is a quick recap of the ten-minute phone interview he conducted with hosts Deb Placey and EJ Hradek (of ESPN). Among the topics covered included an update on Drew Doughty, a preview of the game-within-the-game aspect of tonight’s Minnesota Wild vs. Kings contest, how Willie Mitchell is fitting in and does he think the Kings will pursue a trade for Brad Richards.
* He spoke to Coach Terry Murray this morning. Doughty is back in LA. He skated yesterday and he’ll be skating again this morning. If all goes well, he is expected to rejoin the team on the road trip. He is “progressing,” according to Nick.
[note: per tweets from Helene Elliott (LA Times) – Doughty skated Sunday and will skate again today, but GM Dean Lombardi says he had a setback on Saturday. Doughty must have two days without symptoms before he takes baseline test and could be cleared.]
[updated again: Late this afternoon the Kings announced Doughty was put on the injured reserve list, retroactive to October 21st. Jake Muzzin has also been recalled from Manchester. Looks like Doughty will remain in LA and (at the earliest) rejoin the team for Saturday’s game vs. the New Jersey Devils.]
* The big match-up tonight will be Minnesota’s power play versus the Kings penalty kill. The Wild’s PP has been incredible – accounting for over half their goals and is clicking at over 50% so far this season. Former Ducks forward Matt Cullen is fitting in well there.
* Nickson thinks the Kings have been pretty consistent so far this year. It’s been a “well balanced” attack and Quick has been good.
* There is an “air of confidence” around the team. On any given night they think they can compete.with any team in the league.
* He expects Quick and Bernier to split the starts on Wed/Thurs. No word on who starts which game.
* How is Willie Mitchell fitting in? He’s been good. He’s been a big part of the Kings penalty killing success. He leads the team in short-handed penalty minutes played. He reminds Nickson of what Scuderi brought to the team last year. You don’t notice him out there, which is usually a good thing for a defenseman. He rarely turns the puck over and he is always making the safe plays.
* A caller asked, does he think the Kings will take a run at Brad Richards (Dallas Stars), either at the trade deadline or in free agency? If the Kings are near the top of the division around the deadline, as expected, they should be buyers. And he is the type of player that will be on the Kings radar. It’s too premature to say at this point though. If he’s available, even though he’ll be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, also depends on how Dallas is playing.
Kings Vision has audio/video of Nick’s appearance – click here to watch.