Willie Mitchell on injuries, ice time and preseason chaos

Willie Mitchell at Kings camp (photo: CIKIRI)

As you’re about to read from Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell, things can be a bit unpredictable at this time of year.

So true.

For the team’s practice session this morning, coach Terry Murray has (at least for now) abandoned the two groups he used yesterday. Today he put the NHL players in their own unit, with one noticeable addition – prospect Slava Voyunov was been paired with Mitchell, Drew Doughty‘s usual partner.

Yesterday, after his on-ice workout, Mitchell seemed to be a little slower than usual.

“Just some wear and tear on the groins this time of the year,” said Mitchell. “We’re doing a lot of skating and in the first game I played quite a bit, so I just have a bit of tightness in the groin. I’m just making sure it doesn’t become an issue.”

His 24+ minutes of playing time on Wednesday in Phoenix was just a few seconds behind Alec Martinez for tops on the team. That wasn’t necessarily the plan going into the game, it’s just how things developed.

“With the line-up the Coyotes dressed – they dressed a pretty full line-up, I think they had about 16 regulars out there – at this time of year, organizations want to see their (prospects) a little bit, to see what they can do. But, they also want to stay in a hockey game. So, I think the ‘D’ who has been around a little bit, we maybe played more they wanted us to because of that. But, it’s a good thing. It gets you going and right now the only way to get ready for the season is playing games. It doesn’t matter what you do here on the ice here with skating – it’s about getting into game situations and making reads. So, I enjoyed it.”

And with the first round of roster cuts already made and more expected in the next 48 hours, things are starting to settle down – which is something Mitchell appreciates.

“I find it’s always a tough thing (during camp and pre-season), I just try to focus on the things I do. You’re playing with different players and it’s really unpredictable out there,” explained Mitchell. “Some kids are junior kids – I was that age once – you don’t have the right reads yet though. You have American League guys, who you’re not used to playing with. It’s all very unpredictable. So, I just try to worry about my game during pre-season.”

Mitchell played 57 games for the Kings last season, his first of a two year contract. His veteran leadership was consistently praised by teammates and the coaching staff. His five goals were a career high.

While most people wanted to ask him about Doughty’s absence during the first few days of camp, the real story may be his self-admitted bro-mance with new Kings center, Mike Richards – that story is here.

The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL
www.facebook.com/MayorsManor

RELATED ARTICLES:

Preparing for life without Doughty, Murray talks Voynov vs Hickey

Post-game news and notes – Kings at Phoenix, pre-season 2011

Mitchell says Kings ‘dominated’ in loss to Detroit

Shop for Los Angeles Kings Gear at Shop.NHLcom!Shop.NHL.com

Recent Articles

Stars Kings Nov 2014 hockey NHL

In the Room: Kings and Stars talk 5-4 win by Dallas

Following the Kings wild 5-4 loss to the host Dallas Stars on Saturday night, here is what was being said in both locker rooms: Kings Head Coach Darryl Sutter on the team’s play in the first period: “I think we both had great opportunities in the first period. They scored on theirs and we didn’t. [...]

Stars Dallas NHL hockey

Puck Probability: Odds for Kings at Stars, November 22

With the Kings set to complete their three-game season series with the Stars in Dallas on Saturday night, we have our first return guest here on the Puck Probability series. Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News was so much fan last time around, he’s back to help us close out the set between these [...]

Seguin Stars

Things You May Not Know: Kings-Stars Finale Edition

This is it. In just about a three-week span, the Kings and Stars will have completed their three-game season series. Dallas, fresh off their Friday trade with the Sharks – where they sent defenseman Brenden Dillon to San Jose in exchange for defenseman Jason Demers and a third-round selection in the 2016 NHL Draft – [...]

Major News Items

Zykov NHL LA Kings

LA Kings 2014-15 Prospect Rankings: The Coveted Top 5

With the Honorable Mentions and Nos. 6-10 prospects previously revealed in other articles, we’re now prepared to share the final five players making up the latest edition of our L.A. Kings Top 10 Prospect Rankings. The … [Read More...]

More Prospect News