Kings affiliate action – notes from Reign opening weekend

In what could be classified as a franchise reboot, the Ontario Reign took to the ice this weekend for a pair of home games to kick off the new season.

Just about everything was new, except the jerseys.

Gone was fiery and temperamental head coach Karl Taylor and in was the seemingly always jolly Jason Christie. Helping him behind the bench was former Kings defenseman and assistant coach Mark Hardy.

On the roster, only a small handful of players remain from last season. It’s a completely new look team, that now includes Kings goaltending prospect JF Berube as the number one goalie.

Saturday afternoon the Reign also added Darcy Kuemper to the line-up. The 6-foot-4 goaltender was drafted by Minnesota in the sixth round of the 2009 draft and remains under contract to the Wild. However, due to them not having an ECHL affiliate this year (and a full roster in the AHL), Christie was able to work out a deal for Kuemper to play in Ontario. He comes in after a strong season last year, where he was the top goalie in the WHL.

Friday night’s game was a 5-4 loss to the two-time defending champions of the Pacific Division, the Bakersfield Condors. Saturday saw the team rebound and pick up a 3-2 victory – after 11 rounds of a shootout – over their old nemesis, the Stockton Thunder.

Below are some exclusive quotes a few of the notables provided MayorsManor…

Berube on his first game back in goal (Friday) after hip surgery in April – “I had some trouble getting into the game. I felt like my focus wasn’t there. I wasn’t too happy after the game, with my performance. Of course, I wanted to do great for my first game. But, there’s some positive things there that I’ll try to build on. I felt like I was moving well and I didn’t feel out of shape. It was my focus. You have to get back into your game habits and that’s where I think I had a little bit of trouble.”

Christie on Berube’s play – “He played great. I thought he made some key saves. To get his first game under his belt, that was a plus. With the surgery and stuff, he hasn’t really played in a game in (six) months. He’s going to have jitters, plus the big crowd. So, I thought he handled it well and handled it like a pro. For a guy who hadn’t played in (six) months, he battled hard.”

Christie on his developing relationship with Hardy – “We’re two good people, who love the game. We love coaching and being around the guys. That’s the number one thing I noticed right away, the passion that we both have.”

Hardy on his feelings when the puck dropped Friday night, marking his return to hockey – “I had butterflies. I didn’t know how I was going to be before the game. The butterflies took over and it was just an awesome feeling to be back behind the bench. I really thank the Kemps and Jason Christie for bringing me back into the hockey part of it because it’s my love and I really missed it.”

Kuemper on playing Kings prospect Linden Vey back in the WHL – “He was in our division, so we played him a lot. Every time he got the puck in the offensive zone, I had to be ready. He’s a real dangerous threat. He’s a great player with a great skill set. It’s tough to shut a guy like that down.”

Kuemper on playing Kings prospect Brandon Kozun in the WHL – “He’s a speedy little guy who was all over the ice. He just had a knack for making plays.”

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

RELATED ARTICLES:

Interview with WHL Scoring Champion Linden Vey

LA Kings coach Terry Murray – ‘Brandon Kozun needs to work on his game’

Many frustrations for Ontario Reign President Justin Kemp

Recent Articles

Quick Kings Howard Wings NHL

Puck Probability: Odds for Kings at Red Wings, October 31

After giving Martin Jones the start in net last night in Pittsburgh, Kings coach Darryl Sutter is expected to go back to his ace, Jonathan Quick, against Detroit. The former Conn Smythe winner is just 3-7-1 in 11 career games played at Joe Louis Arena and will also be looking to get his first road [...]

kings

Flashback Friday: Halloween Pics from Kings 2011 Player’s Party

The following article was first published in 2011. We share it again for those who either missed it the first time or just want to re-live the laughs… On Tuesday, there may have been some other players dressed up as the Kings because coach Terry Murray‘s team just didn’t look like themselves in a 3-0 [...]

Datsyuk Red Wings

Things You May Not Know: Kings-Red Wings Edition

With the Kings winless in their two games at opposite ends of Pennsylvania, they’re now set to take on the Red Wings at the famed Joe Louis Arena. Before they drop the puck in Detroit, we have a few tidbits that will make you sound smart while watching the action on TV or hanging out [...]

Major News Items

Manchester Monarchs MayorsManor Kings by Blake Gumprecht

MAJOR NEWS: Kings Preparing To Move Top Prospects To SoCal

Note to webmasters/reporters: When recapping news or interviews from this site please remember to include a link to www.MayorsManor.com Follow @mayorNHL In a story that MayorsManor has been chasing for the … [Read More...]

More Prospect News