Following the Kings first practice back in Los Angeles since returning from their five-game road trip, here’s what LA coach Darryl Sutter had to say…
- On the just completed road trip: “Well obviously we weren’t really good in Anaheim. Played well in Columbus, deserved to win. Nashville we couldn’t generate anything against them because they’re a real good defensive team. We didn’t get much. Played really well in Detroit and deserved better, didn’t get the goaltending. Played really well in our last game. So, in terms of how we want to play – there’s a way you have to play. We’ve got a really young defense and we’ve got to pull at them there and try to work with them to limit their…how we want them to play. It’s not easy.”
- On Alec Martinez’ injury – “He’ll be out at least a week…(We’ll put him on IR) if we have to. We’ll see…(It’s not long-term), definitely not.”
[ed. note: As we first reported earlier today, the Kings have recalled Andrew Campbell to take Martinez' spot on the roster.]
- On trusting Slava Voynov more lately – “It isn’t really trust, we need those guys to play well. There’s not a helicopter dropping in four more defensemen for us. So, these guys have been given an opportunity. Whether or not they can fulfill their prophecy, we’re finding out.”
- On Keaton Ellerby being played with Drew Doughty for his first two games with the Kings: “What difference does it make who he’s paired with? If you watched the games, one guy plays the power play, one guy plays the penalty killing. Last game we played with five defensemen, that was his second game. So, I wouldn’t say he was paired with Doughty. I think he’s better on the left side than the right side because he’s a left shot.”
- More on Ellerby: “There are little things that he has to adjust to. But, it’s an adjustment for change of conferences. Obviously he hasn’t played much against these teams out here, so he doesn’t know the players very well. It’s good that we have three or four days to work with him to get him into some more of the system things that we want him to do. He’s a big guy and he skates well. Hopefully that can help our defense.”
- Still more on Ellerby: “He’s got a lot to learn. He’s a kid who hasn’t played much, right? We’re not talking about a player that anybody is familiar with quite honestly. We’re talking about a player who hasn’t played much in the NHL. Hes no different than three or four of our guys. So, you know what? They’ve got a lot to learn. It’s our responsibility to help him adjust to the Western Conference. But, he has an adjustment to make to become a full-time NHL player.”
- On if Jonathan Quick will start on Friday: “Really haven’t thought about it. I haven’t even gotten to that yet. Bernie’s coming off a strong game. And we need Jonathan (Quick) to be – I’m not jumping out and saying anything special – we need him to play a hell of a lot better than he has. Our goals against, our save percentage, all that stuff is not where it has to be.”
- On any differences from playing the Blue Jackets last week in Columbus to this Friday in LA: “They’re bringing a couple guys back in their line-up, which makes them significantly better, right? They’re bringing (James) Wisniewski in and they can pair the two Russians together because they’re healthy now. And they can pair (Jack) Johnson and Wisniewski. That’s a pretty formidable four guys. So, that would be the difference from last time. So we have to play against them a little more.”
- On if he’ll use Jake Muzzin or Andrew Campbell to replace Martinez on Friday: “I haven’t thought about it just like when you asked about goalies. I haven’t seen Campbell play. As I said last week when he was here, he’s hardly played this year. So, same as the other guys, whoever plays the best is going to play.”
- On Willie Mitchell: “Willie Mitchell – I have no update. The only thing I can tell you is historically he’s a player who has missed significant periods of time in his career, and it appears that he’s historically doing that again.”
Still more to come from practice in the next few hours.
If you missed it earlier though, the line combinations were posted here.
And thoughts from Slava Voynov are up here.
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