Line combos and expectations for Saturday’s Kings v Ducks Rookie Game


No rest for the wicked. Rookie Camp opened on Wednesday with the dreaded Wingate test, then a few dozen Kings prospects hit the ice for two-a-day practices on Thursday and Friday…and now it’s game time!

Tonight in Anaheim, the Kings will face off with the Ducks in Game 1 of a series that will also involve a re-match Monday night in El Segundo.

The Ducks are allowing fans into the building for free tonight beginning at 5pm and the game will start at 6pm. It will be a regular style contest, featuring three periods and normal intermissions. If you can’t make it to the OC to see things in person, it will be streamed online as well (we’ll tweet out a link closer to faceoff).

Due to the lockout in 2012, Los Angeles didn’t hold Rookie Camp, thus the Kings also didn’t get a chance to test their top prospects against another team from the Pacific Division. However, two years ago they played a pair of games vs. the Coyotes.

“The thing I remember the most is how much information that you have to impart in such a short amount of time,” said Manchester Monarchs coach Mark Morris, speaking about those games with Phoenix. “You’ll be in the middle of a game and say, ‘Oops, we haven’t covered that yet. We really haven’t had enough time to really get into the detail of the game and the structure…Nothing can replace a scrimmage or a game-like atmosphere. You can do drills all day long, but until the puck drops and you’re against an outside shirt, you really don’t know what you’ve got. And I’ve seen a lot of guys that are great practice players that get into a game and are a totally different player, or vice versa – practice players that really struggle or fumble pucks, and you put them in a game and all of a sudden they compete their tails off. It varies from player to player.”

Obviously Morris knows most of the ‘big names’ in camp – like Tyler Toffoli, Tanner Pearson and Andy Andreoff – having coached them in the AHL, but there are also plenty of junior level players in camp that he hardly knows. So, how will he put together the line combinations tonight?

“Well, we kicked it around,” he began. “I talked to the development guys, I talked to the scouts and I talked to Darryl [Sutter], and what we ultimately decided was that if we put Vey and Toffoli and Pearson together along with, say, Nic Deslauriers, here are some guys that are familiar with our drills, familiar with what we’re asking. If they’re the first in line, then it’s going to be easier for some of the guys. But if you split them up, then you’ve got a lot of scrambly play. So that’s kind of how we chose that line. And then Andreoff and Kozun and Robbie Czarnik – those are guys that have been around for a little bit, so they’re accustomed to what we’re looking for, and it just brings a little bit better focus for us and expedites the learning process.”

In just a short period of time since making those comments Morris and the staff have had a slight change of heart. Czarnik has not only been bumped from that spot, he’s going to be a healthy scratch in tonight’s game. The second line will now see Andreoff slide over to play center and feature 2013 draftee Valentin Kykov of on the left side.

“Andreoff can play center, he can play wing,” remarked Morris. “Some guys see him as a wing, some guys see him as a center. I’ve seen him as both and like him both places.”

This is the significant, at least in the sense that the coaches and management now want to give Andreoff a longer look at center. Most recently it was believed Andreoff could challenge for an NHL roster spot at left wing. Using him up the middle also will provide many different options once main camp gets underway in less than a week.

Meanwhile, the Monarchs top line from last year has been reunited for Game 1, and for Morris, it feels so good.

“That line of Vey, Toffoli and Pearson, they’re a pretty special combination,” he remarked. “They think alike. They like playing with each other. Their strengths match up very well. They played against some of the top lines in the American League last year and were very good together, and if it’s working, why try and reinvent the wheel?”

Morris also had some praise for a few of his other players while speaking how he’s going to put the line-up together for Game 1 in Anaheim.

“Brandon Kozun – he’s getting better every year. I think that his game and his maturity has really made the turn for the better. He just seems to be more in step with what we need from him, and in order for his game to grow. Jordan Weal – unbelievable on faceoffs last year. A guy that you can see the difference in strength that he has. Nic Deslauriers – he did a lot of work with Mike O’Connell and deserves a lot of credit for his maturity along the way. He has a real good understanding now as to what it takes to be a pro. All those things add up, and we’re doing our best to try and give these guys the best opportunity to show their potential.”

Kozun has also been scratched for Game 1 and will not play.  His spot will be filled by camp invitee Cam Maclise (see his MayorsManor interview here),

Here’s how the Kings skaters will likely look tonight…

FORWARDS

Tanner Pearson – Linden Vey – Tyler Toffoli
Valentin Zykov – Andy Andreoff – Cam Maclise
Dominik Kubalik – Nick Shore – Justin Auger
Maxim Kitsyn – Jordan Weal – Scott Sabourin

DEFENSE

Alex Roach – Nick Deslauriers
Derek Forbort – Collin Miller
Zac Leslie – Nick Ebert Kurtis MacDermid

GOALTENDERS

JF Berube will play the first two periods
Matthias Niederberger will play the third period

SCRATCHES: Patrik Bartosak, Matt Campagna, Robbie Czarnik, Nick Ebert, Brandon Kozun, Marcus McIvor, Brian O’Neill

To see the just released rankings of the Kings Top 10 prospects, click here.

RELATED CONTENT:

Kings 2013 Rookie Camp Roster, Practice and Game Schedule

Coach Morris talks Martin Jones holdout

Rookie Camp Day 2 – Tyler Toffoli raw quotes

Rookie Camp Day 2 – Tanner Pearson raw quotes

Rookie Camp Day 2 – Brandon Kozun raw quotes

Note to webmasters/reporters: When recapping news or interviews from this site please include a link to www.MayorsManor.com

Recent Articles

Zykov Valentin Kings

REPORT: Kings Top Prospect Set to be Traded

Although the NHL is in trade freeze period, that does not stop junior hockey clubs from making deals. In fact, with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) trade window open from December 19 to January 6, 2015, it appears Baie-Comeau Drakkar is about to make a significant trade. From what we’ve gathered, forward Valentin Zykov looks […]

Doan Quick MayorsManor Kings Coyotes NHL hockey

Five Things You May Not Know: Coyotes at Kings Edition

Over the past five years, the Kings have engaged in some spirited rivalries with the Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks, yet few games have been as consistently intense as a matchup between the Kings and Arizona Coyotes. Guys have been suspended, hits have been questionable, and even the two captains have engaged in a […]

Worcester v Manchester

SOURCE: San Jose Has Interesting Plan for AHL West Move

Following up on the “AHL Coming West” story John Hoven has been tracking here on MayorsManor over the past year, we have some fresh news to pass along, all the way from the East Coast. According to a very reliable source close to the situation, expect the San Jose Sharks to announce their piece of […]

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

Comments

  1. Do you know why Kozun was scratched tonight? Will he play in Monday’s game? I had been planning on going tonight mainly to see his play.

    Also, will we get to see the camp invitees and Bartosak play on Monday? I’d like to see Campagna and the three Macs play.

    • John Hoven says:

      Czarnik, Kozun and O’Neill -three of the older kids in camp were all scratched tonight. Wasn’t anything specific towards Kozun.

      One of the camp invitees is playing tonight, Cam Maclise. Kurtis MacDermid was also a late add to tonight’s roster. He was undrafted, but signed an Entry Level Contract with the Kings in September 2012.

      As for Monday’s roster, that’s still TBD. Will post updates on twitter when we get them.

Trackbacks

  1. […] LA Kings line combos for this game can be found here. […]