In advance of Game 3 later tonight vs. the visiting Colorado Avalanche, coach Todd McLellan had his LA Kings go through one final skate earlier this morning.
However, nothing can be confirmed until closer to game time because this morning’s skate ended up being optional. All players participated except Drew Doughty, Olli Maatta, Dustin Brown and Matt Luff.
LA Kings expected lineup for Game 3 vs. Colorado
Iafallo – Kopitar – Brown
Athanasiou – Lizotte – Carter
Kempe – Vilardi – Wagner
Moore – Andersson – Grundstrom
Maatta – Doughty
Anderson – Roy
MacDermid – Walker
This article will be updated following McLellan’s media scrum later this morning.
UPDATE at 11:10am
Per McLellan, Mike Amadio will be replaced by Lias Andersson in tonight’s lineup vs. Colorado.
With Andersson being moved from the taxi squad to the NHL roster, a corresponding roster move was required.
Thus, the Kings have also recalled Boko Imama from AHL Ontario and assigned him to the taxi squad. Per NHL rules, teams must have a minimum of four players on their taxi squads (more here).
As noted yesterday, Matt Luff is injured and not available tonight. More on that can be found in the article linked down below.
McLellan also shared a few other comments after today’s skate:
McLellan on messages to the two forwards who draw in after sitting out for a few games
When you play, you have to make your mark on the game. You have to know your game; you have to know what your strengths are and when you get a chance, you can’t go out there worried about messing up. Sometimes those are good teachable moments Get aggressive, get hungry, and use the minutes you get to to your advantage. Once you’re in, don’t come out, that’s your job. I think both of those players can do it, they both had good training camps, they’ve been patient waiting for their time and their opportunity to play. Tonight, they’re gonna get it.
On Petersen getting a couple practices in before drawing in tonight
He just needed to feel the puck a little bit. Goaltending is obviously a little different than the other positional players. It wasn’t like he was out of shape or rusty. He just needed to get back into a little game action, practice action, and we have a ton of confidence in him and Quickie moving forward. It’ll be Cal’s night tonight, and we’ll see where we go from there.
On the process of showing younger players you have confidence in them
We want all our players to be confident. I used [Gabe Vilardi] as an example the other day because he was a younger player with 10 or 11 NHL games under his belt. Everybody – Dustin Brown, who’s played that many years for our organization, he wants to be confident, as well. Each and every one of them needs to know what their strengths are. We need to catch them doing things well and reward them for that, acknowledge it, make sure they know we’re aware of it. In turn, there are little things that we can help the players with individually. In Gabe’s situation, there are some video moments that we can talk about, there are game situations that we can talk about and try and help him in those moments. Gabe is a a pretty bright, cerebral-type player and he’s able to fairly analyze the game himself, for the most part. So we don’t want to clog his brain up too much.
On if Petersen playing tonight was the plan all along or it just developed this way recently
Well the the plan, it was a forced plan. By the time that Cal had entered the COVID protocol, it was about seven days before our first game and he wasn’t going to be available for game one or game two. So a few extra days on the ice and game three presented itself for Cal and he gets it. I think what we’re trying to get to is — and the obvious question is — ‘How many games is Cal going to play and how many games will Quickie get to play?’ I can kind of read through that a little bit. You can flat out ask me that and I’ll give you the answer – I don’t know. I know we’re going to try and win every game we play and if there’s a hot goaltender then we may ride them. I thought Quickie’s first two games were outstanding. I thought he gave us a chance to win and that was really important. We believe Cal can do the same. The schedule will also dictate who plays and how much they play. We have four games in six nights starting right now, with some travel, so obviously they’re both going to see the net.
On any differences in preparing for the next two games vs. the first two games
Well, this is a different monster than what the Wild were. [Colorado] is confident, effective, have a ton of speed. So the preparation is a little bit different than what it was for Minnesota. But we’re still in that phase where we have to get our house in order and our game in order. We’ll talk a lot about what we do or what we need to do and we’ll look at some tendencies of what Colorado does. We’ll try and put it all together with the game plan.
On the taxi squad compared to a regular season, where you just have three extra roster players
I would prefer it to be the way it’s always been with a 22 or 23-man roster. The competition comes from one or two players. You don’t worry about individuals not getting ice time or not playing, as we are right now with the taxi squad. We have no choice but to have the taxi squad, obviously it’s there for a real good reason. But, now it feels like you’re worried about seven or eight guys not getting into game action on a nightly basis. I don’t think that’s healthy for veteran players. I don’t think that’s healthy for young players. In any case, we have to deal with it. I don’t think you’re gonna see sweepings changes from us on a nightly basis, where seven guys go in and seven guys come out. A lot of teams in the league will play their 20 or 21 players and rotate in and out based on injury and COVID related issues. We’re probably not a lot different.
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