The LA Kings returned to practice today, with a little bit of news coming out as the team took to the ice around 11am.
Forward Lias Andersson was assigned to the taxi squad, following his debut with the team in last night’s 3-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. In turn, Boko Imama was also reassigned to AHL Ontario.
As a reminder, taxi players still skate with the NHL club. Hence, Andersson being included in the rotation below.
Matt Luff (injured, day-to-day) did not participate in the on-ice portion of practice.
Here are today’s line rushes based off jersey colors (rushes took place for just a few short minutes before entering special teams and breakout drills).
Kempe – Kopitar – Iafallo
Athanasiou – Lizotte – Carter
Andersson – Vilardi – Brown *
Wagner – Amadio – Moore *
Grundstrom – Anderson-Dolan *
* these lines had various versions during rushes, the top two lines did not
Maatta – Doughty
Anderson – Roy
Clague – Walker
MacDermid – Bjornfot
NOTE: This article will be updated with additional information after coach Todd McLellan meets with the media.
LA KINGS ROSTER MOVES
— Mark Alt has recalled from AHL Ontario, placed on NHL Taxi Squad
— Defenseman Tobias Bjornfot moved from NHL Taxi Squad to AHL Ontario. Allows him to practice with the Reign tomorrow.
— John Hoven | The Mayor (@mayorNHL) January 21, 2021
McLellan on pairing Brown with Vilardi
Gabe has the ability to speed or slow the game down. He can play either way and he has good vision, good hands, makes good plays. Brownie can do some corner-work and some net-work for him. I think those two things will compliment each other. It’s a little bit about shaking some of the lines up. We’re happy with the Lizotte line, they seem to be going well. We don’t dramatically want to make changes, but just trying to tweak a little bit, and see if we get a little more out of some individuals.
On the fluidity of the bottom six lines today at practice
We flipped a couple players around and there’s a chance we’ll make a lineup change or two tomorrow. But other than that, it’s just trying to find combinations that will give us the best chance of success.
On Andersson being moved to the taxi squad
Expect that stuff to happen all year. I probably won’t even answer the questions, guys. It’s moving parts, it’s roster, not a cap thing for us, but just managing roster spots.
On the penalties possibly being ‘mental rust’ after not playing for 10 months
Absolutely, couldn’t agree with you more. I think, physically, our team has been engaged. The polished part is not where it needs to be – the simple pass, handling it, the timing of it. But the actual want to do things right and to be involved is there. I think some of the mental aspects of the game aren’t where they need to be right now – line changes and knowing who you’re going for, the quickness and crispness of it, understanding shift length and what you’re handing off to a teammate, faceoff coverage sort outs; we saw us give up a goal against Minnesota on that. A lot of those situations aren’t necessarily physical, they’re just mental and making reads and reacting to them. We’re a little behind there. If this was a normal year, we’d be looking at our fourth exhibition game coming up and we’d be ironing these problems out. Unfortunately, we’re doing it during the season. It’s not an excuse, we’re all in the same boat.
On the status of Martin Frk and Matt Luff
Neither of them skated today, so they won’t be available tomorrow.
Note to webmasters/reporters: When recapping news or interviews from this site please remember to include a link to www.MayorsManor.com