In advance of opening a two-game set vs. the Vegas Golden Knights, Kings coach Todd McLellan put his team through one final on-ice prep session earlier today… however, the skate was optional.
The following players participated:
Forwards – Amadio, Anderson-Dolan, Andersson, Frk, Grundstrom, Iafallo, Imama, Kempe, Kopitar, Luff, Moore, Vilardi, Wagner
Defensemen – Alt, Anderson, Bjornfot, Clague, Maatta, MacDermid, Strand
Goalies: Quick, Petersen, Ingham
Thus, the following is as much of an educated guess as it is a projection.
LA Kings PROJECTED lineup for Game 10 vs. the Vegas Golden Knights
Iafallo – Kopitar – Brown
Wagner – Amadio – Carter
Kempe – Vilardi – Frk
Moore – JAD – Grundstrom
Anderson – Doughty
Maatta – Clague
MacDermid – Alt/Strand
Other players available:
Matt Luff (IR)
Plus, the Taxi Squad is officially listed as – Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Boko Imama, Austin Strand, Mark Alt, Tobias Bjornfot, and Jacob Ingham. So, as usual, a few moves will need to be made prior to the NHL’s 2pm PST roster deadline.
If you missed the news yesterday, Arthur Kaliyev has been sent back to the AHL, where he is scheduled to play in the Ontario Reign season opener on Saturday.
This article will be updated following McLellan’s media scrum later this morning.
McLellan On the lineup for tonight:
[Martin] Frk is gonna play. We’ve scrambled a few things up, trying to get a little bit more out of certain players. Our back end is in flux with the two regulars missing, so we’ll look at the backend end, as well. What we start with may not be what we end up with, regardless of how we’re playing – really good or maybe not so good. Let’s hope it’s the first one. We’re trying to re-establish a solid lineup right now with a lot of moving pieces, four or five players out, guys slowly returning. It’ll be a work in progress.
On any new names that may be in the lineup tonight
There’s a chance we may see [Jaret Anderson-Dolan] in the game.
On the condition of Matt Luff
He’s with us on the trip, he’s progressing really well. He’s been involved physically now for a day or two. With his injury we’ve got to make sure that the battle part of it is taken care of and it doesn’t regress. I think he’s really close. He won’t play tonight, but I think he will be, if everything goes well, he will be available for us on Sunday.
On continuing the goaltending rotation that has been established
Both of [Cal Peterson and Jonathan Quick] are important. Both are big pieces to our puzzle as we go forward. I think both have played some really good games, their play hasn’t dipped that much from night to night so they deserve the opportunity. The number of games we’re gonna be playing over the next little bit here, they’re both gonna have to be active. I think we’re seeing that around the league for the most part.
On if they accomplished the things they wanted to in practice after a month of games
Some of the stuff. When I look at the two practices between the Anaheim game and today, I wouldn’t say we wasted a practice, but we simply needed to remind and reset the importance of being competitive and work. That hardness and grit, part of the game that’s essential regardless of how you want to play structurally. We spent a whole day on that. We lost a little bit of time that we could’ve used to progress our game, we tried to fill in the holes yesterday. I think it’s gonna be late into the season and we’re still trying to grow our game and grow a lot of individuals. There will be ups and downs for the team, there will be ups and downs for individual players, we’ll spend a lot of time trying to catch them doing things right and fix the things they’re not doing right.
On the mindset with Vegas missing their top defensive pair due to COVID protocols
I’ll give you two perspectives from the Kings view. Yeah, we’d like to take advantage of that. We play them eight times this year, I’m pretty sure that [Brayden] McNabb and [Alex] Pietrangelo will be in the games at some point and they’ll make a significant different. They’re great players. It’s our job to take advantage of that. The ‘step up’ mentality, we have two of our top defensemen out right now too. We had young players step up and step in, and we didn’t get the team game—never mind the individual game—from them, but we didn’t get the team game from the whole group the other night against Anaheim. We could use that cliché, or we tried to use that cliché, in our locker room and it didn’t work. Pete [DeBoer, Head Coach of Vegas] has a different team, he knows their personalities better than I do, he’ll be able to speak on their behalf, but that was our situation two days ago.
McLellan with the best line of the season…
He was asked – Which VGK goalie would you rather face Lehner or Fleury?
"Do they have a third or fourth guy they can play?"
— John Hoven | The Mayor (@mayorNHL) February 5, 2021
On if the execution will fall in line if the team’s compete level stays where it’s at
I think that they go hand-in-hand. You’re always more competitive when you’re executing: you’re in position quicker, passes are cleaner, but on the other hand, when you’re more competitive, you’re coming up with loose pucks more often and you’re able to execute. So I don’t know what comes first, the chicken or the egg theory, but you need both, and when you’re lacking one you certainly don’t have the other and it’s a bad night. We had that against Anaheim.
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