In advance of Tuesday night’s Kings-Ducks matchup, coach Todd McLellan elected to hold an optional morning skate in advance of the rivalry showdown. With several players missing from LA’s lineup, due to injury or protocol reasons, the Kings coaching staff has had to piece things together over the past few days of practice.
All players participated in the morning skate except Jeff Carter and Drew Doughty.
LA Kings projected lineup for Game 9 vs. the Anaheim Ducks
Iafallo – Kopitar – Kempe
Wagner – Amadio – Carter
Grundstrom – Vilardi – Brown
Moore – Andersson – Kaliyev
Anderson – Doughty
MacDermid – Clague
Maatta – Alt
Other players available:
Matt Luff (IR)
Martin Frk (IR)
Technically, the Taxi Squad is currently listed as – Andersson, Anderson-Dolan, Kaliyev, Strand, Alt, and Ingham. With three of those players expected to draw in, there would need to be some roster moves before 2pm today, as the league minimum is four players on taxi.
Roster moves were made this afternoon:
— Andersson, Kaliyev, Alt, Strand recalled from taxi to NHL roster
— Frk activated from IR
— Sean Walker to IR (retroactive to Jan. 16)
— Alex Turcotte assigned to AHL Ontario
— Boko Imama and Sean Durzi to taxi squad
— Athanasiou and Lizotte now non-roster
With these changes, the taxi squad is now – Imama, Durzi, Anderson-Dolan, and Ingham
This article will be updated following McLellan’s media scrum later this morning.
McLellan on what he’s expecting from Anaheim tonight
Rivalry game – they’re always heavy games, they’re hard games played in all areas of the rink. I don’t think that’s gonna be any different some of our opponents. I thought Minnesota played that way. I thought St. Louis had that in their game, so we’ve got a good lead into that type of game here. For us, we’ll be looking at a number of different players in different positions, which would be a good measuring tool. I expect us to be ready for a tough night, it always is against that team.
On what about Carl Grundstrom’s game should make him a good fit alongside Vilardi and Brown
Just have to get him more minutes. He’s played well, he’s been able to create offense, he’s been trustworthy defensively, and [we can] find a way to get him a few more minutes. We also needed a center on that fourth line. That’s where Lias can fill in. He’s had the ability to play both positions; we feel better about that, as well.
On if in their conversations over the weekend the coaches talked about maybe playing Carter at wing tonight
We could do that and we have talked about it. The great thing about him is he’s a utility player. He can play any of the two-winged positions and also center. He can take face-offs and has taken face-offs with that line before. If we have to, we can [move] things around. But we’ve appreciated his game on the wing so far. I think he feels comfortable there and he’s been effective there. Let’s give his linemates a chance to work with him. His line, maybe more than anybody’s, has been in flux because of injuries and COVID reasonings, so let’s give it a little bit of time and see where it goes.
On if he’s leaning toward Arthur Kaliyev making his NHL debut tonight
We are, yep.
On if he’s seen Kaliyev’s play-making ability
He’s probably always going to be known for his shot, but he does have good vision, nice hands, and gets the puck off quick. He passes it before he has to; and what I mean by that, he doesn’t wait until everything closes on him and then tries to thread it through. So I think he has play-making ability, as well. His play with the puck, his creativity, his offensive ability, will be an asset that he’ll always have. We’ll need to take advantage of it as the years go on. His play away from the puck, and understanding how the he can affect the game, that is something that we’ll continually work on and it will improve over time and he’ll become a complete player.
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