There still is nothing official regarding a possible new date for Monday’s postponed Kings-Blues game. However, we continue to hear it will most likely be played in May.
What was to be the second game of this week’s two-game series is on and will be played tonight at Staples Center.
To kick things off earlier today, we posted some pre-morning skates notes here.
Now, we’ll jump right into how things are potentially lining up for tonight…
LA Kings projected lineup vs. the Blues
Iafallo – Kopitar – Brown
Kempe – Vilardi – Carter
Athanasiou – JAD /
Andersson – Grundstrom *
Moore – Lizotte – Wagner
* Kempe/Athanasiou may be flipped (both skated in the spot during morning skate).
Further, a roster move is coming, indicating which of JAD or Andersson will be in tonight. If Kempe is on the third line and Andersson is in, McLellan will finally be going back to the all-Swede line that he used during preseason.
130pm UPDATE – JAD activated, Andersson will not play
Anderson – Doughty
Bjornfot – Roy
Maatta – Walker
Other players available:
Martin Frk (IR)
The taxi squad is currently comprised of Lias Andersson, Daniel Brickley, Drake Rymsha, Troy Grosenick, and Matt Villalta.
NOTE: This article will be updated with McLellan’s quotes following his morning media availability.
McLellan on if playing teams like Colorado raises the bar for what’s needed from the Kings
I think so. We should be progressing. We should be seeing improvement in certain areas of the game. That’s over a time period, you can’t just pick single games and be up and down, all over the map, with your evaluation because you can have a bad night or a really good night every now and then. But, when we look at the two games in Colorado, I thought we were slow and certainly on our heels the first game. The second game, we played a better game, but still didn’t have enough to win. There are areas of the game that we still have to improve on. It’s a work in progress. Tonight will be an opportunity to do that.
On if having Monday’s game postponed was a blessing in disguise considering all the roster chaos of the weekend
I think players want to play hockey. We want to be involved in the games. Our mindset was to play that game and get prepared for it immediately after the Colorado match. As as a result of the weather and not being able to get here, it was cancelled. Is it a blessing in disguise? I don’t know, I can’t answer that. It would be hypothetical. Sometimes guys play really well when they’re not feeling well. We could have had a really good game that night, playing back-to-back. I don’t know the answer to that question.
On the progress of Jaret Anderson-Dolan and his potential return to the lineup
JAD is very close. If it’s not tonight, then it’ll certainly be Friday.
On Jonathan Quick skating with the team this morning
He looked good. He will be our backup tonight.
Iafallo on missing Friday’s game and then jumping back in on Sunday vs. the Avs
I was ready to go [on Sunday]. I was getting over a little sickness. Obviously, with that, you have to be prepared to play at any time. I’m glad I’m feeling better and ready to rock tonight. … You want to be in every game. When you miss a game from sickness, just sitting there watching the boys, you want to be out there. There’s definitely motivation coming back from being sick. You want to jump in and be ready to play right away.
On getting a night off during a stretch where the Kings are playing a lot of games
It could have gone either way. Sometimes it’s good to have a break, but at the same time, we were pissed off from the game before. Sometimes, those back-to-backs help you out. You’ll be pissed off and ready to play the next day and hopefully win that next game. I guess those could go either way.
On what the Kings need to do to get back on track tonight
We need to have a good game tonight, for sure, against a really good team. We have to focus on the power play and penalty kill, for sure. On the power play, we have to get some goals here. Get a bunch of shots and control the puck. I feel like it’s a good test for us. The boys are ready to play.
On what he thought the Kings did better in the second game vs. the Avs compared to the first game
We were pushing the pace a little more, not just sitting back. It’s not the result that we wanted, but at the same time, we have to keep putting pressure on, keep trying to get into the o-zone and keep working on our forecheck. That’s a big part that we have to improve and keep it grooving here.
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