For the final time this season, the Kings are scheduled to wear their Reverse Retro jerseys at Staples Center. Although it wasn’t on the original jersey schedule, as LA Kings COO Kelly Cheeseman noted during his recent visit to Kings Of The Podcast, now that fans are able to attend games again it was a no-brainer to add another Reverse Retro night.
As expected, earlier this morning, Quinton Byfield was recalled from AHL Ontario to the NHL taxi squad. He is not expected to play tonight — full story here.
It remains unclear what coach Todd McLellan will do with the goaltending tonight. Recently, he deviated from his usual 50-50 rotation and went with Cal Petersen for three straight games.
LA Kings projected lineup vs. Anaheim Ducks
Iafallo – Kopitar – Brown
Kempe – Lizotte – Moore
Athanasiou – Vilardi – Grundstrom *
Lemieux – JAD – Wagner *
* If Lemieux is out again, we expect Luff to replace him on that line. Wagner could also slide up to replace Grundstrom at RW3.
Anderson – Doughty
Maatta – Walker
Other players available:
The taxi squad is currently comprised of Troy Grosenick, Drake Rymsha, Lias Andersson, Quinton Byfield, and Tyler Madden
Should coach Todd McLellan provide any key updates during his media availability, this article will be updated.
McLellan on one thing he’s looking for in tonight’s game that will indicate the Kings are back on track
First thing is get rid of the frustration. We’ve tried to deal with that today. We were a frustrated team, due in large part to how we played and also due to how well Arizona played. The frustration just built as the night went on and it just made things worse. We played a really good game against Minnesota, we didn’t play very well against Arizona; let’s move on. For us, a big part of our game is how well we come out of our zone, how we connect between D and forwards, and that wasn’t very good against Arizona. That’ll have to be better tonight for us to have a chance at success.
On what Lias Andersson needs to do to get back into the NHL lineup
He’ll get his opportunity coming up.
[ed. note: Andersson’s call-up over the weekend was classified as an emergency call-up and did not count toward the four the Kings are allowed, story here]
On his deployment of the team’s centers — Kopitar played 20 minutes on Saturday and the other three played about 13 minutes — is that the plan going forward
Well, power play and penalty kill come into play a lot there. Granted, there weren’t very many of either in that game that night, but Kopi starts on the power play and Kopi starts on the penalty kill. His line normally is the best offensive line that we have, so if we’re gonna get an offense spark, it’s probably gonna come from him. For me, the other three are battling for position in the lineup and for dominance. They’re trying to sort themselves out in the pecking order. They’ll continue to do that as we go forward.
On any immediate plans for Byfield and the importance of learning from Byfield
Well, that’s one of the reasons why he’s here right now. He had a real good run at the American League level, he’s learned a lot about the pro game, the coaches did a tremendous job with him to this point down there, and he’s responded appropriately. He’s up here this week on the taxi squad. … It will give him a chance to be around our team, the coaching staff, future teammates — and, in particular, Anze – to absorb it all throughout the week. Then we’ll see, as time goes on, how and where he fits in.
On Petersen or Quick getting the start tonight
It’s a chance for Quickie to get his opportunity and get us a win.
On how the bottom six forwards might be put together tonight
It’s a situation where we’ll evaluate the lineup here when we get off the ice for morning skate. [Luff] is the one forward that hasn’t been playing a lot and he’s available because he is on the roster. We’ll see where we are body-wise, bumps, and bruises after this morning skate. There are still guys coming off right now and I have to see the trainer. We’ll determine what our lineup looks like after that.
Note to webmasters/reporters: When recapping news or interviews from this site please remember to include a link to www.MayorsManor.com