Perhaps the last team Kings coach Todd McLellan and his players want to see so soon would be the Wild. It was Minnesota who rode into LA at the start of last season and stole four points. The Kings had third period leads in both games and couldn’t come away with a victory in either contest.
That was then, though. With the additions of four new players over the summer, McLellan and the Kings are fielding a significantly different lineup. Not only were there several key acquisitions, the Kings now also feature a pair of young prospects at forward in Arthur Kaliyev and Rasmus Kupari — who was recalled from AHL Ontario earlier today.
Thursday’s season debut of this new-look Kings team produced a different result than what went down earlier this year. They not only beat the visiting Vegas Golden Knights, they did so in dominating fashion. Never really showing any of the ‘let up’ that they showed in Game 1 last year vs. the Wild.
NOTE: There were a few other roster moves this morning. See article linked below for more information.
LA KINGS PROJECTED LINEUP vs. MINNESOTA ON 10/16
Arvidsson – Kopitar – Brown
Kempe – Danault – Iafallo
Tkachev – Vilardi – Kaliyev
Moore – Lizotte – Kupari
Other options: Grundstrom
Anderson – Doughty
Bjornfot – Roy
Edler – Walker
Other options: Maatta
When MayorsManor asked McLellan about the starting goaltenders for the first two games of the season, LA’s coach had this to share — “We’ll run both of them at the beginning. They both have to get out of the gate. We play on Thursday and we play on Saturday here at home. There’s a 99.9% chance that we’re going to split the two games. Then we’re going to go on the road and we’re going to play back-to-back. Somebody has to jump up and grab it, and clearly say, ‘Hey, I’m No. 1 and then go from there. Quickie wants to hold on to that and Cal wants to grab it. What a great competition throughout the year. They support each other so well; we have to get them both to understand that we value both of them, very much. We need both of them playing at a high level.”
KINGS MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
Alex Edler – one goal away from career number 100
Phil Danault – needs 7 games to reach 400 NHL games played
Anze Kopitar – needs 65 points to pass Dave Taylor for third on the Kings all-time scoring list
Drew Doughty – 24 games from 1,000 GP; he’d be the first player from his draft class (2008) to reach the milestone and fourth player in team history to do so while playing their entire career with the Kings
Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 pm tonight and the game will be televised on Bally’s Sports Network.
Saturday night in LA, so they're bringing out all the stars!
— John Hoven | The Mayor (@mayorNHL) October 16, 2021
Lead photo via ALo Images
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