Sturm ready for return to lineup - LA Kings Insider

The wait is finally over for Marco Sturm, who is on track to return to the Kings’ lineup for Wednesday’s game at Anaheim after missing 12 games because of knee tendinitis. When the Kings left, on Feb. 9, for their latest six-game road trip, it seemed as though Sturm’s return was only days away. Turns out, it was a couple weeks. Sturm was with the team during the entire road trip, but got on the ice only for extensive skating during and after practice. Now, Sturm will be back in the lineup, in a first-line role with Anze Kopitar and Wayne Simmonds, and I talked to him today after practice about his health…

STURM: “It feels good. Today’s practice, well, it obviously feels better when you’re on the top line there. But it feels good, it feels stronger. So hopefully it stays like this after I get some games in. … Hopefully, knock on wood, it’s going to stay like this. We did a lot of work, on it and around it, and a lot of treatment. I just have to make sure I stay on top on it. Even if it feels good, I’ve got to make sure I do my stuff, and hopefully it stays like this.”

Question: There’s been talk about how to get Kopitar’s production going. With your game, is that something you think you can help?

STURM: “Definitely. Open up some ice and some room for him. He’s pretty good with that, and he’s also good about giving it to me, when I’m there. I’ve just got to make sure I use my speed more, and create some room and chances.”

Also, Terry Murray talked about practice about getting Sturm back in the lineup…

MURRAY: “He has put a lot of work in, through all the practices on the day away from here, on the road. Practice days, morning skates, he got into the skating clubs pretty heavily each one of those days. I think he’s as good as we’re going to get him to, from not playing the game. Physically, he’s 100 percent. Emotionally, now, he’s hungry. I had a conversation with him on the road, about where he is at on the mental, emotional side of the game, and he’s hungry. He’s ready to play, and it’s now time to put him on a line where he has an opportunity to play his game, with good players, and then for us to evaluate him and see where he’s at. And also for him to play good for the team, to help us win some games.”

Question: Before you left for the road trip, you talked about getting him back in. Was there something particular you were looking for?

MURRAY: “You’re watching him in practice. You watch him in doing the extra, heavy work after the practice, after the morning of the game whenever there’s a small group out there. I just felt that it wasn’t where I wanted to see it to be, on the physical conditioning side of it. He’s coming through a very serious injury, but on the other part of it — and I mentioned this before, when we first got him here — he’s going through training camp, kind of mentally too, to get himself physically ready and emotionally ready to play. I kept watching and looking for that extra gear that I really need him to play at. I think he started to hit his stride in the last couple days of practice on the road. He seemed to have better jump, better stamina, better endurance. Now it’s time to see where he’s at in a game, competitive situation.”

Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
Jake Muzzin

#6 | 6′ 3″ | 216 lb | Age: 27

Born: Feb 21, 1989
Birthplace: Woodstock, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Left


Muzzin was drafted in 2007 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, before signing to the Kings in 2010. He has since become the first Woodstock, Ontario professional athlete to win a major sports trophy.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.