Mitchell `absolutely' ready; Quick gets the nod - LA Kings Insider

Willie Mitchell has missed five of the past six games with a groin injury, but barring any last-minute setbacks, it appears as though Mitchell will return tomorrow against Toronto. Based on practice today, it would seem that Mitchell will replace Alec Martinez, with Slava Voynov as the other spare defenseman. Asked about Mitchell’s ability to play tomorrow, interim coach John Stevens said, “Indications are very positive. I’ll get a chance to talk to Kinger [trainer Chris Kingsley] here and make that final decision, but I would say he’s probable.’’ Mitchell was more forceful when asked if he was ready to play.

MITCHELL: “Absolutely. Real ready. I just want to get back in there. It’s never fun watching when the team is doing well. … It’s never fun being hurt. It’s a lot easier when things are going well around here. There’s been a lot of change and obviously a lot of losses, so you want to get in there. We’re all competitors and feel we can make a difference, so I just want to get in and hopefully help out in my own little way, and we’ll get going, hopefully get this on track.’’

In goal, Stevens will stay with Jonathan Quick, who was pulled from last night’s game in Detroit after the Red Wings scored three goals on their first seven shots, in less than nine minutes. Jonathan Bernier played the rest of the game and allowed five goals. Quick had not been pulled from a game this season.

STEVENS: “If things had gone well the other night (against Detroit), and we had either won the game or had a chance to win the game, he would have played the whole game and we would have considered Bernie for (tomorrow), but the fact that (Quick) got out of the game early, and the game ended up the way it did, Johnny is a leader on this team, he’s our No. 1 goalie and he’s going to go back in the net for tomorrow.’’

As for Mike Richards, he practiced for a second consecutive day and appeared to ramp up the intensity. Richards started practice doing line rushes with wingers, but then put on a no-contact jersey when battle drills started. Richards has been out since he took a hit to the head on Dec. 1 against Florida.

STEVENS: “Just progressing along. I don’t think anything has changed there. He looked a lot better physically. He had that first day back on the ice, getting his legs back under him in Detroit. It’s tough to push his conditioning a little bit, but I thought he looked really good today, from a conditioning standpoint. He had good jump, made a lot of plays. So it’s encouraging.’’

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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

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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.

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


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#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.