Will Clifford stay in? - LA Kings Insider

Darryl Sutter said this morning that he hadn’t made up his mind about his fourth-line combination. Colin Fraser is almost certainly in, leaving two spots for three guys: Kyle Clifford, Jordan Nolan and Brad Richardson. Sutter indicated that all three will be in the pregame warmups. Is it time for Clifford to sit for a game? For a young player — Clifford turned 21 last month — he has played an extraordinary number of games, signifying coaches’ trust in him, but he’s also coming off a tough road trip. In the second period of Tuesday’s game at Phoenix, Clifford’s turnover led to the Coyotes’ third goal. Then in the third period, with the Kings nursing a one-goal lead, Clifford took a tripping penalty. The Kings killed it, but less than 30 seconds later, Clifford delivered a crushing hit on Coyotes forward Gilbert Brule. Clifford got a match penalty and the Coyotes tied the game on the ensuing power play.

Then, in the first period against Colorado, with the Kings trailing 1-0, Clifford’s attempt to push the puck behind his net ended up giving the puck directly to Paul Stastny, who scored. This is not entirely surprising for a young player. A young player will make a mistake and then might try too hard to make up for it. Darryl Sutter tried to minimize this by dropping Clifford to the fourth line against the Avalanche.

SUTTER: “I moved him, put him with Fraz [Colin Fraser], just to try to get him away and put him with a real character, strong guy, and keep him away from different minutes, take him away from penalty killing. It’s just trying to get him back to his base. Basically, I told him yesterday, `Just go play on your toes, and trust it.’ He’s the youngest player on our team. So don’t make him something that he’s not. On a lot of teams, he wouldn’t be in (the lineup) every night, or he might be in a different situation. He’s a boy, but you try to speed it up.”

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

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.

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.