It was a light morning skate for the Kings, as expected, with only Willie Mitchell and the players expected to be scratched on the ice. Mitchell is something else. As the oldest player on the team, he almost never misses a practice — even the practices that are totally optional — and he’s regularly the last skater on the ice in practice and in pregame warmups.
Over in Scottsdale, the Coyotes held their morning skate, and it’s still possible that defenseman Adrian Aucoin will rejoin the Coyotes’ lineup tonight. As Jerry Brown of NHL.com noted — link here — Aucoin’s return would give the Coyotes a veteran defenseman to pair with younger Oliver Ekman-Larsson, and Phoenix could return to the strong pairing of Rostislav Klesla and Michal Rozsival. Aucoin’s status is considered a game-time decision. Here’s what Tippett said about Aucoin’s possible return…
TIPPETT: “Well, right now, anybody that can jump in and help would be great. But Adrian has been in and out of our lineup for a while here. We have capable people if he can’t play. If he can play, he’s been a good player for us. We’ll see where it goes.’’
Finally, Tim Leiweke better load up on the caffeine. Leiweke, the Kings’ governor, was in Arizona for Game 1 on Sunday, then flew to Washington, D.C., to join the Galaxy, as the MLS champions visited the White House today. Shortly after this photo was taken, Leiweke rushed to a plane to get back to Arizona, to get here for tonight’s opening faceoff.