After returning to Los Angeles last night from Phoenix, the Kings reported to El Segundo this morning. A handful of players – Dwight King, Jordan Nolan, Simon Gagne, Dustin Penner, Jake Muzzin, Rob Scuderi, Andrew Bodnarchuk, Brad Richardson and Jonathan Bernier — began skating at around 11:10 a.m. with members of the Kings coaching staff.
While the players were on the ice, Kings players and head coach Darryl Sutter met with members of the media.
Justin Williams, with his young son next to him, talked about the short season. “It is about saving energy but it is more about saving your body. It is about resting and treating your ailments, the nicks and bruises. You are trying maintain yourself…but that is hockey.”
Anze Kopitar talked about the feeling of the club after the overtime loss in Edmonton. “No sense of panic.”
Kopitar also talked about his return to NHL action following his injury. “In terms of timing it can be you trying to do too much too fast. You stop and you realize it can come slower. That makes a big difference.” He also talked about his linemates last night. “Our line was pretty good last night.”
Willie Mitchell did not skate today. Sutter said Mitchell skated for 75 minutes yesterday. With Mitchell (knee) and Matt Greene (back) out, Sutter pointed to the “extra three-to-four minutes” of ice time Alec Martinez and Rob Scuderi are seeing on the backend.
Sutter talked about the play of Muzzin, who scored his first career NHL goal last night. “We got the shot through but it is also about him running into bodies.” On the play of Kyle Clifford, Sutter touched upon Clifford’s “intensity and energy.”
Sutter also said the Kings power play is featuring “a lot of time in the other team’s zone” and the need for “more consistent net presence.”
Clifford talked to reporters as well. He talked about playing with Mike Richards and Jeff Carter and how he is out there to create space and to go to the net. He also talked about playing for the Ontario Reign (ECHL) during the NHL lockout.
Said Clifford: “It was a smart decision. There you have less forward lines so it helped with conditioning. It was an adjustment but I benefitted from it.”