May 21 morning skate notes - LA Kings Insider


With Kyle Clifford seemingly on the mend and poised to rejoin the Los Angeles Kings’ lineup, Darryl Sutter was asked following the team’s skate what the rugged winger’s return would mean to the team.

“There hasn’t been any announcement that I’m aware of that he’s coming back,” Sutter answered.

There hasn’t been, and considering the tight-lipped nature of player availability during the playoffs, there almost certainly won’t be.

Clifford was still able to answer – in the hypothetical, of course – what he’d be able to provide to a Kings team that has had its depth tested much more acutely than it had last season.

“If that’s the case,” Clifford said about a potential lineup return, “then I think I’m going to bring a physical presence, just get pucks to the net, keep it simple, play hard and just get some bangs out there.”

Out of the lineup with an undisclosed injury since logging 8:47 of ice time in a 3-2 overtime win over St. Louis in Game 5 of the first round, Clifford has continued to keep the revolving door amongst the team’s left wings moving. He skated to the left of Colin Fraser and Brad Richardson at practice on Monday.

“It’s a position where we’ve rotated several left wingers for 57 games where we’ve had multiple left wingers in our lineup on every line,” Sutter said. “If he were available, then it would be another multiple left wing that we’ve done all year.”


Since the beginning of the playoffs, Matt Greene has been a near-mainstay at Los Angeles Kings practices since he suffered an undisclosed injury in a 3-1 loss to Detroit on April 24 that was unrelated to the back injury that kept him out of the lineup for 42 games from January 22 to April 16.

Greene took warm-ups prior to Game 3 in San Jose and appears to be a ready and willing option for Sutter, should the Kings choose to make a lineup change on defense.

“Well, we had him in warm-ups the other night. That’s the direction you go, is practice, contact, game day skates, in warm-ups. That’s always what you try and do. Obviously, with veteran guys, there are younger guys you’ve got to push, right? The difference between injured and hurt is something that sometimes you have to explain. But with the older guys, the veterans, the guys that you trust, there is [a point] where they make that decision because they know what it takes.”


Lineup changes are more of a certainty on the opposing bench even though Logan Couture, who missed time in Game 3 when he received a hit awkwardly along the boards from Jeff Carter, will be ready for Game 4. Martin Havlat did not return after the first period on Saturday and was ruled out of Tuesday’s game by coach Todd McLellan.

Though Adam Burish returned to practice on Monday, he’s not likely to rejoin the lineup until later in the series. With Raffi Torres suspended for the remainder of the series, defenseman Jason Demers skated as a forward at practice on Monday before joining the blue line for line rushes at today’s morning skate. He hasn’t played since suffering a foot injury in a win over Minnesota on April 18.

His presence affords McLellan some flexibility.

“We could put Demers in and play him both at forward and the back end, and rotate him around and then that would allow us to maybe use somebody else on the fourth line a little bit more, whether it’s Jumbo, Patty, whoever it might be. So, it’s certainly an option,” McLellan told reporters.

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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.