Saturday rookie game bullet points
-Tonight’s game at Honda Center begins at 6:00 p.m., with doors opening at 5:00 p.m. Parking and admission are free of charge.
-J.F. Berube was the first goaltender off the ice at the morning skate and will get the “lion’s share” of time in net for the two rookie games, per Manchester Monarchs head coach Mark Morris. Patrik Bartosak remained on the ice with the extra skaters, so it would appear that German goalie Mathias Niederberger, who turns 21 in November and signed a one-year AHL contract with Manchester in July, will back up Berube. Brandon Kozun also remained on the ice for the extra skate, so it is possible he may be out tonight as well.
-Tanner Pearson, Linden Vey and Tyler Toffoli will skate together through much of the game. Morris, who will be behind the bench for the rookie games, indicated that there will be a balance towards trying to win the game and continuing to identify the skill sets and dynamics between players, so expect a balance between relying on the experienced, top-end AHL players and rolling all four lines. Everyone at Saturday’s morning skate was taking part in special teams drills.
-After skating together during much of Friday’s practice, Maxim Kitsyn, Jordan Weal and Scott Sabourin saw some rushes together this morning prior to special teams work. Valentin Zykov skated opposite Kozun on a line centered by Andy Andreoff, though with Kozun taking extra work it is unclear who will skate on the right wing should Zykov and Andreoff remain together. Heading into main camp, one particular question will be whether Andreoff is more useful at center or on the wing; in junior hockey and the AHL, he has proven himself to be a versatile player up front.
-Defensive pairings over the last two days remained mostly steady and included Alex Roach/Nicolas Deslauriers, Zachary Leslie/Nick Ebert, Kurtis MacDermid/Marcus McIvor, and Derek Forbort/Colin Miller.
-The game will be a regulation game with three 20 minute periods. Intermission breaks will be 15 minutes, down from the standard 17 minutes. The game will go to overtime if tied, and the current plan is that there will be a shootout regardless of the score after the game has concluded.
-I’ll be broadcasting Monday’s rookie game in El Segundo live with Daryl Evans. More details will be posted closer to Monday.
Here are more KingsVision Rookie Camp videos from yesterday’s practice: