-I know I said that I wasn’t planning on updating lines and pairings until we got deeper into the preseason…and yet here we are. Judging from the skate this morning, the lines for tonight’s game in Glendale appear to be:
Dwight King – Jarret Stoll – Trevor Lewis
Daniel Carcillo – Colin Fraser – Jordan Nolan
Tanner Pearson – Jordan Weal – Brandon Kozun
Robert Czarnik – Andy Andreoff – Brian O’Neill
Jake Muzzin – Keaton Ellerby
Alec Martinez – Jeff Schultz
Nic Deslauriers – Andrew Campbell
Scratches: Mathias Niederberger, Maxim Kitsyn, Alex Roach
-Ben Scrivens is starting and will play at least 40 minutes. Per Darryl Sutter: “He’s going to play two [periods] for sure. So we’ll just see after what the workload is, and it’s the same thing we’ll do in L.A. tonight with Mathieu.”
-Both teams sent a less experienced team on the road. Of Los Angeles’ 20 players slated to suit up in Glendale tonight, nine players do not have any NHL regular season game experience, though Tanner Pearson did log 5:44 of ice time during Game 3 of Los Angeles’ second round series against San Jose last spring. Andrew Campbell was also a February call-up, though he did not appear in any games with the Kings. Martin Jones traveled with the team to New Jersey for the 2012 Stanley Cup Final and was on the ice during the postgame celebration on June 11, 2012 but has never appeared in a regular season or playoff game. Sutter’s message for the younger players: “Just don’t be nervous and go play their game.”
-Though Matt Frattin is the frontrunner for the left wing spot alongside Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, and Daniel Carcillo has been skating opposite Jordan Nolan on Colin Fraser’s line, the team is still evaluating who will skate to the left of Jarret Stoll and Trevor Lewis. “We’re going to really fool around with our left side the whole training camp. I don’t know who is going to play where, to tell you the truth,” Sutter said. Dwight King returns to his familiar spot for this evening’s game in Glendale.
-One player who won’t be getting looks on the left side is Andy Andreoff, whom the team projects as a center despite being listed as a left wing. “That’s kind of how we’ve seen him in the long term in the team, is that third, fourth line centerman at some point, and he’s comfortable with that,” Sutter said. Andreoff lined up at center and scored twice in the Kings’ 6-1 win over the Ducks in the SoCal Hockey Futures Rookie Game in Anaheim last weekend.
-Sutter was impressed by the work that Jordan Nolan put in over the summer and compared his conditioning levels to those of Trevor Lewis and Jeff Carter.
“He came in really fit, worked hard this summer,” Sutter said of Nolan. “You know what? Those three guys – Lewie and Jordie and Jeff are our most fit guys after we did all our testing, and you kind of know that with Lewie and Jeff. But it’s good that Jordie put the work in, and he looks more comfortable with it, quite honestly, with himself. So we just want him to play his game. You know what? It’s like asking about a lot of those guys. We have a lot of guys coming off tough years, quite honest. As well as the team did, we had a lot of players that had tough seasons that were sort of just starting their careers out, and now we want to get them to step their game up. I’ve been telling guys like that that really their season started three days ago. So we need them to play well. Obviously we’d like to win and all that, but that’s sort of out there, that the other part is I’m trying to do it from an individual standpoint.”
Audio of the above quote:
-Jarret Stoll will play in his first game since suffering a seizure in early July. He reiterated that there is “no issue at all” and doesn’t think about the incident at all while playing.
-I’ll call in and join Nick Nickson from Glendale during the first intermission. I’ll also have a link to Nick and Daryl’s audio streams. Though the game isn’t televised, I’ll still post a game thread for the Staples Center game and will also update a separate live blog every few minutes from upstairs at Jobing.com Arena.
Jordan Nolan, on what he’s looking to work on this evening:
Just kind of get back into the groove of things and get back to the game that I need to play to be a part of this team. Just strong, physical and a guy that’s hard to play against, so I’m looking forward to getting out there with the new linemates and working hard.
Nolan, on his impression of Saturday’s scrimmage:
I thought we worked well together – me, Car Bomb and Fras. We’ve been skating together all of training camp, so just go out there, establish ourselves, and we’re going to be a tough line to play against.
Nolan, on whether Darryl Sutter had a message for tonight’s game:
Not really. Just that it starts now, that the season started a few days ago, and we’re not going to look back. We’re going to keep going forward, and just establish that game we need to play all season, because we want to get ready for opening day, and this is how you do it.
Nolan, on whether traveling the day of a game presents a challenge:
I don’t think so. I think most guys are pretty excited to play tonight. It’s the first game of the season, and guys want to show what they did in the summer and show how hard they worked, so it’s going to be a good game.
Audio of Nolan’s quotes: