Defense retrofitted by Schultz’s arrival
Jeff Schultz was the defenseman left without a roster spot when the training camp game of musical chairs finished. After recording a plus-four rating and one assist in three preseason games, the 6-foot-6 blueliner who recorded 23 points (3-20=23) and a plus-50 rating with the Washington Capitals in 2009-10 cleared waivers and joined the Manchester Monarchs, where he recorded one goal, two points and an even rating in 23 games for the first place club.
Because the Kings had been operating with six healthy defensemen after Matt Greene was placed on injured reserve, Schultz’s recall provides the team with some flexibility and insurance should the blue line become even more depleted. Robyn Regehr has played through a variety of dings and bruises in his time with the team, though it does not appear he will be severely affected by what appeared to be an apparent arm or upper-body ailment suffered late in the first period of Monday’s 3-2 win over St. Louis. Regehr returned to the dressing room after getting tangled up along the boards, returned to action in the second period, and played 16:25 in the 3-2 shootout win at Anaheim on Tuesday – where he took a puck to the face and missed some time in the third period.
Schultz, 27, was recalled to Los Angeles on December 3 in a roster move that sent Tanner Pearson, who hadn’t played since November 23, back to Manchester.
On the Manchester Monarchs:
They’re playing well, even with losing guys. The guys up here are kind of like the lines down there, they really stepped it up. Just kind of kept rolling from where we took off.
On whether he had a leadership role in Manchester:
When I went down there I was really surprised out at kind of how young the team was and that I was the oldest guy. In talking with the coaches, they kind of wanted me to help out the young guys in terms of making a routine, coming to practice, warming up properly and getting ready for practice and games and things like that.
On his comfort in that role:
I played with lots of guys when I was in Washington and kind of saw what they did and just tried to follow that lead that they showed me. Just small things, I’m not going to be yelling and screaming at guys. It’s just kind of talking to them on the ice or in the dressing room, telling them what I’ve kind of gone through.
On his time in Manchester:
They have a good group of kind of young guys and a few older guys, but kind of trying to help the young guys in their daily routine of coming to the rink and warming up properly and getting ready for practice and games. Just kind of something I’ve learned from the older guys that I’ve played with on how to prepare each day.
On whether he considered he could start the season in the AHL when he signed with L.A.:
Yeah. When I got to training camp and Willie Mitchell was back and healthy, it kind of crossed my mind. But I looked at it as a positive in going down there and getting to play a lot and just get back to having fun with the guys.
On his thoughts coming out of training camp:
It’s a long season and there are injuries so I will go down there and get lots of playing time, and if something happens up here, then there’ll be a chance to get called up.
On former Calgary Hitmen in the organization, and on Martin Jones’ first win:
I was surprised that they had so many guys. It was great to see Jonesy get his first win. He’s been playing well down in Manchester and it just kind of rolled with him as he got up here.
On his mindset out of training camp:
It’s disappointing playing so many years in the NHL and then having to go down, but I looked at it as I was getting to play lots and help young guys start their pro careers.