Friday practice notes: Leduc, chemistry, and some rest - LA Kings Insider

The Kings practiced outside the city limits at the Leduc Recreation Centre (photos below) on Friday, one day after one of their most complete efforts of the season. The newly formed line of Marian Gaborik, Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams created a fair share of chances in the offensive zone, even if each member of the trio finished the evening with minus-1 performances. I’m sure Kopitar will be able to sleep soundly even though his plus-minus dropped from plus-26 to plus-25.

The practice finished up with special teams work, and after the skate I asked Kopitar about the looks created by the power play when he centers Gaborik and Jeff Carter.

“He’s got a great shot, and he’s got a quick release, and that certainly comes in handy when you’re on the power play and you need a quick shot off. He’s the guy to go to, obviously,” Kopitar said of Gaborik. “With him and Carts, it’s a pretty safe bet. He’s been moving the puck well. Obviously he’s very fast, and we’re going to have to create a little bit more chemistry, obviously, but that takes a little bit of time. But I have all the confidence in our line that that’s going to happen pretty soon.”

On methods in which the team looks to smooth Gaborik’s transition, Kopitar noted that his teammates will “just talk to him.”

The schedule has opened up for the Kings, who followed up a four-games-in-six-nights stretch with a one-game-in-five-nights stretch. Today is day four of the latter swath of action.

With six players having returned from the Olympics, and a back-to-back on Sunday and Monday, the Kings will take an informal day off tomorrow before reporting to Rexall Place for the morning skate on Sunday morning.

Jonathan Quick, who has started all but two games since returning to the active roster on January 4, described the process of using the off-day to his advantage.

“Any time of the year when you get a day off, you’ve got to use it to your advantage and make the most of it as far as your recovery and getting rest, getting a good meal, and getting ready for the next day.”

The relaxation in the schedule was well received by Kopitar.

“Well, we just came off a pretty long break, too,” he said. “Maybe it’s not crucial that we have this, but it’s definitely nice. You come on the ice and you have a day to yourself tomorrow, and it’s really nice when you have that. You know it’s on you just to get ready for the game. Everybody’s been through it. Everybody knows what’s at stake at this time of the year, so we’re going to be ready for Sunday.”

Several (blurry) photos from Friday’s practice in Leduc:

photo 5

photo 4

photo 2

photo 2 (2)

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Jake Muzzin

#6 | 6′ 3″ | 216 lb | Age: 27

Born: Feb 21, 1989
Birthplace: Woodstock, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Left


Muzzin was drafted in 2007 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, before signing to the Kings in 2010. He has since become the first Woodstock, Ontario professional athlete to win a major sports trophy.

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.

Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.

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.