Drew Doughty offered a reassuring “good to go” when asked about his status at Toyota Sports Center on Tuesday.
Doughty, who skated yesterday with those who did not play in the split-squad games against Arizona, took part in a full training camp practice earlier today. He was held out of the first three days of training camp after suffering an upper-body injury during on-ice, off-season workouts back in London, Ontario in an incident he deemed being “just bad luck.”
“Things happen when you’re on the ice,” Doughty said. “It’s a physical sport. It’s not like we were playing physical hockey out there or anything. It was just kind of an accident. It left me out for a little bit.”
The plan, per Head Coach Darryl Sutter, will be to eventually work Doughty into exhibition games closer to the start of the regular season. There was no concern that the injury would cause Doughty to fall behind his teammates’ progression.
“We could’ve started training camp with the guys who played ‘til the middle of June today,” Sutter said.
Dustin Brown spoke on Friday about the challenges faced by players who missed key portions of training camp, though Doughty shouldn’t be particularly affected after joining his teammates on the ice early in the camp’s schedule.
“I felt good,” Doughty said. “I skated the last two days, I felt good. I haven’t been playing physical or anything like that, but my puckhandling, passing, shooting’s all good, skating’s good. I’m in good shape. My defensive reads will come to me. It’ll just be getting ready to battle in those corners that will be the first adjustment I have to make.”
There wasn’t any concern that he’d miss a significant amount of time.
“I knew it was nothing serious, and I knew that when I got back here they were just kind of letting me gradually get back into skates and get back on the ice, just to keep it safe,” he said. “There’s no point in rushing anything during this very beginning of the exhibition season. So that’s the way we looked at it.”
Sutter also noted that Jonathan Quick, who is coming off of June 24 wrist surgery but has skated in camp since it opened last Friday, is in a similar situation.
“Same thing,” Sutter said. “We talk every day and make sure he’s right on the course and how he’s feeling. He’s good. Again, I’m going on the days. We have an advantage of the days, and he doesn’t need five games. Quite honest, if we can get two full games out of him, I’d be happy with that. And we will. It just depends if they’re the last two, or in the last four we’ll get two full ones.”
Drew Doughty, on whether he has received full clearance to play:
I still don’t know the status on that, but I’m feeling good. I’ve felt good for a while. No problems, so whenever the coaches and medical staff deem me ready to play, I’ll be ready to go.
Doughty, on whether he’s looking forward to getting into games:
Oh, of course, yeah. I definitely want to play a few exhibition games. It’s tough to come off a summer break and just jump into regular season hockey, so you definitely need one or two games under your belt to be ready for the season.
Doughty, on Slava Voynov playing 32:05 in Arizona last night:
Yeah, I heard that. That’s a lot of minutes for a first game, so I’m sure he’s pretty tired today. It shows how good of shape he’s in and how serious he took his offseason, because without doing that, you can’t play 32 minutes. [Reporter: Are you ready for that kind of minutes?] Oh yeah, I’m always ready for those kinds of minutes. I want to play as many minutes as I can. I realize we’ve got six, seven really good defensemen on our team, but whenever they call my name, I’m going to be itching to get out there.
* * * * *
Defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk suffered a knee injury at the end of practice on Sunday and will be out for the remainder of training camp, hockey operations told LA Kings Insider.
Bodnarchuk, who played five games with the Boston Bruins in the 2009-10 season, is a 26-year-old AHL veteran who would be in line for a promotion to the Kings should the club experience multiple injuries on the back end. He would have likely gotten into multiple preseason games for Los Angeles, and considering that the Kings are looking to have a veteran/prospect mix earlier in the preseason before relying more heavily on veterans as the regular season approaches, his absence will provide an opportunity for other younger defensemen to get into preseason games.