Familiar up-tempo practice precedes opener - LA Kings Insider

The Kings returned to Toyota Sports Center this morning to take part in another up-tempo practice, moving from transition drills to battle and compete simulations and eventually finishing off on-ice activities with a conditioning skate.

It wasn’t vastly different from the practices experienced over the past two years, when the team contended with truncated schedules that impacted the extent to which they endured non-game day skates and skill reinforcement.

“You know what, we’ve tried to keep our practices high-pace, and just have your execution and make sure you’re ready. That’s pretty much what we’ve talked about since day one,” Darryl Sutter said. “It’s a different type of training camp, obviously, when you’re coming off the championship. It’s just a different type of training camp because you’re putting emphasis on just trying to get in regular season mode.”

That regular season – which features the second title defense in club history – begins Wednesday as the San Jose Sharks visit.

Ahh, yes, North Haverbrook San Jose. Where have I heard that name before?

“It’s the first game of the year, and I think that’s always an exciting game, regardless of the situation,” said Dustin Brown when asked about the first meaningful game between the teams since the Sharks’ collapse last April.

“It’s probably a little more exciting for us being the banner night, and then for them motivationally, it’s probably a big game. But at the end of the day, it comes down to two points. It’s very early in the year…As a player, as the way we look at things as a group in there, it’s just two points.”

Dustin Brown, on what the team is looking to accomplish over its final practice:
Just fine tuning your game, really. Our practices have been pretty short, pretty direct in what we’re trying to do. Individually, every player’s different in what they need. So you just try to find what you need and go from there. [Reporter: Any added intensity or anything compared to training camp after the day off on Sunday?] No, not really. Again, we’ve been through this together as a group. It’s game time now, and we know what that means, and we know what we need to do to get ready to go.

Brown, on whether he senses the team’s focus by talking to a player, or in workouts:
I think it’s a bit of both. Just how guys carry themselves is part of it, and talking to guys, and the other part is just playing the game, knowing, having that trust in each other to do the right things as much as we can, and a lot of that is the result of us playing together. I mean, we said that in 2012. There was a group of us that had played together…and now you’ve added two years, and success breeds success.

Brown, on the notion that the team tends to “cruise” through the regular season:
I don’t think “cruise” would probably be the right word, because we tend to make it very hard, and the way we play, it’s not an easy game to play for 82 games. That might be partly why we don’t finish with 115 points, but it’s all in preparation. Each and every game you’re trying to get better, and as the season goes along, it’s about finding ways to win games and putting yourself in a situation where you’re not scrambling at the end. Again, it’s all part of the journey.

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

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.

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.