Notes from the morning skate in advance of Thursday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres at Staples Center:
-Jeff Carter did not skate. Reporters covering the skate acted under the premise that he was likely taking a morning off, and that intuition proved to be correct. Darryl Sutter confirmed that today’s skate was “optional.” No news here.
-Marian Gaborik did not skate, though he was visible around the team’s facility. Unless it changes, the plan will be for Gaborik to return to the ice early next week, likely in a similar fashion to Trevor Lewis, who has been skating on his own.
-Because Carter did not participate in the morning skate, the combinations utilized during rushes earlier today were unimportant and moot. There will be changes to what had been utilized last week, so expect even strength minutes to be eaten up by combinations of King-Kopitar-Brown, Pearson-Carter-Toffoli, Andreoff-Stoll-Williams and Clifford-Richards-Nolan. Defensive pairings should include Muzzin-Doughty, Regehr-Martinez, and McNabb-Greene. I spoke with Martinez (story coming) and Muzzin (video coming) about their roles after the morning skate, so be ready to hit “refresh” on LAKI.
-Jonathan Quick left the ice first and is expected to draw the start against Buffalo tonight.
-Dustin Brown said that most hockey fans from Ithaca – roughly two and a half hours from Buffalo – would be Rangers fans, not Sabres fans. He said that he didn’t think he had ever attended an NHL game while growing up in Ithaca, though he had been to Binghamton Rangers games.
-No questions were asked of Darryl Sutter outside of those that dealt with playing and coaching against family members (see: Jordan and Ted Nolan).
The questions that were asked:
Q: You obviously have experience in competing against family members on the ice. Jordan Nolan obviously has his dad on the other bench. What’s that experience like?
A: It’s always fun. I always looked forward to playing against my brothers, coaching against my brothers, coaching my brothers.
Q: Darryl what was it like – I think it was about a year ago now – coaching against Carolina when Brett played?
A: Yeah, we’re used to it. [Reporter: Oh, I know. You’ve done it your whole life.] Yeah. It’s not that big a deal anymore.