Good evening from Levi’s Stadium. The teams have departed the facility and have ceded the field level to the musical performers, so it’s soundcheck time. It’s not as cool as when Radiohead was soundchecking at the Prudential Center on an off-day during the 2012 Stanley Cup Final, but hey, it’s a hockey rink in the middle of a giant football stadium, so who am I to complain?
Black: Gaborik – Kopitar – Brown
Purple: King – Carter – Toffoli
Yellow: Lewis – Stoll – Williams
Grey: Clifford – Shore – Andreoff – Nolan
-The only change from the lines the Kings showed Wednesday was that Trevor Lewis and Dustin Brown swapped spots. “Last game, we kind of switched it up a little bit to get us going,” Lewis said. “It doesn’t really matter to me who I play with. I’ve played with Stollie and Willie a lot. I just have to get in there and get pucks in and hopefully chip in.”
-The team isn’t skating tomorrow, so these are likely the last hints we’ll get at tomorrow’s lineup. Nick Shore went through the first rotation on the “grey” line, so he’ll likely remain in. Expect Drew Doughty to skate with Robyn Regehr, Jake Muzzin to skate with Matt Greene and Brayden McNabb to skate with Jamie McBain during most even strength shifts.
-Alec Martinez did not join the team on the trip. There is no further Martinez update other than that he has been riding a stationary bike and following “protocol.”
-The ice surface isn’t spectacular, and that’s not an enormous surprise. There’s more humidity in the air when compared to the event in Los Angeles last year, and it’s warm closer to the ice. “I didn’t notice it being as bad at Dodger [Stadium] to be honest, but we should be fine,” Drew Doughty said. “It shouldn’t be a big deal, but you definitely have to stay hydrated because it’s hot.”
-Darryl Sutter is a big sports fan, and he was certainly a Bears supporter when he played for the Chicago Blackhawks. “Yeah, I was a frontrunner,” he said. “…They were a pretty good team in the ’80’s.” He celebrated Super Bowl XX in Chicago, a 46-10 Bears win over the New England Patriots in January, 1986. As for the Stadium Series musical entertainment, he said that if he’d have a choice of any musician, he’d choose Johnny Cash.
-Martin Jones was wearing the Go Pro camera again, so be on the lookout for a KingsVision video. On the sightlines and any challenges in finding the puck, he said “maybe a little bit for just getting used to it at the start – just not having anything right behind the glass there. But once you get used to it, it’s fine.