Good afternoon from the team hotel in Uniondale. The Kings held their final regular season morning skate at Nassau Coliseum, and there weren’t many surprises.
-All available players were accounted for. Jonathan Quick was the first goalie to leave the ice, so he’s likely to start. Brayden McNabb, Jamie McBain, Andy Andreoff and Tanner Pearson remained on the ice with Martin Jones, so they’re likely out; Pearson remains on injured reserve and won’t play on this trip.
-I’ll have an interesting story up later today about hitting and role players. The Islanders’ energy line of Matt Martin, Casey Cizikas and Cal Clutterbuck has been extremely valuable, though as Darryl Sutter noted, those players have to be able to contribute in other areas – providing offense, taking defensive zone draws and countering the opposition’s top players. Dustin Brown also weighed in on how his own physical play has evolved through his NHL career.
–Via the Islanders, Jaroslav Halak will start in net. Lubomir Visnovsky, who is recovering from a lower-body injury and took a maintenance day Wednesday, will not play. Mikhail Grabovski is also out. Line pairings and notes are included in the above link.
-Darryl Sutter quotes will follow.