December 19 morning skate notes - LA Kings Insider

Good morning afternoon from the team hotel, where the Kings are now holed up after an optional morning skate. Trevor Lewis didn’t linger on the ice for extra work, so expect him to be activated this afternoon and draw into tonight’s game. Yesterday’s lines and pairings (Lucic-Kopitar-Gaborik, Pearson-Carter-Toffoli, Mersch-Lewis-Brown, Andreoff-Shore-Nolan; McNabb-Doughty, Muzzin-Martinez, Ehrhoff-McBain) should hold up for the road trip finale. Jonathan Quick was the first goalie off the ice and is expected to draw the start.

Interestingly, tonight’s game will mark the fourth consecutive game that Los Angeles will face a team coming off a loss, and while Columbus and Pittsburgh had won prior to facing the Kings, neither team was feeling particularly high on its own game at the time (and the Penguins fired Mike Johnston the morning after their shootout loss on December 11).

“Quite honestly, we don’t pay attention to their schedule, who they played the previous game,” Dustin Brown said. “I mean, we definitely know the results, just based on scouting and stuff like that. I think, again, the positive of our group is we’re just focused on ourselves. … We’re not concerned with what’s going on elsewhere. We know the position we’re in, and if we can continue to gather points, we’re going to separate ourselves.”

The big story in recent days around these parts is that Jonathan Bernier, who is winless in 11 games this season, will take over the reins once again for the Maple Leafs because James Reimer and Garret Sparks are both out due to injury. 21-year-old Antoine Bibeau, who has 45 games of AHL experience with the Toronto Marlies, will back Bernier up, while Ray Emery will join Toronto’s AHL team on a PTO after getting into three games this season with the Ontario Reign. The Leafs also shook up their lines this morning and are expected to align thusly:

Maple Leafs assistant coach Jim Hiller, who followed Mike Babcock from Detroit to Toronto, is a former King who was involved in the big shakeup in 1993 in which he was sent to the Red Wings with Paul Coffey and Sylvain Couturier for Jimmy Carson, Gary Shuchuk and Marc Potvin.

From Lisa Dillman’s LA Times story on January, 30, 1993:

Forward Warren Rychel lives in an apartment with Coffey and Hiller in Manhattan Beach, and he answered the phone when General Manager Nick Beverley called at 7 a.m. “The way they were passing the phone around, I thought I was next,” Rychel said.

Coffey said: “I knew Nick Beverley wasn’t calling at 7 in the morning to ask me to go to breakfast.”

Tonight’s game starts at 4:00 p.m. PT (FOX Sports West / KABC 790 / I Heart Radio). Tanner Pearson will join me for our pre-game bench chat on FOX.

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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.