January 18 practice notes, Darryl Sutter quotes - LA Kings Insider

Good afternoon from El Segundo, where a good crowd had gathered to watch Kyle Clifford skate with Rob Blake and Nelson Emerson. Because he continues to skate on his own and has not yet returned to full team practices, there is no firm timetable yet on Clifford’s return.

As for Blake, the Hall of Fame defenseman has been spotted making the rounds on the Toyota Sports Center ice as he prepares for the Avalanche-Red Wings alumni game at Coors Field on February 26. As noted by the Denver Post, even Patrick Roy has “twice has donned the goalie skates and equipment and faced shots in beginning his preparation for the game.” Never mind the other Hall of Famers such as Roy, Ray Bourque, Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg – both Claude Lemieux and Kris Draper are expected to represent their respective teams, which makes this alumni game more watchable than virtually any other.

The rest of the players met with coaches, received treatment, watched video and went home without taking the ice. For those who might be considering a jaunt down to El Segundo to watch the team train, it is strongly suggested that you consider attending practice a day immediately before a home day game, which are days in which the entire team will be on the ice and practices are generally lengthier.

Darryl Sutter, on the impetus of adjusting the team’s lines and pairings yesterday:
I don’t think we did that much. I mean, Kopi’s line stayed the same. When you’re playing a lot of games, you’re trying to just find little different things to keep the guys energized or to keep ‘em motivated or two or three guys that minutes changed because they weren’t deserving of more. Pretty clear. I mean, it’s not so much the opponent , it’s a back-to-back, and you’re trying to get a little bit more out of guys, and we wanted to get Andy back in. Hey, these guys that are going in and out of the lineup, we need ‘em to do something to not make it an easy decision. Take ‘em out, let em just do something to say, ‘Jeez, I’m in.’ That’s an ongoing thing, and that’s part of the competition of it. [Reporter: In terms of what you got yesterday, team-wide, you happy overall with the way the team came in there and earned a win?] Yeah, I said it after the game, I thought we played really well.

Sutter, on whether it’s more difficult for defensemen to join a new team than forwards:
I think overall in a general sense it would be tougher – it’s not the system. Defending’s a lot harder than the other way. But I think everybody gets too much made of it here because a lot was talked about Christian and the adjustment, well, either you can or you can’t. It ain’t about X and O. A lot of it’s about compete, so it doesn’t matter where you play. The league is still about the best competitors. It’s not specific or special for us or who our opponent is or the position or anything. Luke’s walked in and just stepped right in. It’s not an issue for him. We’ve seen that with lots of guys that we’ve brought. Every year we’ve had to bring defensemen in. The year we went to the conference finals, I think we played nine or 10 defensemen that year. The only year that we didn’t was when Jack got traded, and then we used the same defense for the rest of the year. The same defense for every game. But if you look at it since then, we’ve used lots of guys. I think the adjustment’s way blown out of proportion. The adjustment is just playing on a good team. [Reporter: His game fits, though, I mean he’s got the physical style.] I think he fits our defense because of the mobility of Marty and Muzz and Drew, and probably him and Brady are a lot alike. [Reporter: Overall, how has he done in the games he’s been in so far?] I think he was a difference-maker in two of the games, for sure. He’s made really good plays to score goals, not get noticed, get pucks back, knock guys on their asses to get pucks back. Last night, say what you want, that was a big difference in the game, the fights that Brady and him had with their two big forwards. Big difference in the games.

On several Kings not having played playoff games yet:
They haven’t. It’s true. [Reporter: Would last night, that third period, be as close to a playoff game?] I think everybody’s playing playoff games now, so if you don’t do it for three or four shifts, then it looks [that way]. So, when we lost to Ottawa, the question was, ‘Well, that’s not typical of the Los Angeles Kings.’ Well, you don’t win 82 in a row, and quite honest I know lots of guys who are asking those questions that wouldn’t have a clue about a playoff game or winning or losing. It’s the same old. It’s not some new recipe to win. If you score three goals, it should be enough to win hockey games, and it doesn’t matter if you score in the last minute or the first minute, or if you have a two-goal lead or the other team has a two-goal lead. It doesn’t matter. It’s the way it is. The teams are too close. If what everybody said is correct, just based on our division, Anaheim was the runaway winner to win the Stanley Cup this year. Not just win the division, win the Stanley Cup. So it’s way too close to call that.

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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.