January 29: Bus texts with Stothers - LA Kings Insider

After every Reign road game I’ll try to catch up with head coach Mike Stothers from the bus to get some texts and his assessment of the game. Here’s what he had to say after Friday’s 2-0 shutout win in San Diego.

Reign 2, Gulls 0
Behind a goal with six seconds left in the first period by Michael Mersch and Peter Budaj’s sixth shutout of the season, the Reign defeated rival San Diego for a second straight time. Jeff Schultz provided the other Reign goal on a power play tally in the second. Kings forward Kyle Clifford played his first game in his conditioning assignment with the Reign.

ORI: Thoughts on Kyle Clifford tonight?
Stothers: I thought Cliffy came in and gave us a solid performance. He knows his role and is very accepting of his responsibilities. He plays hard and physical. He is strong on the puck and along the walls. He is in great shape and did not extend himself because of excessive shift lengths. He is an NHL pro it was nice to see him back on the ice for some game action.
ORI: How big was Mersch’s goal late in the first?
Stothers: It’s always big to score a goal late in the period. It gives a great boost going into intermission and takes a little starch out of the other team. You can see the importance of playing out the clock until the final buzzer. They got a little sloppy on the outlet pass and Big Mike wasted no time getting the puck to the net before their goalie could set up. It was a big play but we knew it would be a long hard fought battle.
ORI: How’s Bissonnette, looked like he went down hard in third after Bickel hit?
Stothers: Biss is fine. He is at the back of the bus telling anyone who will listen how he went in and won the faceoff clean, in the second period. This will be one of the few times he voluntarily comes into my office to watch video, then he will want the clip sent to his dad.

Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
Kevin Gravel

#4 | 6′ 4″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: DOB: 2/17/1996
Birthplace: KINGSFORD, MI
Position: D


Gravel made his NHL debut with Los Angeles in the 2015-16 season, skating with the Kings for four games before returning to AHL affiliate Ontario.

Rob Scuderi

#0 | 6′ 1″ | 212 lb | Age: 37

Born: DOB: 12/30/1978
Birthplace: SYOSSET, NY
Position: D
Handedness: Left


Scuderi is currently playing for the Reign while under contract with the LA Kings. He has won two Stanley Cups, once with the Pittsburgh Penguins and with the Kings.

Michael Mersch

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 225 lb | Age: 24

Born: DOB: 10/2/1992
Birthplace: PARK RIDGE, IL
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Drafted by the Kings in 2011, Mersch is currently playing forward for the Reign. Last season, he drew into his first NHL game for the Kings, where he registered 2 shots and 3 hits.

Michael Latta

#24 | 6′ 0″ | 207 lb | Age: 25

Born: 5/25/1991
Birthplace: KITCHENER, ON
Position: F
Handedness: Right


Prior to turning professional, Latta played major junior hockey in the OHL with the Ottawa 67’s and Guelph Storm. He was drafted into the NHL in 2009 and joined the King’s affiliate Reign in 2016.

Adrian Kempe

#09 | 6′ 1″ | 187 lb | Age: 20

Born: 9/13/1996
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Growing up in Swedan, Kempe made his hockey debut in 2014 in the Swedish Hockey League. He has since been drafted by the Kings, where he is playing for their AHL affiliate team, the Ontario Reign.

Brett Sutter

#07 | 6′ 0″ | 192 lb | Age: 29

Born: 6/2/1987
Birthplace: CALGARY, AB
Position: C


Drafted in 2005 by the Calgary Flames, Sutter was traded to the Reign in 2016. He is the son of LA Kings head couch Darryl Sutter, and the eighth member of the Sutter family to play in the NHL.