Several notes: The Kings didn’t hold a morning skate on Sunday, so there weren’t any tips of the hand towards tonight’s lineup. Meeting with the media two hours of advance of tonight’s game against Chicago, Darryl Sutter declined to name his starting goaltender, which for those just joining us, is a common practice for the team. Whether Peter Budaj will draw the start on both nights of the back-to-back, or whether Jack Campbell could make his second career NHL appearance will be learned when the team exits the tunnel and takes the ice for warm-ups.
Sutter also noted that Brayden McNabb’s arm is in a sling and that the defenseman underwent X-rays in St. Louis last night and will continue to be evaluated. He brusquely shared the criteria of how he specifies injuries; though it’s too early to place McNabb’s injury in any category, I’m getting the sense that this isn’t going to be a short-term, day-to-day-type absence.
On whether Peter Budaj will start again:
We’re not giving the other team any head start through you.
On Brayden McNabb’s injury:
I don’t want you guys to get into the injury things. We’ve got multiple guys. The question shouldn’t be about ‘when’s Jonathan going to be ready’ or ‘when Gabby’s going to be [ready].’ When they’re on IR, that means they’re a week. When they’re a long time LTI, which is long-time IR, that means they’re out a long time. Brady came with us last night. I’m sure everybody told you that he’s walking around in a sling, so you know what? We’ll get him checked out here again. It’s tough – we traveled last night, got an X-ray there, so there’s a lot more medical access today here, and then we’ll go from there. There’s not really any way of honest telling you.
On what he’ll look for from the Kings early in tonight’s game:
I don’t think either team started that fast last night, and I think that you can expect – hey, this building’s always rocking early, so you want to be a part of that. It’s not the same old story, but you’ve got to weather the storm. This team has some dynamite in their first two lines, if you look at it. You’ve got the MVP and the rookie of the year from last year playing on different lines, and usually you win those two awards for high, high octane numbers. It’s not so much ‘manage that,’ but ‘match up against it.’ I think that we’ve had trouble with that on the road.
On whether the team has focused more on strong second period performances:
We’ve talked about it ever since the Philly game, the second period, and we’ve been good, so we’ve been good since that period. It’s not always based on goals, it’s based on mentally staying with it. We’ve been trying to use four lines as much as we can, and it got us on-nothing last night, but it cost us a goal.
On whether he likes what he’s been seeing on the power play:
A-chances last night, and you’ve got to score. We made some adjustments going into the third and made a good adjustment, had a great scoring chance from it, and we should’ve scored. That gets us a point again, but hey, stick together on it.
On Peter Budaj’s play:
He’s been solid. He’s trying to prove that he’s an NHL player and he’s got a good attitude about it. He’s taken it a game at a time. He’s not feeling any pressure, because there isn’t much. He’s a veteran, he’s not a kid and he’s not somebody who doesn’t know. He’s played on good teams and he’s played on bad teams and he’s had good years and he’s had bad years. He’s pretty – what’s the word – ambivalent to it all. Just going to go play. [Reporter: He actually talked about the guys in front of him playing really well and blocking a lot of shots. That seemed to be very helpful … last night.] I think every night they’ve done a good job for him. He hasn’t faced many. Again, we’re right near the top of the league in terms of shots against, and in saying that, you’ve got to make two or three big saves. That’s why Jonathan Quick’s a great goalie. You make two or three big saves, you son’t let in any easy ones. So we’re trying to get that from Budaj, and he’s been solid at it, if you look at the difference in our first three games and our last five games. That’s the difference. Not even close.
On whether he wishes he had an extra day in Chicago to take in the feeling in the city with the Cubs in the World Series:
Well, if they win tonight, we get to watch ‘em again.