December 28 morning skate notes; Clifford among those banged up - LA Kings Insider

Good afternoon from the team hotel, where it’s not quite as cozy as the living room depicted above.

The Kings took the ice at 11:30 a.m. and aligned thusly:



-There were no real changes from the lines shown yesterday, though Andy Andreoff was part of a group that remained on the ice late and included Kyle Clifford (more on him in a moment), Brayden McNabb (IR) and Tom Gilbert. Andreoff took the first loop with Nick Shore and Jordan Nolan, so he was likely just getting a little bit of extra work in. It appears as though Brayden McNabb, who Darryl said yesterday is “available” but “needs some practice,” will have to wait at least one more game before re-entering the lineup. As noted yesterday, Tyler Toffoli (lower-body) is injured and is still at least a week away from being re-evaluated. Peter Budaj was the first goalie off the ice and is expected to start against Vancouver.

-Kyle Clifford is a bit dinged up. I had previously noted this following a practice in Nashville on December 21, but this was the first time it was acknowledged by Darryl Sutter. It came up when he was asked about the impact of Toffoli’s absence. “We’ve played the whole trip without [a full assortment of players]. We’ve had guys get hurt every game and finish games and nobody knows about it. So now we announce that [Toffoli] is not playing for a while, so it gives somebody else an opportunity and have guys that just move up a little bit in the lineup. When you look at it, we got Gaborik back, so hopefully he can get going for us. Brownie came back from injury, hopefully we can get Cliffy back from injury and just keep moving guys around.” Regarding Clifford, I’m led to believe he has an upper-body injury – one that is not a concussion – related to his tumble hard into the boards in Boston.

-Speaking of injuries, the Canucks have them. Jannik Hansen has a knee injury and will be out for the next four-to-six weeks. That shifts Jayson Megna up to the top line alongside the Sedin twins. Derek Dorsett (neck surgery), Erik Gudbranson (wrist surgery) and Philip Larsen (concussion) are also out. Willie Desjardins said there’s “a chance” Alex Edler (fractured finger) returns to the lineup, and because Alex Biega was skated hard at the end of the Canucks’ session, it’s probably a good chance. It is not at all an easy go right now for Vancouver, and the second question, which Desjardins did a good job of withholding his disdain for, carried an implication that the team hadn’t been “engaged.” That’s a weighty word to use with a coach, and Desjardins did say that it was a term that he prefers not to use. This will be Los Angeles’ first look at defenseman Troy Stecher, the 5-foot-10 local product who had an impressive training camp and has one goal and nine points in 26 games. Desjardins praised Stecher’s heart and compared him to Minnesota’s Jared Spurgeon, another player who might not crack six feet with his skates on but plays a highly effective role on the back end.

-The NHL’s holiday roster freeze has been lifted; should the Kings make any moves on this trip, they’ll be shared at or near when they become official. At some point, the team will have to activate McNabb, and there’s a good chance that Toffoli’s placement on injured reserve could be a corresponding move. As for later today, I’ll post Darryl Sutter’s quotes and a story on Drew Doughty before we head back to the rink. Let’s talk soon, Insiders.

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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.