March 14 practice notes: Mindset when facing teams lower in standings - LA Kings Insider

After a Monday recovery day, the Reign took the ice at Tuesday’s Center Ice practice rink for just over an hour’s worth of work. Here’s a very short post with more to come the rest of the week.

–When the Reign (30-17-9-0, .616 winning percentage) play at Charlotte (28-27-4-0, .508) this Friday and Saturday and then host San Antonio (23-32-4-1, .425) the following weekend, they will be facing two opponents in their next four games who are currently outside the playoff picture. The Rampage in particular are last in the Pacific and ranked 27th out of 30 teams. But head coach Mike Stothers doesn’t put any extra emphasis — of any kind — in the Reign needing to be wins over teams below them in the standings.

“I never approach it of where they are in the standings. That’s mistake number one. Setting yourself up,” he said. “So, we got into it like we go into every opponent and we expect to win every game. Nothing’s going to change. Our goal at the start of the year was whatever team we’re matched up against, we wanted to have a winning record against. Bottom line. If you end up with a winning record against all the teams then you’ll make the playoffs. So our approach is still the same. Have a winning record head to head.”

Of note, injured forward Paul Bissonnette will make the trip to Charlotte (the team leaves on Thursday). More to come on Bissonnette and why even if he doesn’t play, Stothers likes having him on the road.

–The FOX Sports West crew was at practice working on an upcoming Kings Reign Weekly, so stay tuned for that behind-the-scenes airing next Thursday. Interviews were done with players, coaches and more so that will be a must-watch.

FOX Sports West in the house

A post shared by Lindsay Czarnecki (@reigninsider) on

–On the lighter side, Teddy Purcell, a la mite hockey, had a white strip of tape across the front of his helmet with his name and a smiley face on it at the beginning of practice.

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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.