Good afternoon from El Segundo, Insiders. The Kings took the ice shortly before 10:00 a.m. at Toyota Sports Center, and while it wasn’t a full group, they still worked through a variety of rush and flow-type drills in which newcomer Jonny Brodzinski took part. Nick Shore, wearing an off-color red jersey, participated from the outset of a practice for the first time since suffering his upper-body injury. Several notes:
-Brodzinski remained on for extra work with Andy Andreoff, Kevin Gravel and Nick Shore, so he’s not likely to make his NHL debut tonight against Winnipeg (7:30 p.m. / FOX Sports West / FOX Sports GO / KABC 790 / I Heart Radio). This is in line with some scuttlebutt learned earlier today that Brodzinski was more likely to watch tonight’s game and acclimate himself through several additional practices before making his debut. “…I’m just going to take everything out of tonight’s game,” he said. “I’ve been watching pretty much every game this year, but just getting here live, [I’ll be focusing on] just watching specific roles that I’ll be playing and just trying to get better up in the booth.”
-Ben Bishop was the first goalie off the ice and will be expected to start against the Jets. For a sense on tonight’s alignment, refer to yesterday’s practice notes. The Kings could offer the same look up front as the one used against Calgary.
-Daryl Evans will broadcast the play-by-play of tonight’s game on FOX Sports West, and Jarret Stoll will move from the FSW set to the radio booth alongside Nick Nickson, where he’ll provide color commentary. But, wait. Hold on a second. Choppy is calling the game on FOX, eh? Pitter patter, let’s get at’er? “Yeah, he’ll have a lot of energy. It’s gonna be fun,” Kyle Clifford said. “Obviously I won’t hear him ’til after the game but he’s always around. You see a lot of energy. Probably be wearing his Eagle pants.” The Eagle pants Clifford referred to are a preferred set of track pants Evans is often spotted in when leading clinics at Toyota Sports Center, because it’s not possible to wear his colorful designer suits on the ice. Regardless of the attire, Evans has constructed a special relationship with all of the players. It’s established when they come in as teenage prospects, and it continues through their advancement through the organization. “I think he did some skating development stuff, so the young guys got to know him quick,” Clifford said. “He’s always good. A high-energy guy, he’s always happy. There’s never a day where you don’t see a smile on his face.” Expect that energy to transfer to tonight’s broadcast when he calls the game alongside Jim Fox. Evans will be my guest on Kings Live pre-game coverage.
-Meanwhile, when you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way from your first cigarette to your last dyin’ day, it has been reported.
#NHLJets line rushes this am: Perreault-Scheifele-Wheeler, Ehlers-Little-Laine, Copp-Lowry-Armia, Tanev-Petan-Thorburn
— Ken Wiebe (@WiebeSunSports) March 23, 2017
Connor Hellebuyck is expected to start in goal, while D Jacob Trouba (upper-body), D Tyler Myers (lower-body), D Toby Enstrom (concussion), D Paul Postma (lower-body), D Ben Chiarot (upper-body), F Shawn Matthias (shoulder) and G Ondrej Pavelec (knee) are dealing with injuries and not expected to play.
-Tonight’s officials are referees Francis Charron and Ian Walsh and linesmen Shandor Alphonso and Ryan Daisy. Tim Kepler is expected to sing the national anthems, presumably in a sharp vest. For more on tonight’s game, I’ll join Hustler and Lawless on TSN 1290 Winnipeg at 4:15 p.m. this afternoon. Click here to listen live.
Practice photos, courtesy of Jon Bradley. Give him a follow on Instagram.