November 4 notes: Tiger Williams; Kuemper likely; how to choose starting goalies? - LA Kings Insider

Good morning from El Segundo, Insiders. Notes!

-The Kings either did not hold actual line rushes, or skated through them prior to my 10:02 arrival, but yesterday’s lines are likely to hold up. Nic Dowd remained on the ice with Jonathan Quick – more on that in a moment – so the forward lines should remain Iafallo-Kopitar-Brown, Pearson-Kempe-Toffoli, Cammalleri-Shore-Lewis and Andreoff-Laich-Amadio. None of the MacDermid/Folin/Fantenberg trio remained on for extra work, so there could be blue line decisions made closer to warm-ups. Against Toronto on Thursday, Los Angeles iced Forbort-Doughty, Muzzin-Martinez and MacDermid-Fantenberg on the back end. There’s a possibility Folin could re-enter, but again, that’s a determination that’ll be made closer to 7:30.

-Darcy Kuemper left the ice first and is expected to draw the start in net versus Nashville. Compare his statistics (3-1-0 / 2.30 / .917) versus the Predators to Jonathan Quick’s (5-8-2 / 2.78 / .895), and it would be easy to assume that history played a significant role in today’s goaltending decision. We don’t assume things, though. We ask questions. The well-prepared Stevens looks at “everything,” unsurprisingly, and sat down with Goaltending Coach Bill Ranford over the summer to get a sense of how and when starters and back-ups are used across the league. “We tried to study other teams – when they put their back-up in, when was the right time to do it,” he said. “We’ve got records against opponents, we’ve got coming off long trips, traveling east, first game of a trip, performance in afternoon games, back-to-back performances, upcoming schedule. We’re paying attention to what their energy looks like in practice. So there’s a lot of things that go in there, but at the end of the day, it’s just a feel where you try to do what’s right for the hockey team. You only have two goalies, but they’re still members of your hockey team and they’re both guys that are productive and need to be counted on. It’s like a fourth line guy that only plays eight minutes. It can be a really valuable eight minutes. Where your back-up goalie might play 15 or 20 games, as we found out in the past, those can be critical games for your hockey team.” Pekka Rinne, who is 11-7-5 with a 2.84 goals-against average and an .896 save percentage in 23 career games versus Los Angeles, stopped 35 of 38 shots in a 4-3 win at Anaheim last night, and coupled with the fact that Nashville is playing its third road game in four nights, there is the raised possibility that Los Angeles faces Juuse Saros tonight. The highly touted Preds prospect has struggled in his three starts to begin the year but has never faced the Kings through his first 25 NHL games.

-It’s Tiger Williams’ Legends Night. In his bio, just below the notes that he coined Luc Robitaille’s “Lucky” nickname and is the all-time NHL penalty minutes leader with 3,971, is the observation that he had a special relationship with Nick Nickson.

As part of “Getting Nick Night,” he claims to be saving money having joined Los Angeles because he didn’t have to buy his wife a winter coat.

After joining the Hartford Whalers, he shares that things are going “not very well, Nicholas.”

And, in a great post-retirement interview with Randy Hahn, he said that he was in Los Angeles “to get some of Nick Nickson’s hair.”

There’s more. Here’s a Bob Miller and Nickson-narrated 1987 line brawl with Winnipeg in which he goes after goaltender Steve Penney. He collided with teammate Mike Bossy during the 1981 All-Star Game at The Forum. With the Maple Leafs, he withstood several Billy Smith slashes and traded a few blows with the Isles’ Hall of Fame goalie. He went after Esa Tikkanen. I can keep going. The linesmen struggled to contain a heavyweight bout with Jay Wells at the Forum while he was a Canuck. Cam Neely. How many tabs am I going to open? YouTube is excellent for Tiger Williams highlights. He could play, too. Williams totaled 40 goals and 90 points over 162 regular season games with Los Angeles.

-More to come shortly, including John Stevens quotes and an interesting story on Michael Cammalleri. “I think he’s made good adjustments at his game to be a real responsible player,” Stevens said after praising his play without the puck and willingness to be a “team player.” Tonight’s officials are referees Graham Skilliter and Jake Brenk and linesmen Mark Shewchyk and Vaughan Rody. Elliot Yemin will sing the national anthem. Let’s talk soon, Insiders.

-Lead photo via Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images

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.