November 14 morning skate notes: Kings recall Crescenzi - LA Kings Insider

Good afternoon from… not El Segundo. Thank you for your patience as I, like several Kings, took the option this morning.


-As, uh, noted, it wasn’t a complete skate.

An educated assessment leads one to believe that Jonathan Quick will start against Vancouver (7:30 p.m. / FOX Sports West / FOX Sports GO / KABC 790 / I Heart Radio). That’s not a confirmation. There are four games in six days this week, which ends with a back-to-back weekend set against Florida and at Vegas. It is possible that Darcy Kuemper could get into a game beyond an assumed start this weekend. Is it probable? No, I wouldn’t say that. For what it’s worth, in times of compacted schedules, Quick has been known to take a morning off here or there. We’re approaching the time of the year where that becomes more likely. “…I think it’s important to get a gauge on the players, where their fatigue’s at,” John Stevens said yesterday. “I talk to Matt Price and the trainers, and they have a pretty good read on that. If guys need options in the morning, this group’s done a really good job with their preparation, so if they need options in the morning, then we’ll make sure they get it.”

-Center Andrew Crescenzi has been recalled by the Kings, bringing the roster to 23. Should he get into a game – and it appears there’s a good chance of that, based on who remained on the ice for extra work this morning – he would join Jamie Devane, Yanni Gourde and Danill Tarasov as former San Francisco Bulls to graduate to the NHL. (That list does not include Torrey Mitchell or Theo Peckham, players with NHL experience that played at the Cow Palace during the lockout.)

As alluded to by Mike Stothers, Crescenzi is a player who wasn’t drafted by Los Angeles and paid his dues through 251 AHL games and 23 ECHL games, dating back to the end of the 2010-11 season. He’s a grinding, penalty killing, faceoff winner who does not exude skill but provides hard minutes and is a responsible, intelligent player with good defensive awareness. His three points in 11 games with Ontario all came during his first star performance in Saturday’s 4-1 win at San Diego.

His responsibility and dependability in key moments of hockey games has continued to catch the gaze of the Kings’ coaching staff. Based on some correspondence this morning, it checks out with the team’s plans to provide meritocratic opportunities to players to show what they can do with the big club, and because Crescenzi has regularly cleared waivers at the start of NHL seasons, there’s no risk in losing him. He has played some wing this year with the Reign but has mostly served as a center that the team has relied upon for important late-game draws while protecting a lead.

Acquired in January, 2014 from Toronto in exchange for Brandon Kozun while LAKI was en route to Dodger Stadium for the Stadium Series media skate, the 6-foot-5, 207-pound, 25-year-old has 61 points (24-37=61) and 244 penalty minutes in 251 AHL games. A Thornhill, Ont. native, Crescenzi was an important role player during Manchester’s 2015 Calder Cup campaign.

-Based on the limited information provided by today’s optional skate, it’s possible we’ll see a forward group consisting of Iafallo-Kopitar-Brown, Pearson-Kempe-Toffoli, Andreoff-Shore-Lewis and Crescenzi-Laich-Amadio. It has been said once or twice around these parts: wait for the song.

-New dad Anders Nilsson was the first goaltender off the ice for Vancouver and will be expected to draw the start. The Canucks, who used three different power play units in practice on Monday and are 2-for-21 on the power play over the last six games, could align with the following forward and defensive groups, according to Ben Kuzma of The Province: Baertschi—Horvat—Boeser, Gaunce—Sutter—Dorsett, D. Sedin—H. Sedin—Eriksson, Vanek—Granlund—Gagner; Edler—Pouliot, Del Zotto—Biega, Hutton—Gudbranson. Chris Tanev (thumb) and Troy Stecher (knee) are out.

-Tonight’s officials are referees Marc Joannette and Frederick L’Ecuyer and linesmen Brandon Gawryletz and Ryan Galloway. Davis Gaines will sing tonight’s anthems. Let’s talk soon, Insiders.

-Lead photo via Jeff Vinnick/NHLI