The Ontario Reign wrapped up their two-day series of development time with the LA Kings staff at Ontario Center Ice Arena today and continued preparations for this weekend’s contests against the San Jose Barracuda at SAP Center on Saturday (1:15) and Sunday (3:00) afternoon.
LA’s Sean O’Donnell and Nelson Emerson worked extensively with the defensemen while Mike Donnelly, Glen Murray and Jarret Stoll ran drills and instruction with the forwards.
After the skate, Head Coach Mike Stothers took the ice for a quick 20-30 minute X’s & O’s session and special teams review.
How They Dressed:
Green – Devane, Iverson, Watson
Purple – Mersch, Hensick, Brodzinski
Grey – Auger, Maillet, Imama
White – Sutter, Luff, Herr
Red – Wagner
White (G) – Zatkoff, Petersen, Campbell
Black – Falkovsky, LaDue, Leslie, Gravel, Lintuniemi, Roy, Walker
Quick skating/flow drills led to extensive power play and penalty kill review with participating units moving into yellow practice jerseys. Following a quick conditioning skate, defenseman Sean Walker led the Reign in the post-practice stretch.
After practice, we caught up with rookie forward Matt Luff on the impact of instructional days and balancing development with in-season preparation.
ORI: You’ve been in camps and practices with the Kings’ Development crew for quite some time, but now you’re juggling in-season professional prep and experiences and development. How valuable are these days to reset and refresh?
Forward Matt Luff: Pretty valuable. They are guys that watch your games and watch your shifts. They break it all down for you and bring stuff you can use for a game and practice. You take it all in and take them for every second you got and ask as many questions as possible.
ORI: As a kid, your parents tell you to not touch the oven burner when it’s hot, but you don’t understand so you touch and learn from experience. What has been a detail the development crew taught you in your junior hockey experiences that you may not have fully understood until you experienced it at the professional level?
Luff: They are big on the “rubber man” and separating from the wall and the defender with the puck. In juniors, you can get away with getting pushed up and squeaking to the sides, but being strong on the wall and popping out opens lanes. That’s a big one, especially playing against older and stronger guys. That’s something I took notice of this year so far.