Good Morning, Insiders!
Let me tell you, it is nice to watch hockey against at Toyota Sports Center. Yesterday evening finally concluded an Ontario road trip, that began last Thursday and spanned many cities across three states, even unloading the gear into the Reign’s locker room in El Segundo felt good. A few (okay, more than a few, it wasn’t THAT late) hours later, the Kings took the ice for a 10 AM skate, following yesterday’s 4-3 defeat against the Florida Panthers.
Here’s how the group lined up at today’s skate –
Iafallo – Kopitar – Brown
Grundstrom – Kempe – Toffoli
Leipsic – Carter – Kovalchuk – Brodzinski
Clifford – Lewis – Wagner
Forbort – Doughty
Martinez – Roy
Phaneuf – LaDue
MacDermid – Walker
Quick / Campbell
The Kings are back in action tomorrow evening as they host the Winnipeg Jets at STAPLES Center. As you’ll see in the quotes below, there’s no clear indication on how that group of four will be narrowed down to three or two, as it was yesterday as the Kings went with seven defensemen.
A couple of videos from yesterday –
First, here is the Kurtis MacDermid fight that is referenced in the Willie Desjardins quote below.
— Eric (@Kingsgifs) March 16, 2019
Second, Kings prospect and Reign goaltender Cal Petersen had the lone highlight in the team’s defeat in Bakersfield. Might just be the save of the season for Ontario.
— Ontario Reign (@ontarioreign) March 17, 2019
Sean Walker on whether it is challenging to develop his game in a losing season
Yes and no. Obviously it’s tough going in and losing games, obviously you want to be winning, it can be disheartening at times, but this is obviously a great opportunity for a lot of the young guys, myself. You try to learn stuff every day, come in, learn what you can and try to better your game every day. Go from there, and hopefully work towards getting a spot for next season on the team.
On how it helps to have veteran guys in the room to help lead the younger guys
Of course. Dion and Drew, guys that have been around for a long time, they’re two really great guys, really upbeat guys and they make sure everybody is dialed in all the time. Just kind of follow them and go out there every day and work hard.
On the healthy competition between the younger guys in the room
Yeah, especially on the right side, me, Royzie and Pauly, all right shot, all kind of the same mindset. We’re great friends and stuff, me and Royzie live together, so it’s a great healthy competition. We want to see each other succeed and stuff, so we just kind of go from there and wish the best for each other.
On whether it’s weird having so many [four] right-handed shot defensemen
Yeah, it is kind of. For a while there, everybody’s talking about that they need a right-shot defenseman and now we almost have surplus here. I mean it’s good, it’s a good problem to have for the team obviously, so whoever’s playing good is going to get their opportunity and go from there.
Willie Desjardins on whether a lack of scoring can become contagious
I think you get life from scoring. I think you feel better about your game when you score, so I think it is, it’s hard. When you’re not scoring, it takes away energy on you a little bit, as a group and as an individual a little bit.
On whether a fight like Kurtis MacDermid’s yesterday can also bring energy to the team
I think it does. He’s just a good, solid player. He gives us a little bit of a different look, a physical guy back there, he keeps teams honest for sure. I think it can, I think the boys certainly appreciate him when he’s in the lineup.
On the decision to play with 11 forwards and seven defensemen and how it varies from game-to-game
A lot of times, I have way more flexibility when I have 11 forwards, it gives us a different look. I like my centermen, if I run three centermen, I think I’ve got three good players, gives them a little bit more icetime. I think, you guys have talked about Wagner and that line getting a little bit more, it allows that line to get a little bit more ice, their minutes are up two, three minutes. It just allows you to get more guys a little bit more ice time.
On what he’s seen from Jonny Brodzinski
I think it’s a tough situation. We gave him some time early to get going and see where he’s at. He’s got a heavy shot, he worked hard to get back. I think, once he’s in the lineup, we need to see a few more things happen. If he’s going to be a scorer, he’s got to create more, if he’s going to be a physical guy, he’s got to play a little bit more physical. You’ve got to kind of identify yourself a little bit. I had him on with Juice, I like Juice, we just didn’t get quite as much out of the line as I wanted, I need to get a little bit more. [Reporter: Will Brodzinski be back in tomorrow?] WD: I’ll have to see tomorrow.
On what he expects from Winnipeg tomorrow
Good team, big, heavy team, lots of talent up front. I think they’ve got lots of depth. I think, ifyou look at them on paper, they’re one of the best in the league. When they’re on their game, they’re hard to handle.