Kovalchuk scrum transcript; projected lineup and Kings-Wings at a glance - LA Kings Insider

INSIDERS. More to come this afternoon. But first! A quick tee-up of tonight’s game against the Detroit Red Wings (7:30 p.m. / FOX Sports West / FOX Sports GO / I Heart Radio), beginning with the projected lineup:




— The vitals: Today’s skate was optional. Todd McLellan confirmed that there will be one change to the lineup, and stick taps to Carrlyn Bathe for her sleuth work, which has indicated it’s probably Adrian Kempe entering in place of *left wing* Carl Grundstrom. Might have a touch more on that subject later. Bill Ranford donned the pads again, and though he left the ice first – “That means he can’t breathe,” McLellan joked – Jonathan Quick is the projected starter versus Detroit, against whom he’s 10-14-1 with a 2.76 goals-against average, a .907 save percentage and two shutouts in his career. Kurtis MacDermid and Grundstrom remained on for some work with Jack Campbell didn’t dither. Ilya Kovalchuk skated but isn’t expected to play tonight. More on him below.

— Their vitals: The Red Wings have won three straight on the heels of a 1-11-1 stretch but are hurting; forwards Justin Abdelkader (middle-body) and Luke Glendening (upper-body), and defensemen Patrik Nemeth (illness), Danney DeKeyser (lower-body) and Trevor Daley (lower-body) are all on injured reserve. Defenseman Joe Hicketts was recalled today, joining recent defensive reinforcements Dylan McIlrath and Jonathan Ericsson. Beyond regicide enthusiast Mike Green, who has five goals in 14 career games against Los Angeles and 847 games total, only one defenseman has more than 100 NHL games played, and that’s Jonathan Ericsson, who had been waived and assigned to AHL-Grand Rapids last month. There’s also something about glass houses I can’t quite remember right now. Jonathan Bernier has started each of the three straight wins, so there’s a good chance the goaltending battery that together won a Stanley Cup in 2012 may face each other. I’ve got to jet from El Segundo, but Detroit’s skate is winding down and if Bernier is confirmed, I’ll share a few notes this afternoon. He’s 2-5-0 in nine career games against his former team with a 2.61 GAA, an .896 Sv% and one shutout.

— And, finally, the full transcript of our conversation with Ilya Kovalchuk, who skated with the team this morning but declined to go into details beyond that as his status as a healthy scratch:

To our understanding, obviously things are fluid and it’s changing, moving around, but do you have an understanding of what your situation is with the team right now?
Nothing, really. I just come here every day, work, try to get better.

Are you OK with an arrangement in which it had been reported you’d be practicing with the team, skating, things like that?
I don’t know what was reported. I’m a regular player. Everybody’s got a healthy scratch, and we’re in last place, so coach has to do something to change things, and I’m just here every day for the guys, for the team and if they need me, I’m ready to go.

Rob Blake said that he met with you before Tuesday’s game. What was the message he gave you-
Ask him. He told you the message? Did he tell you what the message was? [Reporter: But what did you take out of it from your end-] Just ask him.

Like, are there emotions? These are personal questions, and you don’t have to answer-
No, not emotions. We’re all professionals. [Reporter: Anger-] It’s not anger, no. Trust me, I’m not that kind of guy. I just have to come and work and show that I’m ready.

— More to come! Tonight’s officials are referees Dan O’Rourke and Gord Dwyer and linesmen Devin Berg and Derek Nansen. Mike Dalager will perform the national anthem. Let’s talk soon, Insiders.

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.