Good Afternoon, Insiders! A Monday Notebook for you on this fine day before the Colorado Avalanche come to town tomorrow evening.
For those expecting, or hoping for changes, you got one, though due to injury circumstances, rather than by choice. This morning’s personnel is listed below, but it is important to note that in Matt Luff’s absence – more on that below – we did not see one set individual in Luff’s spot, though Anderson-Dolan appeared to get more of the looks on that group.
“Instead of having five lines, we had four lines with a little bit extra on them, so it probably threw everybody off a little bit, whoever was trying to find lines and piece everybody together,” Todd McLellan said after today’s practice. “We had four lines, we had a couple extras on each line, and Matt wasn’t out there.”
Here’s a look at what we saw –
Iafallo – Kopitar – Brown
Athanasiou – Lizotte – Carter
Kempe – Vilardi – Wagner
Moore – Amadio – Anderson-Dolan
Grundstrom – Andersson
Maatta – Doughty
Anderson – Roy
MacDermid – Walker
Bjornfot – Clague
As noted above, forward Matt Luff did not skate with the group today. The Kings confirmed that his absence was not COVID related, but the 6-3 winger is now listed as “day-to-day” with an injury.
“Right now it’s day-to-day,” McLellan said. “He got banged up in the game the other night a little bit, won’t play tomorrow versus the Avalanche. We’ll see where he is a couple of days down the road, but I don’t think it’s real serious, but we’re still evaluating it.”
McLellan also confirmed that it wasn’t one specific play that Luff got injured on, but rather things that came from the overall game.
Additionally, forwards Martin Frk and Alex Turcotte remain out of the lineup as “week-to-week”. Frk suffered a lower-body injury during the Black – White scrimmage on January 9, while Turcotte’s occurred on January 5. Neither have skated with the team since the week-to-week designation was applied.
The Colorado Avalanche Are In Town……
The Kings opponent this week will be the Colorado Avalanche, who enter the game level with LA on two points in the West Division.
Colorado was defeated by St. Louis on Opening Night, but bounced back, and then some, and then some more, in an 8-0 win over the Blues in Game 2. Forward Nathan MacKinnon and defenseman Cale Makar has three points apiece, Gabriel Landeskog scored two goalsn and the Avalanche scored five……FIVE times on the power play in that game.
“They’re a good, high-end power play,” Kurtis MacDermid said. “It’ll be a good challenge for us, we’re looking forward to it and getting some momentum off the kills.”
McLellan said that after re-watching the video from Saturday’s game against Minnesota, the coaching staff began to prepare for the upcoming games against the Avalanche. He knows that an extremely skilled team is coming into the building, and he’s expecting to face an opponent high in confidence after their most recent game.
“We prepared for what’s going to be a very tough task in Colorado back-to-back,” McLellan said. “They do a number of things really well, there’s no shortage of confidence on that team, but they’ve earned the right to be confident. We’ll have our hands full.”
It’s been stated, several times now, that the Kings have taken too many penalties in the first two games, and that’s something they will aim to shore up heading into the Colorado series. More on that to come later today on LAKI.
Mark Alt – Ontario
A roster move from yesterday afternoon – Defenseman Mark Alt was assigned to the AHL’s Ontario Reign, and skated with the team on Sunday afternoon.
Alt played on Opening Night with the Kings and was put on waivers on Friday in advance of defensemen Sean Walker and Kurtis MacDermid returning to the lineup.
Alt cleared waivers on Saturday morning, was assigned to the taxi squad later that day, and was then reassigned to the Reign on Sunday. With the addition of MacDermid and Walker, the Kings had nine defensemen between the active roster and taxi squad, with eight being the preferred number at this stage.
All in all, it was a lot of transactions for a guy who never even had to leave the building.
The Kings announced today that the team will practice this week on Wednesday and Friday at 11 AM, around games on Tuesday and Thursday against Colorado, before the team heads to St. Louis for its first road trip of the season on Friday afternoon.
The first trip of the season will consist of back-to-back games on consecutive days against the Blues, before a trip to Minnesota for a rematch against the Wild at Xcel Energy Center.
Reign Delay, Pt. 2
Speaking of the Reign – The team had its second preseason game postponed, which was scheduled for yesterday afternoon in El Segundo, hence the team practicing.
The Reign previously had their game on Saturday in Irvine cancelled “due to an abundance of caution related to health protocols”. The same reasoning was issued for Sunday’s cancellation, however the Reign were still able to hold a practice, which featured a lot of scrimmaging at Toyota Sports Performance Center.
The Reign are off today and return to the ice tomorrow for their first skate of the new week. Ontario has three preseason games scheduled for the next seven days – 1/22 vs. San Jose and 1/24 & 1/25 vs. Tucson. All three games will be played at TSPC behind closed doors. At this time, there are no streaming options available for the Reign’s preseason games but will update if that changes.