Happy Saturday, Insiders!
The LA Kings took back to the ice today, following yesterday’s off-day.
The Kings skated in one of those, “get the legs going again” types of practices, that featured all of your familiar faces from recent days, as well as some familiar faces from January!
First off, forwards Blake Lizotte and Andreas Athanasiou have been cleared to resume skating! Good signs there. Lizotte skated with the main group today, though Athanasiou did not. Both players were placed on the NHL’s COVID-19 Protocol List in late-January and had not been involved in team activities since.
Joining Lizotte on the ice for the first time this month was defenseman Sean Walker, who skated in a non-contact jersey and a full cage, after he took a slapshot to the face back in Minnesota. Walker had not taken part in a team practice since that day, though Todd McLellan had mentioned his presence around the rink in recent days.
The team did not do formal line rushes, but here’s how the players who were on the ice shook out by jersey color –
Gray: Brown, Carter, Iafallo, Kempe, Kopitar, Lizotte, Vilardi
White: Amadio, Anderson-Dolan, Andersson, Grundstrom, Luff, Moore, Wagner
Black: Anderson, Bjornfot, Clague, Doughty, Maatta, MacDermid, Roy, Strand
Red (Non-Contact): Walker
The team is on day one of three straight practices before taking on the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday at STAPLES Center. This extended run of practice time stems from the postponement of what was originally scheduled to be the first game between the Kings and Wild tonight, due to the Wild having several players placed on the COVID-19 List.
It was reported today, however, that Tuesday’s game is expected to go on, and that the Wild could be looking at the following group of players for that game, per Michael Russo of The Athletic.
Forwards: Nick Bjugstad, Joel Eriksson Ek, Kevin Fiala, Marcus Foligno, Jordan Greenway, Ryan Hartman, Marcus Johansson, Luke Johnson, Kirill Kaprizov, Gerry Mayhew, Zach Parise, Mats Zuccarello
Defensemen: Calen Addison, Matt Bartkowski, Louis Belpedio Matt Dumba, Dakota Mermis, Ryan Suter
Goaltenders: Andrew Hammond, Kaapo Kahkonen
As of now, Evason believes the #mnwild group on the ice today will be the lineup Tuesday in LA.
Not necessarily line combos, but Johansson possibly at center and Zuccarello returning Tuesday
If this is lineup, no Spurgeon, Brodin, Talbot, Cole, Hunt, Soucy, Rask, Rau, Sturm
— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) February 13, 2021
Sorry for the poor quality photos…..I’ll do better
The Kings did not hold media availability after this morning’s skate with coaches and players. The team is expected to return to practice tomorrow at 10 AM, and are scheduled to have a post-practice availability. As such, quotes will return tomorrow!