The return of Ryan Smyth

Somewhat remarkably, the Kings managed a 9-5-1 record without Ryan Smyth, and now they’ve got him back to (presumably) boost the top line. Here’s what Smyth said today, after his first official practice since his Nov. 16 injury…

(on being back on the ice…)
SMYTH: “It felt good to be out there with the guys, knowing that there’s light at the end of the tunnel and knowing that Saturday is coming right around the corner. It’s exciting, playing on a regular line and getting back to moving the puck again. It’s just a matter of getting into a game situation.”

(on helping Anze Kopitar to get going again…)
SMYTH: “I think we compliment each other, as a line. I really do believe that, right from the start of the year, in training camp, we developed some kind of chemistry with the three of us. We want to continue that. Obviously it’s a work in progress. We always know there’s room for improvement. It’s a good mix and I’m excited to get back on that line.”

(on the fact that the team continued winning in his absence…)
SMYTH: “That’s huge. Any time a team fights through injuries the way that they have, it’s phenomenal. To maintain a good position in the standings is huge. Injuries play a factor on every team, and you just have to find a way to get wins to benefit yourself in the long run.”

(on whether he will feel 100 percent on Saturday…)
SMYTH: “Once the doc and I sat down and talked about it, it made sense. Obviously it’s frustrating as a player. You don’t want to sit and watch and be on the outside looking in. In this case, this break is a big factor. It would have been four weeks, or just under six weeks. It was a no-brainer when it came to my situation, from the doc’s side of things, but from my side of things, I wanted to play. I understood the situation.”

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