The final NHL games before the Olympic break are being played today, and teams will not be allowed to practice again until next Wednesday, Feb. 24. That’s when the Kings will return, with a 2 p.m. practice, and they will have up to six days of practice before their March 2 game at Dallas. Of course, players who are participating in the Olympics might be gone for a while. Given that the gold-medal game is on Feb. 28, if the Kings should have a player reach that game, he won’t really have any practice time, but he will certainly be fresh given that he’s been playing in the Olympics.
Also, given that Jonathan Quick is playing for Team USA, the Kings will be short one goalie. Terry Murray said the Kings would bring in a local goalie to get through practices. I asked if 43-year-old goalie coach Bill Ranford — who filled in for Quick when Quick had flu symptoms a couple days ago — had declined the chance…
“He kind of raised his hand halfway,” Murray said with a laugh. “He’s real good for a day, but it’s going to be hard, five days in a row.”
When I asked him, in passing, if any Kings would be sent to Manchester to play games during the break, Lombardi said no. I imagine we would find out today if he happened to change his mind on that.