John Zeiler arrived in Anaheim this morning, and he will be in the Kings’ lineup tonight as the fourth-line center, between Brad Richardson and Kevin Westgarth (who, because of his broken nose, will wear a face shield). Zeiler’s game is the same as it was when he played 86 games for the Kings from 2007-09. When he’s on his game, he’s skating well, playing physical, drawing penalties and even dropping the gloves at times. He has only four NHL points, so don’t expect miracles there, but Zeiler knows his game is about energy. He cleared recall waivers this morning and was on the ice for this morning’s skate…
ZEILER: “I was just sitting and waiting. There was nothing to really be nervous about. I’m obviously happy to be here. It was great news, to get the call. I’m just happy to be here.”
Question: Have the coaches told you anything about what they want from you?
ZEILER: “Just play the same way I’ve always played. Keep it simple, get pucks deep, just play the body and finish every check. Just play solid. Keep it simple, make the smart play and just bring some energy to the team.”
Question: Do you have a good comfort level playing center?
ZEILER: “In Manchester, I was playing center all year, but I said, `Wherever you need me to play, I’ll be ready to jump in.’ If it’s center, it’s center. If it’s either wing, it’s either wing.”
Question: You were one of the final cuts in training camp this year. Was that encouraging, or discouraging, or a little of both?
ZEILER: “It was obviously bittersweet. You felt like you had a great camp. You felt like you could have been one of the guys who stayed, but it’s just the way that game goes. It’s a business, and it didn’t stop me from going down to Manchester and just working hard. There’s always someone watching you play. Hexy [assistant general manager Ron Hextall] was down there for quite a while, actually, watching some games, so it was a real good time to play hard. My role is not to come up here and score a bunch of goals, I know that. It takes some pressure of my back. I just go out and be positive, be a good teammate, get in on the forecheck, make some noise, agitate, hopefully draw some penalties so we can get on the power play tonight and score some goals.”