Break gives rest to hobbled Kings

NHL teams are fortunate that ice isn’t expensive. Take a walk through any NHL locker room after a game — or even after a practice — and a player will often be wearing two, three, four ice bags taped to various body parts. That’s just the way the game goes. With the possible exception of football players, hockey players play through more injuries than any other athletes, and football players have the slight advantage of playing one game per week, while hockey players endure three or four. Ask a hockey player about a nagging injury, though, and he’s more likely to give you his PIN number. Even a guy walking around with a huge ice bag on his ankle will tell you the ankle is fine. The point of all this is, the Kings have a rare opportunity to heal a bit during the season. Every team gets at least five days off for the All-Star break, but the Kings get eight days. Darryl Sutter made an interesting disclosure, that the Kings’ nagging injuries are so extensive that, if not for the break, they might have had to hold players out of the lineup. You’ll note that, in recent games, Davis Drewiske has been participating in warmups, which would indicate that at least one defenseman has been on the verge of being held out of action.

SUTTER: “Everybody always talks about momentum, do you lose it or do you gain it, but the biggest thing about the break is for players to recharge. They don’t lose their focus. They recharge and guys heal up. We probably have three or four guys playing who, if we didn’t have a week off, maybe we’d be looking at bringing other guys up or putting other guys in. Guys who could use a couple days off, or a game off, have just kind of played through it. … They’re just getting their treatments and getting ready to play as best as they can. But hey, that’s part of the grind with the schedule. You have to find a way to maintain it during the year, and do a lot of your work in the summer.’’

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