Assuming Jeff Carter’s injury remains only a short-term situation, the Kings probably will not call anyone up from Manchester of the AHL, in part because the players who are considered most NHL-ready are centers, not wingers. (The Kings already grabbed Dwight King and Jordan Nolan from Manchester.) Edmonton today called up Magnus Paajarvi from Oklahoma City of the AHL.
What will the Kings’ lineup look like tonight, if Carter can’t play? Yesterday in practice, Darryl Sutter went with a first line of Brad Richardson, Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown, and a second line of Mike Richards, Justin Williams and either Dwight King or Jordan Nolan. Why break up the line of Brown, Kopitar and Williams, which is coming off perhaps its best game of the season? The coaches are concerned primarily about depth, about not becoming the one-line team that the Kings essentially were before Carter arrived. So, the thinking yesterday was that they would put two scoring “pairs” together — Brown-Kopitar and Richards-Williams — and get some grit and forechecking from the other wingers. Of course, Sutter didn’t commit to that lineup yesterday, so we’ll see if he has changed his mind today.
[UPDATE: Carter is not participating in this morning’s optional skate.]