As noted earlier, Darryl Sutter said today that Kyle Clifford is cleared to play (he’s actually been a full participant in practice for several days). Clifford, prior to his concussion, was a lineup regular for the Kings, but the question now is, if Clifford were to draw back into the lineup, which winger would be replace? Brad Richardson, Clifford’s replacement, has been effective, and the Kings’ two rookie wingers, Dwight King and Jordan Nolan, certainly haven’t embarrassed themselves. Darryl Sutter seems to like the current makeup of his fourth line, with Colin Fraser centering Richardson and Nolan, and it stands to reason that until Sutter sees the need to make a change, he won’t make one.
SUTTER: “I think they impacted our team when we brought them up. They’re big kids who can skate. They’re disciplined kids, and it’s always nice to have that energy. They’re both the same age, young guys. It’s fun for them. It’s like I told them last night, I wish I was them.’’
Question: Are their eyes a little less wide now than they were at the start of the playoffs?
SUTTER: “They’ve handled it really well. The best part about those two kids is probably their background, and just the way they handle it. As it’s gone along, we’ve had to manage their minutes, because it is a more intense environment, but they’ve done a good job of giving us those minutes.’’
Incidentally, Sutter was asked about the Kings’ other rookie, Slava Voynov, who has been partnered with Willie Mitchell. Sutter said, “He was good in Game 1, and I think he really struggled in Game 2.’’