-Happy birthday, Martin Jones! The Kings goaltender turned 25 today.
“Hey, Marty was our MVP last year,” Darryl Sutter said. “Every day is his birthday this year.”
Quite a few Kings have January birthdays; Jeff Carter turned 30 on January 1 and Trevor Lewis turned 28 on January 8, while Kyle Clifford will turn 24 on January 13 and on January 21 Jonathan Quick will turn 29 and Brayden McNabb will turn 24. It is a major advantage in hockey to have a January birthday, an interesting theory that served as the first chapter of Malcom Gladwell’s Outliers. There are a few other stories on the subject.
-No birthday start: Jonathan Quick left the ice first. He’s likely to start in net against the Jets.
-The Kings did not hold any line rushes today, so the projected alignment will lean more towards speculation based on yesterday’s groupings than any hard indicators from today. Expect Mike Richards to play; he wasn’t among the players to remain on for extra work. If I were a betting man, I’d count on Jordan Nolan, Andy Andreoff and Jamie McBain serving as today’s scratches, with Richards centering Kyle Clifford and Trevor Lewis. It appeared, based on when players left the ice, that Brayden McNabb will re-enter the lineup in the place of McBain, though there’s still a good chance both will take the ice for warm-ups. McNabb hasn’t played since the shootout loss in Edmonton on December 30; while he may have been dealing with a minor ding or two, I was told that the high stick he took against the Oilers and the subsequent tumble into the boards was “nothing that would keep him out.”
-Robyn Regehr took part in the skate today and remained on for a pretty heavy conditioning session. The defenseman, who hasn’t played since suffering a hand injury in a win over St. Louis on December 18, said he was able to take a couple light wristshots today. This would mark the first time he’s been able to take shots. He won’t play tonight; we’ll get a better sense if he’s on the verge of a return next week.