September 27 morning skate notes - LA Kings Insider

Good morning from Denver, where the Kings have returned to the hotel on a warm morning after an early skate at the Pepsi Center.

If you’ve never been to the home of the Colorado Avalanche, be awed by Mt. Loud, The Peak of Noise:


The Kings held an optional morning skate, and several players who didn’t participate are expected to be in the lineup. Los Angeles should ice its fair share of regulars; Colorado still has 40 players on its roster and has played only two preseason games, so there are still several guys eligible to play tonight who you probably won’t see make the club out of camp. Back to the Kings.

The line rushes shown this morning are below. Again, note it was an optional skate, and several players who took the ice this morning won’t play tonight.



Even though your original thought is most likely “There’s JR again, proofreading poorly and listing the same player twice in line rushes,” Kyle Clifford did, in fact, skate with two different lines. He’s likely out tonight. I’m also expecting Trevor Lewis, Jordan Weal and Brian O’Neill to sit this game out, too. I’m banking on Jeff Carter centering Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli, Milan Lucic skating with Anze Kopitar and Marian Gaborik, and Jake Muzzin skating with Drew Doughty. This would mean that Matt Greene and Jordan Nolan are almost certainly in tonight; both players indicated that they were likely to go, and I’ll have a story up on Greene shortly. Because J.F. Berube and Jhonas Enroth remained on the ice for extra work, expect Jonathan Quick and Peter Budaj to serve as tonight’s goalies. As often noted, it’s difficult to project lineups after optional morning skates, and with quite a few extra bodies on the trip during the preseason, there could be a few alterations to what I’ve projected.

The Avs recently returned from several days of team bonding in Vail, which doesn’t sound too awful. Here’s what Darryl Sutter thinks of team bonding.


The club returns to action after two days spent in Vail, Colorado. The brainchild of captain Gabriel Landeskog, the team went to work together off the ice, focusing on team bonding and familiarization before the season gets underway on Oct. 8 in Denver.

“It was great. It was a great idea by Landy to do that,” said Avs head coach Patrick Roy. “I thought our guys did a really good job. They were involved. They wanted to be part of those drills we did up on the mountain. It was great.”

From zip lining to constructing a cart from parts to an intricate ropes course, the Avalanche ran through a series of challenges while paired in groups that also featured a member of the Army Special Forces from nearby Fort Carson. Competing against each other not only for bragging rights, but also for the grand prize of a “get out of mountains” free card—fashioned in the style of a coveted Community Chest card from the board game Monopoly—the players pushed themselves beyond their comfort zone to earn points while working in small teams.

Too bad Blue Sky Basin and the back bowls are still several months away from opening.

Courtesy of the game notes, expect this group of players to suit up for the home team:


Travel to Denver was a breeze; here’s the hyperlapse take-off video from LAX:

The first of many. Off to Denver! #roadie

A video posted by Jon Rosen (@rambleonrosen) on

During our approach into DEN/DIA, we were treated to a magnificent sunset over the Rockies.


Tonight’s game is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. L.A. time. There will be a live blog and a radio broadcast, but no television. Enjoy your Sunday, Insiders.

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.