Some notes from today’s practice at Center Ice in Ontario as the Reign returned from their Texas trip and got back to work.
Head coach Mike Stothers brought a little more information to light on veteran Brett Sutter’s upper-body injury on Monday. Sutter, who was scratched on Sunday against San Antonio, is suffering from an infected elbow/bursa.
“He’s on some medication that hopefully will take effect so he doesn’t have any further setbacks to his upper-body injury,” Stothers said. “We’re really, really optimistic that he’ll be able to play in Tucson.”
The Reign play Friday and Saturday in their first contests against the Pacific Division-leading Tucson Roadrunners. If Sutter can’t return his presence will be missed on his usual line with Adrian Kempe and Jonny Brodzinski.
Coincidentally, this is the same ailment former forward Valentin Zykov struggled with last season prior to being traded.
“I don’t know how these things happen,” Stothers said. “They get the best of care and everything else. You’ve got to be careful with that (kind of injury).”
GOALIES, GOALIES, GOALIES
Goalie Jonah Imoo (lower-body) did not practice after suffering an injury on Saturday. As a result of Imoo’s injury, Troy Redmann has been added back to the team on a PTO and practiced alongside Jack Flinn.
“He’s probably going to need a week, that’s a best-case scenario,” Stothers said of Imoo, who will not travel to Tucson.
That leaves – as of today – Jack Flinn and Anders Lindback to be the Reign’s goalies for the weekend. Right?
“I don’t know,” Stothers said. “I take it hour-to-hour here with the goalie situation. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Lindback, who’s with the Kings organization on an AHL PTO, was practicing with the Kings on Monday but is not eligible to play in NHL games. For Flinn, who was recalled last week from ECHL-Manchester, it’s been a bit of a whirlwind experience for him too as he was watching from afar as Jonathan Quick and Jeff Zatkoff both went down.
“I just heard when Zats got hurt and Jack (Campbell) went up I was like, ‘oh, man,’ wonder what’s going to happen, maybe I’ll get called up,” Flinn said.
Flinn appeared in one game for Manchester before being recalled to Ontario. He earned his first AHL win in Saturday’s 4-2 victory over San Antonio, but never did he anticipate being with the Reign so soon.
“I really hand’t thought about it much,” said Flinn when asked if he thought he would be recalled this season. “I would have guessed maybe once, maybe one guy goes down somewhere but certainly not multiple injuries and being here for a weekend of games and now a couple days of practice, at least for now. I didn’t think about it too much, just wanted to be ready if it happened.”
In one of the more lighter practice moments in recent memory, a shot by Adrian Kempe broke the glass behind one of the nets and a smiling, guilty Kempe exited the ice quickly afterwards. This marks the second year in a row the Reign have busted glass at the practice rink, luckily this time around it was after the team had finished post-practice stretches and players were only working on individual skills.