December 26 postgame quotes: Mike Stothers - LA Kings Insider

On shaking off rust after a week off:
Oh, jeez. I mean, what do you expect after seven days off, right? It’s really hard to come back as a player. You’ve had that amount of time off and you lose your routine, you lose your rhythm. Now you’re expected to pick up at full pace. We overskated some pucks, we mishandled some pucks, some errant passes. But you know what? I thought we stuck with it pretty well, and I thought as the game went on, the third period was a good indication of we were starting to get better. Having said that, I think tomorrow (at San Diego) is actually going to be the harder game to play out of the two, because now you’re actually going to have fatigue set in, and probably some stiffness and some soreness. So, wait and see then. Getting the two points is good way to start.

On a penalty-free game:
Well, you know what? I can take that refereeing. Like, I love it. You know what? He saw two teams that had had a break, so there was the odd hook, but he let it go. He let them work through it, and you know what? I am not afraid to show my displeasure towards the officiating, and I’m not afraid to say when I thought he did a great job. He could’ve called penalties on both sides, and he let the teams play. Nothing got out of hand, the game was good, it was entertaining, nothing was determined by the referee’s call, so I think it was a good thing. Having said that, probably tomorrow there’ll be 32 penalties a side, so who knows.

On what Adrian Kempe was doing well in the win:
Well, he was skating and he had the puck. A lot of times, Kemps, he gets it, he moves it right away. Like, that’s a guy we want to have with the puck. We want him to have possession, we want him coming through the neutral zone with speed, and I think we saw that today. He was following through the middle of the ice as opposed to getting pushed to the perimeter. It makes a big difference, and that’s what he’s capable of doing. You’ve got a line that contains him and Backs alone, like, there’s two quick, speedy guys, so why not utilize it? Push your opposition back. I’m happy for him. It’s been a bit of a struggle, it hasn’t gone the way everybody’s mapped it out. Like, everybody envisioned coming into training camp and into the early part of the season. You know what? Sometimes that’s good for a young player, and you’ve got to realize how hard it is to play at this level, and then beyond. So it was a good start for him.

Kevin Gravel

#4 | 6′ 4″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: DOB: 2/17/1996
Birthplace: KINGSFORD, MI
Position: D


Gravel made his NHL debut with Los Angeles in the 2015-16 season, skating with the Kings for four games before returning to AHL affiliate Ontario.

Rob Scuderi

#0 | 6′ 1″ | 212 lb | Age: 37

Born: DOB: 12/30/1978
Birthplace: SYOSSET, NY
Position: D
Handedness: Left


Scuderi is currently playing for the Reign while under contract with the LA Kings. He has won two Stanley Cups, once with the Pittsburgh Penguins and with the Kings.

Michael Mersch

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 225 lb | Age: 24

Born: DOB: 10/2/1992
Birthplace: PARK RIDGE, IL
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Drafted by the Kings in 2011, Mersch is currently playing forward for the Reign. Last season, he drew into his first NHL game for the Kings, where he registered 2 shots and 3 hits.

Michael Latta

#24 | 6′ 0″ | 207 lb | Age: 25

Born: 5/25/1991
Birthplace: KITCHENER, ON
Position: F
Handedness: Right


Prior to turning professional, Latta played major junior hockey in the OHL with the Ottawa 67’s and Guelph Storm. He was drafted into the NHL in 2009 and joined the King’s affiliate Reign in 2016.

Adrian Kempe

#09 | 6′ 1″ | 187 lb | Age: 20

Born: 9/13/1996
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Growing up in Swedan, Kempe made his hockey debut in 2014 in the Swedish Hockey League. He has since been drafted by the Kings, where he is playing for their AHL affiliate team, the Ontario Reign.

Brett Sutter

#07 | 6′ 0″ | 192 lb | Age: 29

Born: 6/2/1987
Birthplace: CALGARY, AB
Position: C


Drafted in 2005 by the Calgary Flames, Sutter was traded to the Reign in 2016. He is the son of LA Kings head couch Darryl Sutter, and the eighth member of the Sutter family to play in the NHL.