The Kings practiced at 11:00 at Toyota Sports Center, and while I’m tied up with family stuff and travel delays – this is not a good day to be flying from Southern California to Northern California – I spoke with a few people in the media to get a sense of what transpired. It was a full skate. Everyone took part, including Jordan Nolan, who continued to participate in a red no-contact jersey at the end of practice. Jonathan Quick continued his battle to get back in the crease, and Darryl Sutter spoke about the next steps that Quick will eventually undertake. (It’s dealing with traffic, bumps and screens.)
I don’t have line rushes at the moment, but I will update this page if that changes. From a quick glance, one team representative said that he didn’t see any changes to lines or pairings.
UPDATE, 3:15 p.m.: It’s possible that changes could be made to the bottom six. Andy Andreoff a skating as a center during line rushes, for what it’s worth.
Here’s a stick tap for the LA Times’ Kevin Baxter for the audio.
Darryl Sutter, on having a good practice:
We had a good practice the last two days, too. We got better as the game went on last night. There were some mistakes that ended up in our net where normally they don’t.
Sutter, on doing some good things in Thursday’s game:
We were good in the first period, too. There were three or four guys that were a little sloppy, but you’re going to have some guys like that. That’s when you need a big save or just a normal save. There’s no big saves for him – just make a save, and then you come out a period up one, even, that’s what you’re looking for.
Sutter, on whether he saw what he expected with the team coming off its bye week:
You know, we didn’t even look at it as coming off the break. We just looked at it as coming home and trying to [inaudible], and if you look at it, I’ve watched a lot of these games where guys are coming off the break and the goaltenders are not very sharp.
Sutter, on Anze Kopitar referencing “mistakes” behind 18 goals against in the last four games:
It’s goaltending. … Kopi cares about it, right? There are mistakes every shift. There are. Goaltending takes care of all that. Look at those games where they scored five goals. What were the shots against? What we call Grade-As, we’re giving up like friggin’ eight or nine Grade-As a game. It doesn’t bother me. Guys like Kopi are saying it, they friggin’ care. They’re used to winning, they take pride in it. You know what? They friggin’ take pride in winning 3-2, 2-1. They take great pride in that, right? Don’t look back at those other games. I said it – we’re not in Washington’s class in terms of goal scoring, so your goaltending’s got to be as good as theirs. Don’t look at that stuff, that’s [road apples], right? Guys that say that, they care what the outcome is. I think that last night, the friggin’ first goal, the third goal and the fourth goal should just kill you. They should just kill you. It gives them a 1-0 lead, third goal after we’re down 2-1, another [road apples] goal, 3-1, friggin’ [road apples] shorthanded goal, friggin’ four straight. It kills you. It kills your momentum. Give these guys credit, not throw ‘em up. The team’s as good as the goalie behind ‘em, and the goalie’s as good as the team in front of him. We need it every night, not every other night. We need better goaltending to be a better team, very simple. Very clear. Very clear. Everything else is not relevant. Friggin’ we’ve got a bunch of kids on defense and we’re not a high powered team up front, so where’s it coming from? If he’s such an important player – everybody says ‘well, those players have [inaudible] this year – then they should show it.
Sutter, on when the team could expect Jonathan Quick back:
You know what? It’s progress progress. I talk to him every day now because he’s doing more and more and you can see a more game involvement. I think the next part for Jonathan is it’s easy what he wants in terms of the structure and guys shooting at him, things like that or changing angles and all that, the next thing is in traffic because that’s what a game is – traffic, react, seeing and all that stuff. So that’s the next part for him. That’s several practices of that because you don’t get exhibition games. That’s several practices of that, like a day where he would need that, where he just had one net to himself. It’s sort of that whole simulated game thing.
Sutter, on whether video showed anything else in Adrian Kempe’s game:
He’s a skilled, talented kid. He’s got a great skill set. He’s 21. [Reporter: Yeah, and it’s only his first game.] It’s not that. He’s 21. Not too many 21-year-olds that just jump right in and away you go, right? We’ll manage him properly, try and put him in situations to succeed. You know what? On their line, he was good on that line last night. There were players on the ice that couldn’t keep up with him. [Reporter: What’d you think about his play on the defensive side of the puck?] He’s got a lot to learn, he’s 21. [Reporter: I’m not trying to criticize or anything, I’m just wondering what you thought.] No, I know, it’s not about us defensive, it’s about us as checking. The checking part of it. The defensive part is guys stand around and it doesn’t work in this league. When I came in, that was what they did. You stand around and you just play in your own zone. He’s going to be fine. It’s just where he’s at. It’s no different than bringing Tanner and Tyler and those boys up, right? Play ‘em with good players and see how they handle it and get to know other teams’ players, things like that. It’s all part of it. Hey, the biggest thing with Adrian, the coaches really liked him in training camp. That’s what you get. That’s what you’re going to use. You don’t use ‘reports.’ You use live more than that, so that’s in our bank with us, and just take steps with him, show him stuff, work with him.
Practice photos, courtesy of Jon Bradley: