Good Afternoon, Insiders!
After a couple of off days, and a practice yesterday, the Reign were back on the ice earlier today, the final practice before hosting the Gulls tomorrow, with the following alignment –
Kempe – Kupari – Rempal
Bouma – Anderson-Dolan – Eyssimont
Sutter – Vilardi – Sodergran
Imama – Rymsha – Doty – Bergh
Anderson – Durzi
Clague – Strand
Bjornfot – LaDue
Stanton – Reddekopp
Petersen / Kehler
On Vilardi, he skated in full in practice for the second straight day between Sodergran and Sutter. All good signs, though he still has not been officially assigned to the Reign roster, with a home-and-home against San Diego beginning in the Inland Empire looming this weekend.
A new face in that group – Forward Mason Bergh. Bergh was recalled by Ontario from Fort Wayne this morning and joined the Reign on the ice at TSPC and brings some much needed depth up front with recent recalls of Matt Luff, Carl Grundstrom and Nikolai Prokhorkin to the NHL. Bergh was an offensive force with the Komets, as he collected seven goals and 12 points from 12 games played and comes down with good reviews from his time in Fort Wayne. The rookie forward was the ECHL’s Rookie of the Month for the month of October, as he collected a point in each game he played (8 points from 6 games in total). The Colorado College product, who tallied his first professional goal in March of last season with Ontario, also had his first career professional fight with Fort Wayne. Hear from the newest Reign forward below.
Insert Luff Pun Here
Kings Head Coach Todd McLellan had good things to say about Luff, the only man whose name seems to spawn puns throughout Kings media, as he spoke to media yesterday in El Segundo. Luff was recalled on Tuesday morning and immediately inserted into the LA lineup later that night, as he skated 9:16 on the right of Kyle Clifford and Nikolai Prokhorkin.
“I thought we saw a much better Matt Luff [on Tuesday] than we did for about a two and a half week period during training camp<” McLellan said yesterday. “I’m not sure if it was his approach, or if he just feels more comfortable with his game right now, but he had an impact on the game, both physically and positionally. He was involved in a few scoring chances, I know that he’s got a very good shot, I’ve been told that, just couldn’t get one off on his best chance. It was nice to see him come up and have a positive impact.”
for the most part, players that come up from the AHL to the NHL come up as scorers, as Luff does. Luff collected 10 points (3-7-10) from 13 games played with Ontario, and was one of the Reign’s top scoring threats on a nightly basis. Enter him into the NHL lineup, however, and he’s in a different role playing lesser minutes and in less situations. Luff drew a key penalty late in the third period, as LA nursed a one-goal lead, and he contributed in ways outside of the scoresheet in his season debut with the Kings.
“Somebody asked me yesterday if it’s hard to come up when you think you’re a scorer, and it is, that’s how you got here. It’s the NHL and it’s pretty hard to score goals, and if you’re only evaluating yourself on that or you’re cheating to do it – and I’m not insinuating Luffer was that individual – but it does happen and you usually end up on the short end of the stick. Last night, he contributed in a lot of real good ways.”
Reign Night…..Kings Night….We Are All Kings
Get ready for some criss-cross language. Tonight is Ontario Reign Night at the LA Kings, followed by LA Kings Night at the Ontario Reign tomorrow evening.
Tonight, the Reign will be represented by Mikey Eyssimont, Drake Rymsha and Sean Durzi at STAPLES Center, who will be a part of in-game festivities before and during the game. Reign Head Coach Mike Stothers will be in attendance as well, as a part of the Fox Sports West television broadcast pre-game and during the first intermission into the second period.
Tomorrow evening, the Reign host the San Diego Gulls on LA Kings Night in Ontario – It’s a specialty jersey night, as the Reign will wear the Gretzky-era Kings white and black jerseys, with a throwback look on the typical Reign crest.
I chatted with Luc Robitaille on the significance and history behind those jerseys, worn by the Kings, with alterations, from 1988 – 1998.
— Ontario Reign (@ontarioreign) November 14, 2019
Daryl Evans and Francisco Rivera will be on hand in Ontario on Friday, with Daryl signing autographs for fans pre-game and during the first intermission, and Francisco joining the Reign as a part of in-game activities.
It’s a Reigny Day in Ontario
Cal Petersen joined Cameron Close and myself on Episode 2 of the Reigny Day Podcast. Did you know that Notre Dame hockey flies charter? Neither did we…..we talked with Petersen on growing up in Iowa, playing at Notre Dame, his decision to sign with the Kings out of college and more. Really great interview, which we conducted with Cal in his home state.
And, if rankings are important to you, the Reigny Day Podcast was trending 8th highest amongst all hockey podcasts in the United States via Apple Podcasts (as of this article, per Chartable).