Who is the: Los Angeles Kings (1-1-1) – Anaheim Ducks (3-1-0)
what or what: NHL PRESEASON GAME
when: Sunday October 2 @ 6:00 pm Pacific Ocean
where: Crypto.com Arena – Los Angeles, California
How to proceed: Video: Bali Sports West – My voice – i heart radio – Twitter: Tweet embed & Tweet embed
Tonight’s match: The Kings are back for their fourth game in the 2022 pre-season, hosting the Anaheim Ducks tonight at the Crypto.com Arena.
face to face: The showdown between the Kings and the Ducks in the home and home group during pre-season 2021, with each team winning on the ice. Arthur Kaliev scored four points (3-1-4) from those two games last season, while Gabi Velardi scored twice and Sean Walker made assists, all three players are expected to play this evening.
Kings of Vitals: Below is the streak rushes this morning –
Kevin Fiala – Anzi Kopetar – Adrien Quimby
Alex Yavalo – TJ Tynan – Arthur Kaliev
Gabi Velardi – Rasmus Kopari – Samuel Fajimo
Brendan Lemieux – Blake Liszot – Garrett Anderson – Dolan
Mickey Anderson – Drew Dottie
Shawn Walker – Jordan Spence
Alex Adler – Brandt Clark
The expectation for tonight’s match is for the Kings to converge with a normal group of skaters, but not quite the full group at this time. Being on the ice at home is the first opportunity to play without travel and historically, Veterans play home games during pre-season. We haven’t yet seen the Kopitar and Danault streaks play on the same night but we should expect that later this week.
Goalkeeper Matthew Vilalta cut the distance in the 3-1 defeat to San Jose on Wednesday, the first time we’ve seen a goalkeeper do this for a full 60 minutes. Tonight we expect to see Jonathan Quick net the Kings, with the goal of playing the full 60 minutes. A quick appearance in pre-season game so far, he looked strong playing just over half a game in San Jose last Sunday.
“The plan is to play Quickie, he’s going to start the day and play a full game with him,” Todd McClellan said this morning. “If he doesn’t make it through the night, something goes wrong somewhere, but the plan is that.”
Other players on the list today include Brandt Clark, who will play in his fourth pre-season game out of four potential matches, as well as Shawn Walker, who is set to make his pre-season debut. More on the latter below.
The full set is coming
While we won’t be taking a look at everyone tonight, we’ll see something more like the expected opening night lineup this evening at the Crypto.com Arena.
The Kings appear set to decorate their top streak from Anze Kopitar, Kevin Fiala and Adrian Kempe, along with defensive duo Drew Doughty and Mikey Anderson, marking the first time Kopitar and Doughty have played together in a pre-season. The bulk of the predicted lower six, along with a host of aspiring candidates on the roster, are also expected to wear the bulk of the predicted bottom six, along with at least four of the expected defenders in the first game. We won’t be playing tonight, there is an older group and a more experienced group set to take the ice this evening in LA.
“The common theme in the league is that you wear more veterans at home, and you don’t have to travel with them wherever you go,” McClellan said. “They play big, big minutes during the year, so travel commutation, I think you see. The trend is that the home team in points has a stronger squad, or a more experienced squad, because that’s where you want to play those individuals, while the home team tends The way to be younger, or players who won’t play as much during the year. I think that’s a trend around the league and that’s what we’re seeing again this year.”
The Kings have four pre-season competitions left including tonight. This will be their second pre-season game for these first-line players, with the expectation that they will skate in 3-4 games in total during the show season. When speaking with men like Danault and Doughty, they both saw themselves in this range. McClellan agreed with that number for a good portion of the veterans, too.
That makes tonight a fun game, because in McClellan’s words, it’s an opportunity to take stock of some of the unknowns that this team still has. The Kings have plenty to know about, and these players will have what they need and get ready for the regular season. It’s also not a complete picture yet, with winning spots on the list, and playing battles. This game may focus more on the latter, the incomplete picture, but make no mistake that in the upcoming game, we’ll likely see a whole group together, in their anticipated roles.
“We have four players left and we play every two nights, we’re still trying to assess some question marks and they need to keep playing, but now we have to make sure the team is working,” McClellan said. “By the end of bootcamp, the veterans should all be three or four games for sure. Maybe not quite today, but going forward you want to see all your units together at one point, pairs playing with each other on penalty kicks, I think that’s Important. We still have a day or two here to evaluate and try to give someone a chance. Every player has a lifeline and some players are stretched there, others squeezed in on them. This is the week.”
For the streak of Rasmus Kupari, Gabi Velardi and Samuel Fajimo, it’s an opportunity. Same goes for Garrett Anderson-Dolan and TJ Tainan, who are full of others, and still see themselves in the slate bubble discussion. Also in this boat on the aft deck are Jordan Spence and Brandt Clark, who will be wearing alongside one of tonight’s veterans. Lots to look for tonight at the Crypto.com Arena.
Back to back
It’s a great day for Shawn Walker.
For most people, it’s just another pre-season game, but for Walker, tonight is going to be a little different. Walker is expected to play his first game of any kind since he suffered a series of knee injuries in October 2021. His ACL and MCL injuries cost him the entire 2021-22 season after his first six games and he did not appear. In the first three games of the exhibition season.
That disqualification ends tonight, as Walker is set to return to the squad for the first time. He admitted he got up early in the day, but that’s to be expected for a player coming back. His energy and excitement this morning was noticeable, as he prepares to enter the fight again.
“Very excited, there will probably be a lot of tension in the first game, although it is occasional, but it will be exciting and nerve-wracking,” he said this morning. “I’m just trying to get out and play my game.”
Some highlights of Walker’s interview this morning below, as he prepares to return to work.
Walker will inform him about the in-game event that he will return to play the game
I think it’s going to be kind of a first of everything, the first three on two, the first fight along the boards, the first o-zone turn, the first shot at the net. I think there will be a lot of stuff, just check all the boxes and make sure everything is ok. So I’m definitely excited, I just want to go out there, not think about it too much and just play.
Regarding things you can only get by setting up the game, rather than practicing or melee
Yeah, we have a great group of guys and I think everyone kind of knows where I’m coming from. There were definitely some plays that were tough and some guys gave me some good bumps, but you know nothing that really reproduces when you’re playing against another team. It will be a good test and I am excited about it.
If he had welcomed some communication almost upon his return
Yeah, get that connection, I think that was a big thing. You know, I’ve done all the checklists and skateboarding, positioning, whatever, but body contact is probably the main thing. It’s going to be a good test and like I said, I’m excited about it.
About the biggest challenges in 12 months away from the excitement of the game
The biggest challenge was not playing. A lot of people talk about the mental side of it, the physical side of it and fortunately, I didn’t have much of a struggle with it. I was able to come here and do rehab every day, be with the guys every day and the team was great at helping me with anything I needed, getting me tickets for concerts, anything that could keep me busy. So, as hard as this year has been and been awful because I wanted to be a part of it, I was able to do some things that you can’t do when you’re playing a season. It was really tough and everything but I made the most of it and am ready to come back.
Todd McClellan’s full availability is shown below, including thoughts on what he’s looking for from younger players like Quenton Byfield and Brandt Clark through the remainder of the camp to earn themselves either a bigger role or a more established role on the roster.
Kings and ducks, tonight at six in the evening….. and televised! see you soon!