The Kings lace them up to play Minnesota this evening, looking to continue their strong play to begin the season. In preparation for the match, let’s take a look at some of the news and notes from the Kings.
- Drew Doughty skated again today, and looks like he may be able to play in Chicago on Wednesday. This would be a big return for the Kings, as they haven’t looked quite as stable on defense since Doughty left the lineup. It would be silly to claim that the struggles are entirely due to the lack of Doughty, but a Norris-trophy candidate defenseman certainly helps. Rumor has it that he’s struggling from concussion symptoms, which could be lingering and trouble if he experiences another set-back.
- Wayne Simmonds appears to be out of the woods. Simmonds needs to get a handle on himself, and while I don’t think there was much (any?) injury in the Colorado game, he’s got to be aware of the fact that he can quickly get a reputation with referees, and the last thing we need is a penalty magnet. I like you Simmonds, now get back to playing the gritty, hard-nosed play that endeared you to Kings fans everywhere.
- Brad Richardson is going to be rewarded for his strong play in the last game by continuing his presence on the top line. Loktionov actually did a pretty good job, though he seemed to have a hard time finding the back of the net. Richardson has played well this season, and if he’s picking up where he left off last season… let’s just say that would be nice.
- Jonathan Quick has looked a bit shaky the last couple games. He’s given up 4 goals in each of his last starts, and he’ll need to rebound when he gets his next start tonight against the Wild. For the most part, the goals haven’t been crazy bad goals, but the Kings need him to step up his game and stop some of the shots that he shouldn’t be expected to stop. Get back to the strong play of the first few games and we’re all good.
- Eric Ersberg has left the building. As we’ve profiled earlier, Ersberg has departed from these shores to try his hand in Europe. With any luck he’ll catch on with a team in the KHL and have a relatively successful season. I’ve always liked Ersberg, even if he never really lived up to the potential he had when he joined the team.
- Brayden Schenn has played six games so far this season, and after he plays his ninth game the Kings will have to decide if they want to keep him up with Los Angeles, or send him back to juniors. Frankly I see him sticking around to find his game. There’s nothing left for him to prove in juniors and he can only develop playing at the NHL level. If he could spend time in the AHL that might be best for him, but he can’t. It’s NHL or bust for Schenn.
Did I miss anything? What other big news is there for Kings fans out there? Thoughts on any of these points?