Here’s some stuff from this morning’s skate, in advance of tonight’s game against the Rangers…
First, a comment…after hearing about the Lakers’ “Lights Out” plans, in which they will dim the lights over the seating area and increase the lights on the court, I’d love to see the Kings do this. I haven’t seen it yet — I will tomorrow — but it reminds me of how they used to dim the lights at the Forum for the start of play. I think, from a fan’s perspective, it puts more of the focus on the court/ice and less on the atmosphere of the building.
From the skate…
No real news on the ice, other than that Alyn McCauley, who hasn’t played a game this season, skated with the team for a second consecutive day. It’s not certain when he might play, but he’s getting close.
Marc Crawford was asked…and then re-asked…about his upcoming plans for the goaltenders but didn’t give up much information. Dan Cloutier and Mathieu Garon have split time almost equally over the last two weeks (Cloutier with five games, Garon with four) but Crawford previously explained that as being a product of the compacted October schedule. Now that the schedule lightens up a bit, it will be interesting to see who Crawford relies on more. From Crawford: “They both had their moments. We have to get more scoring to allow them to be comfortable, but at the same time if we don’t get scoring they have to play (better) games.”
Asked to identify some positives, with his team stuck in a five-game losing streak, Crawford pointed to the team’s high number of scoring chances and low number of penalties taken. Crawford knows what wins games though, and jokingly said, “There are two areas of concern: scoring and keeping the puck out of the net. If we solve those two things, we’ll be OK.”
Anze Kopitar, who leads the Kings with 12 points, didn’t have a super road trip. He had zero goals and one assist in four games and didn’t record a shot on goal in Friday’s 2-0 loss to Columbus. But remember, Kopitar is only 19 and that was his first taste of NHL life on the road. When asked, in general, what has been his biggest challenge so far, Kopitar mentioned the road trip, the travel and the changing of time zones. But Kopitar had an excellent scoring chance against Columbus, when the puck rolled off his stick in front of an empty net, and Crawford said he hasn’t seen any dip in Kopitar’s play. “I don’t think there have been any rookie ups and downs,” Crawford said. “He’s been pretty special.”