Kevin Dallman broke his right foot when he was struck by a shot in the second period of Saturday’s game at Nashville. He’s hoping to be back in two weeks. He was walking around in crutches and sandles Wednesday. He needs one more scan before the doctor decides to put him in a cast or a walking boot. The Kings can’t make any roster moves until after the holiday freeze ends tomorrow night at midnight eastern, but someone should be coming up from Manchester after that.
Ivanans said he will take off the mask tonight and is free to fight for the first time since he broke his cheekbone Nov. 2 in San Jose. Coincidentally, the Kings host the Sharks tonight. He said he won’t hesitate to drop his gloves because of the injury.
“It’s been six weeks and it’s healed up nicely, so I should be OK,” Ivanans said.
Dustin Brown is expected to return to the lineup tonight after a two-game absence. He hurt his left shoulder during the Detroit game last Wednesday. Brown said he should be able to play normally with a few limitations.
“I can’t reach out for pucks or to slow someone down,” Brown said.
He isn’t worried about making the injury worse.
“The doctor said the only way I could make it worse would be to fall back on it the same way,” Brown said.
He got out on the ice and tried to give it ago this morning but immediately knew it wasn’t going to happen.
“I tried to shoot the puck and could just tell that I wasn’t going to be able to go as soon as I got out there,” Cammalleri said. “I’m not in much pain. It’s just sore and I couldn’t really do anything I would need to do on the ice.”
The injury is bruised ribs from the altercation in the first period against Nashville. Crawford said the injury was different from LaBarbera’s and didn’t involve any ligament strain. They are hoping to have Cammalleri back for the weekend games.
“I think it’s pretty day to day,” Cammalleri said. “I don’t think it’s going to be a long thing by any means.”
First of all, a Merry Christmas to everyone out there. Hope everyone is enjoying their holiday season, in spite of the dreadful hockey you’ve been subjected to this month. Along those lines, since the Kings have been off for a few days, I’ve had a chance to reflect on how/why this season has started to swirl the drain. Some thoughts, in no particular order…
– Yes, this is a building season for the Kings, part of the “plan.” But even by those standards, it’s a tremendous disappointment. Making the playoffs is the goal every year, but realistically, Kings brass expected this to be at least a .500 team. They’re now 11 games under .500. To break even at this point, the Kings would have to finish 28-17, or some equivalent thereof. Would you bet on that today?
– Should Marc Crawford be fired? That’s a rhetorical question. I think I know what the majority opinion is here. It probably won’t happen — at least for now — but it’s certainly a legitimate topic of discussion. Since this team is underachieving, even by its modest preseason expectations, then the coach should be examined. It’s fair to question whether Crawford is the correct coach for this team. It’s a young team — Dean Lombardi disagrees with that, but it is — and there are some fragile personalities on the team. Is Crawford’s coaching style and demeanor the best fit when it comes to building a young-ish team? That’s an important question.
– There are two glaring numbers: 125 and 77.5. They are, respectively, the number of goals allowed by the Kings and the Kings’ penalty-kill percentage this season. They have allowed the most goals in the NHL and have the second-worst penalty-kill percentage in the league. Injuries in goal have played a part in this, but top to bottom, this team just isn’t tough enough. Not at forward and not on the blue line. Having a relatively small, skillful set of players is nice, but it must lead to a highly prolific offense. The Kings don’t have one. They (usually) have an average offense, and that’s not good enough to make up for defensive shortcomings. Who, on this Kings team — with the exception of Dustin Brown — really scares an opposing forward? Lubomir Visnovsky is a hard worker who cares deeply about winning, but he has been mostly dreadful. This should have been his season to break out, but it’s gone completely the other way.
– The Kings have totaled 13 goals in this seven-game losing streak. Secondary scoring is an issue that has never been resolved, and I still point to Michal Handzus and Ladislav Nagy. During training camp, they were two-thirds of the Kings’ second line. There was a reason for that. Revisionist history aside, they were counted on to be top-six forwards when they were signed. Now, combined, they have 10 goals and 15 assists. Guys like O’Sullivan, Calder and Armstrong shouldn’t have to be top-six forwards on this team, but they often are because Handzus and Nagy haven’t gotten it done. And that falls on Lombardi’s shoulders, along with the mostly underwhelming signings of Brad Stuart and Tom Preissing.
– Is the future bright? It certainly seems so, although the operative word there is “seems. Nobody will know for certain until these guys start playing in the NHL. Jonathan Bernier is the golden child right now, but young goalies are famously unstable. Will Ted Purcells scoring touch translate to the NHL? Its accurate to say that the depth of young talent in the organization is better than it has ever been. Lombardi turned that around very quickly and deserves great praise for it. He works the draft perhaps better than any GM in the NHL. But now, were going to see what his batting average is. How many of these prospects will become bona-fide NHL players? That will be the true litmus test of Lombardis reign.
– I look around the locker room at times and think, who are the leaders? Rob Blake is highly respected, but hes not an emotional, in-your-face captain. Scott Thornton isnt even a full-time player. Visnovsky isnt performing well. Michael Cammalleri has taken major strides in this area, but hes still developing as a leader. Who else is there? When I think of stand-up, were-not-going-to-take-this-crap-anymore guys, Jack Johnson is near the top of the list, and he hasnt even played a full season in the NHL. He’s 20 years old. Lombardi talks about not creating a culture of losing, but in order for this team to make some strides, more guys need to be flat-out angry about losing. Luc Robitaille was like this. Even Sean Avery, for all his faults, hated to lose. He often lashed out in inappropriate ways, but at least he sparked some emotion.
So, there you go. There’s no easy way to turn any of this around. It’s more about attitude than skill, so we’ll see if the Kings come out of this holiday break with any type of new attitude. Once again, Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone, and thanks for the continued interest and support this year.
Seventh consecutive loss. Sully scored his second of the game to get the Kings back within one midway through the period. The Kings had some decent chances after that but couldn’t tie it up. Jason Arnott had a hat trick for Nashville, which broke its own five-game losing streak. Sully now has nine goals, three of which he got on this road trip.