Monday’s practice report …
Anze Kopitar said Monday he would play in the Kings’ game Tuesday against the Colorado Avalanche in Denver. He sat out Saturday’s season-opening 5-2 loss Saturday to the Chicago Blackhawks because of a sprained right knee suffered while playing in Sweden during the lockout.
After participating in the pregame Stanley Cup championship banner and ring ceremony on the ice Saturday, Kopitar retreated to the dressing room and pealed off his uniform. He watched from the quiet of the room, and he didn’t like what he saw from the offensively-challenged Kings.
“It was hard to skate off the ice,” Kopitar said. “I was actually joking around with my trainer, if I just stay off on the bench they’re not going to drag me off the ice. But it was a smart decision and I’ll be ready to go (Tuesday against the Avalanche.)”
It remains to be seen how much the veteran center can aid the Kings’ offense. Darryl Sutter wasn’t happy about the play of his top lines immediately after Saturday’s game, and he wasn’t in a mood to forgive and forget after Monday’s practice in El Segundo.
“Hopefully, our first and second lines give us some quality minutes instead of just playing them,” the Kings’ coach said after a 75-minute workout Monday. “It was basically just wasting time the other night.”
Sutter was not finished in his scathing review of the defending champions’ play.
“We had a lot of guys that struggled,” he added. “I have heard all this stuff about bringing your own team back and all that sexy rah-rah. … The problem is that we’re not the same team. We’re a different team. Goaltenders are probably the most important guys that haven’t played for a long time. That’s interesting thing. We need Jonathan (Quick) to move on in a hurry, that’s for sure.”
Quick, the MVP of the playoffs last spring, gave up five goals on 22 shots by Chicago.