Kings defenseman Drew Doughty spoke at some length Thursday about helping to ease Brayden McNabb’s burden during his debut with the team in Wednesday’s loss to the San Jose Sharks. Doughty and McNabb formed a defense pair with Doughty’s regular partner, Jake Muzzin, sidelined by an injury. Muzzin could be sidelined a while longer after suffering what he said was a “freak accident” earlier this week.
“He’s got all us veteran guys who are trying to help him as much as we can,” Doughty said. “(Assistant) John Stevens is a great coach. He teaches you a lot of little things you wouldn’t know coming up from the AHL or showing him whatever it might be. Brayden has a huge upside. I could see him continuing to get better as the season progresses. Like I said, I’m going to try to take him under my wing and do everything I can help him and get him into the lineup permanently. I like being in that spot. I’ve got to make a move. I’m not the kid anymore. I’ve got to do some things differently.”
For the record, Doughty is 24 and McNabb is 23.
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty skated with his teammates Saturday and then offered this update on his recovery from a unspecified upper-body injury that kept him off the ice for about a week, including the first few days of training camp:
“Everything’s well. Everything’s good. No problems. Good to go whenever. I’m sure it’s going to be soon. I don’t know exactly (when). I haven’t really talked to anybody about it. I’m sure if I’m not in on Sunday (against the Ducks at the Honda Center) then hopefully I’ll be in on Tuesday (against the Sharks in San Jose).
“It (sitting out) is not that bad. It was frustrating when I wasn’t skating and all the guys are skating in camp and I wasn’t able to partake in that. That’s when it was really bothering me. Missing exhibitions games, as much as I’d like to get in a few to kind of get in my groove again, as long as I get two or three then I’ll be fine. I’m not too worried about it. (The layoff was) maybe, like, a week. Something like that.
“Good to go. Good to play. I think it’s just safe and making sure I’m perfectly ready to go when the time comes.”
There is no timetable for Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick’s exhibition debut, at least not one for public consumption. Quick, coach Darryl Sutter and the team’s medical staff will determine when Quick’s surgically-repaired wrist is sound enough for him to play.
“We’ve got a lot of minds put together trying to figure it out,” Quick said. “We’ll figure it out. We’ve got a little time. Obviously, it’s going to happen in a hurry. I’ll come in and keep working every day and keep getting better like I have been and, hopefully, I can get a couple of games in.”
Quick played only 49 games last season because of a nagging groin injury, well down from a career-high of 72 set during the 2009-10 season. He said he hadn’t thought much about decreasing his workload for the coming season, leaving the decisions up to the coaching staff.
“You love playing games, so you never voluntarily ask for games off,” Quick said. “I think the coaching staff has a good feel for goaltenders and the team and what’s best for them. They run the ship and we just go to work. That’s it.
“They tell me to take a day off, I take a day off. They tell me I’m going, I’m going. You want to be involved. You want to be a part of it. You work so hard all summer to play in those games, you want to try to get in there and be a difference-maker for the team.
“So, you want to be a part of it, obviously. I don’t have a number in my head that I want or anything like that.”
Here’s what Kings forward Jarret Stoll had to say about the raising of the club’s first championship banner before the 2012-13 season and what it will be like when the second up goes up on Oct. 8: “We’re going to enjoy that for five minutes and then it’s a new season and we’ll drop the puck. It was really cool to just all be standing in a corner as a group, as a team that went through it all just to see it going up and see all the flashes in the crowd. The first banner in the history of the organization, in the city. It was was special.” Continue reading
Here’s the second part of a group question-and-answer session with Kings goalie coach Bill Ranford:
Question: How’s he (Martin Jones) doing it? Who is this guy and how’s he doing it?
Ranford: “It’s simple. He put the work in. It’s all on him. There’s things over the last couple of years of his development that we’ve asked him to do to get him ready to step into the NHL, and he’s done that. He’s the type of kid I think from the very first day he’s stepped into this building, there was a professionalism about him, the way he approaches his position and his work-ethic and how he’s grown as a goalie down in Manchester and that’s really what it’s all about, developing and putting the work in. That’s on him.”
From the now it can be told dept: defenseman Drew Doughty said he lobbied Kings coach Darryl Sutter to join a shootout, but his plea fell on deaf ears until Tuesday. Sutter finally gave Doughty a chance as the fifth shooter in an nine-round shootout decided by the Kings’ Dwight King. Doughty’s try was saved by the Ducks’ Jonas Hiller, but he was happy with his effort.
Here’s what 22-year-old rookie Tyler Toffoli had to say after scoring two goals and adding an assist in the KIngs’ 5-1 victory Saturday over the Vancouver Canucks:
“It was good. We wanted to have a really solid game. Tonight was was good night. I tried to get open and tried to rip it and (Mike Richards) made two unbelievable passes to me tonight. I think it’s the same as last time (after being called up last season). I’m trying to earn my spot on the team. I’m trying to stay in the lineup. We’ll see how things go. It sucks (being one of the last cuts coming out of training camp). You don’t want to be playing in the American Hockey League. You want to be playing in the NHL. I went down there and it took a little time to adjust to hockey again, I guess. I just started heating up again.”
Here’s what 22-year-old rookie forward Linden Vey had to say after setting up Jordan Nolan for the Kings’ first goal of the game, and his first NHL point, Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks:
“After every shift and every game I feel a lot better. it’s good to get the win, especially with the rivalry between the two teams the last couple of years. It was an intense game and it’s good to come out with the win. You can just feel the intensity in the arena, the atmosphere and the fans were great tonight. It was good to get the win and it’s kind of a little bit of a coincidence, two games under your belt and two wins. So, it’s good to start off well like that.”
The Kings’ future was on display Thursday.