The Kings re-assigned defenseman Jeff Schultz to their American Hockey League affiliate at Manchester, N.H. Schultz did not play with the Kings, who recalled him last week. He has played in 23 games for the Monarchs this season, scoring two points (one goal, one assist). The move clears the way for Matt Greene’s return from injured reserve. Greene has been sidelined by an upper-body injury.
Drew Doughty and Jake Muzzin seem like a defense pairing built to last, a union of two offensive threats. Or is it?
“Evaluate it every game,” coach Darryl Sutter said Friday, the day before the Kings played host to the New York Islanders at Staples Center. “Quite honest, when we went into Anaheim the other day, the last time Jake played in Anaheim, he was (poor), so don’t think I didn’t talk to him about it. Because you’re evaluated at the end of every game. Because at the end of the day … we’re not that far from Jake Muzzin being a healthy scratch. Not that far removed. He’s a young guy and we’re looking for consistency.”
Jonathan Quick walked past Kings coach Darryl Sutter and a group of reporters Friday. Quick nodding at Sutter as he left the Kings’ training facility. He was bundled up against the 55-degree weather in El Segundo, with a jacket and a ballcap. There was no sign of a limp as the walked past.
“There’s no timetable,” Sutter said of Quick’s possible return from a groin strain that’s sidelined him for 11 consecutive games.
The original estimate was Quick would be sidelined from six to eight weeks, which would mean he could be back by Christmas at the earliest.
Goaltender Martin Jones’ memorable debut in Tuesday’s 3-2 shootout victory over the Ducks wasn’t surprising to Kings coach Darryl Sutter. After all, it wasn’t as if Jones was new to the rigorous of life for an NHL goalie. Until making his debut Tuesday, he had done everything but play in a league game.
Finally, he got his chance and made the most of it.
“Last two years was important because you get to watch,” Sutter said Friday, referring to the fact that Jones joined the Kings as part of their expanded roster during the Stanley Cup playoffs the last two seasons. “You watch, and young guys understand what game days are like. That’s good for them.”
Sutter revealed the reason he started Jones against the Ducks was he didn’t like some habits that slipped into the game of Ben Scrivens, who inherited the starting position after No. 1 goalie Jonathan Quick suffered a groin strain Nov. 12.
“Just little things,” Sutter said. “You can’t do it at this level. You’re going to get scored on. We did a lot of work with Ben at training camp to get him into our program. There’s a reason why we don’t give up a lot of shots. There’s a reason we don’t give up a lot of goals around our net. … A big reason is the goaltender. If he’s getting away from that, he’s not going to play.”
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.
Veteran defenseman Matt Greene participated in Thursday’s non-contact practice, but there’s still no timetable for his return to the Kings’ lineup from an upper-body injury. He remains on the injured-reserve list and it certainly seemed unlikely he could play in Saturday’s game against the New York Islanders.
“Feel good. I feel good now,” Greene said. “You can’t replicate skating. The first couple of days are always tough. It’s good though. Coaches get out there and pound you for the first couple of days. It’s no fun, but it’s good. I think I’m getting closer (but) I don’t think you can put a date on it yet.
“But I think I’m getting closer. I’m getting more comfortable.”
Greene sat out all but five regular-season games last season after undergoing back surgery. This latest injury is unrelated to his back troubles.
Martin Jones went back to work Thursday morning in El Segundo, which was to say, he stayed on the ice longer than most of his Kings teammates. In other words, he resumed his duties as the Kings’ fill-in backup goaltender a little less than 48 hours after an unforgettable NHL debut.
Our friends at Fox Sports West have put together a package of several of the greatest games between the Kings and the Ducks, leading up to the Jan. 25 game between the rivals at Dodger Stadium. The first one aired last night and featured the teams wearing their pajamas. Missed it? The third-jersey madness from Jan. 27, 1996 will re-air on Christmas Eve at 3 p.m. Here are the other games:
To be shown Dec. 12
5 p.m. From Jan. 30, 2006, Teemu Selanne scores his 1,00th point.
7 p.m. From Oct. 6, 2006, Anze Kopitar scores his first NHL goal.
9 p.m. From Dec. 2, 1993, the first game between the teams (re-airs Jan. 24, 7:30 p.m.
To be shown Jan. 22
7:30 p.m. From Jan. 22, 2003, Paul Kariya rallies the Ducks with two goals, two assists.
The Kings assigned forward Tanner Pearson to their American Hockey League affiliate at Manchester, N.H., on Tuesday and recalled defenseman Jeff Schultz. Pearson played in six games with the Kings and had one goal after playing 15 games for Manchester and recording 11 points (seven goals, four assists). Schultz had two points, including one goal, in 23 games for Manchester.