Kings defenseman Alec Martinez had finger surgery Friday.
If it’s not one thing, it’s another for the Kings. Just when it seemed their defense crops might be back to something close to full strength again, they lost another valuable member when Alec Martinez underwent finger surgery Friday morning.
Kings general manager Dean Lombardi informed the club’s website of Martinez’s surgery, but did not provide further details. It wasn’t immediately certain how long the Stanley Cup playoffs hero would be sidelined, or precisely what was done during the procedure.
Martinez, who scored the series-winning goals in Game 7 of the Western Conference final against the Chicago Blackhawks and Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final against the New York Rangers, was injured while blocking a shot in the second period of Thursday’s loss to the Dallas Stars.
His absence means the Kings are down to only six healthy and eligible defenseman again, with Robyn Regehr poised to return to the lineup for today’s game against the Ducks after sitting out three contests because of a lower-body injury.
Slava Voynov continues to serve an indefinite suspension imposed by the NHL after his arrest last month on domestic violence charges after an incident at his Redondo Beach home. The Kings placed him on non-roster status earlier in the week in order to sign free agent Jamie McBain.
Jeff Carter scored three goals and Robyn Regehr struck once for the Kings in a 4-2 victory Sunday over the Ducks at the Honda Center. Carter’s goals sort of figured since he’s capable of such outbursts, but Regehr’s pinball shot in the first period didn’t. Regehr is what’s known as a defensive-minded defenseman. His offensive contributions are few and far between. They are not to be overlooked, however. Here are three things about the Kings’ second consecutive victory over their Southland rivals:
Rangers Marc Stall is checked into the boards by Kings Jeff Carter in the 3rd period of a Stanley Cup Final game. Carter had a hat trick in the Kings exhibition game Sunday. (Photo by John McCoy / Los Angeles Daily News)
First, Carter spoke after the game, a rarity. Here’s some of what he said when asked about his first three goals of the preseason: “You go to the net and good things are going to happen. Pucks drop down at your feet. It’s nothing different than what we usually do. Guys win battles and put pucks to the net. You get rewarded.”
Here’s what he said about linemates Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli: “They’ve both played great for us. They worked hard this summer to make sure they were ready to roll this year. It’s a lot of fun. It doesn’t matter how young they are or who they are or where they come from if they’re good enough to play in the league, and they’ve shown it. They weren’t given anything. They’ve earned it. They spent a lot of time in the minors.”
Second, Martin Jones looked sharp in goal again, stopping 33 shots. He looked poised and ready to play if needed if starter Jonathan Quick isn’t judged sound enough to start the regular season Oct. 8. Quick had offseason wrist surgery June 24 and hasn’t played in an exhibition game yet. He has been practicing with his teammates, however.
Third, the Kings know how to sit on a lead. They were outshot 18-7 in the third period, but neither their defense nor their goaltending cracked in crunch time. The Kings blanked the Ducks in the final period despite having to kill off a two-man disadvantage. They led 3-2 going into the third and finished up with a comprehensive 4-2 victory.
Kings coach Darryl Sutter on Monday didn’t repeat his pre-Game 2 expectation that defenseman Robyn Regehr would play for the first time since suffering a knee injury in Game 1 of the second-round series against the Ducks. Instead, Sutter had this to say when asked before Game 3 if he considered moving Regehr into the lineup, with the expectation that Matt Greene would be scratched:
“We’ll just do it as games go along, warmups go along, how guys feel.”
Kings coach Darryl Sutter went with the status quo for Game 2 after saying one day earlier that defenseman Robyn Regehr “probably” would play for the first time since suffering a knee injury in Game 1 of the second round series against the Ducks.
Sutter stayed with Matt Greene on Saturday, keeping Regehr out of the lineup for the 15th consecutive game. Sutter said it was a difficult to put Regehr back into such high-level competition after a layoff that reached five weeks Saturday.
“Darn right it’s a consideration when you think about it,” Sutter said Sunday.
Robyn Regehr hasn’t played since injuring his knee in Game 1 of the Kings’ second-round series against the Ducks. If coach Darryl Sutter decided whether the time was right for Regehr’s return to the lineup for Game 2, he wasn’t saying hours before the opening faceoff Saturday at Staples Center.
“We’ll make the decision after warmup on our lineup,” Sutter said.
Defenseman Robyn Regehr hasn’t played since suffering an unspecified knee injury in Game 1 of the Kings’ second-round playoff series against the Ducks. He missed the next six games of that series, plus all seven games of the Western Conference finals, plus Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Regehr is expected to make his return to the Kings’ lineup for Game 2 today at Staples Center, however. Regehr was cleared to resume taking contact earlier in the week, but Kings coach Darryl Sutter scratched him for a 3-2 overtime victory Wednesday. The waiting is over, however.
“He’ll probably play tomorrow,” Sutter said Friday.
Regehr is likely to replace Matt Greene in the Kings’ lineup.
“It’s a coach’s decision,” Regehr said. “I have no idea. If you look at the previous two (games), we’ve won the last two with the same lineup. That’s what I’m expecting. My job right now is just to work and be ready as much as I can. If I get the call, then go out and play my game.”
Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr last played in Game 1 of their second-round series against the Ducks. Teemu Selanne cracked him against the glass, Regehr’s knee was injured and he went out of the Kings’ lineup for the rest of that series and all of the Western Conference finals. He pronounced himself fit for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday at Staples Center.
“I feel ready,” Regehr said at the Kings’ morning skate. “It just comes down to a coach’s decision. I feel good. I’ve had a chance to practice a little bit and get a little bit of contact, so … I don’t think that’s necessary. It’s a matter of what kind of lineup Darryl wants to go with. I think he’ll probably use the same one he used last game. The guys played well and we won Game 7 in Chicago.”
Said Sutter: “He’s getting closer, but I probably wouldn’t play him tonight.”
Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr, sidelined by a knee injury since Game 2 of the second-round series against the Ducks, participated in the team’s morning skate Friday at Staples Center. It was the first time since Teemu Selanne of the Ducks injured him in Game 1 that Regehr skated with his teammates. His return to the Kings’ lineup remains uncertain, however.
“It’s difficult when you’re injured because you’re on a different schedule and program than a lot of the normal guys, the playing guys, so you feel like you’re a little bit of a Hobbit sometimes,” Regehr said. “So, it’s nice to be back around the guys. It started with the travel to Chicago and things like that.”
Regehr has been cleared for contact.
“I did a few little battle drills down low, 2-on-1s and things like that. I need more of that, more contact before I’m ready to roll. It’s a lot better than doing them by yourself. You can chirp back. The only thing you could do before was look at your reflection in the glass and that was no fun.”
Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr joined his teammates late in their morning skate Wednesday at the United Center in Chicago. He’s appears closer to a return to the lineup after suffering an unspecified knee injury in Game 1 of the Kings’ second-round playoff series against the Ducks. Then again, maybe he’s not, if you listen to Kings coach Darryl Sutter. Here’s what Sutter said when asked for an update:
“I couldn’t answer that. I’m not a doctor.”
Robyn Regehr suffered an unspecified knee injury during Game 1 of the Kings’ second-round victory over the Ducks earlier this month, which was pretty difficult for the veteran defenseman to stomach. He sat out for the 10th consecutive game Monday, which was even worse. When and where he returns to the Kings’ lineup remains uncertain.
“I can’t put a time line on it because it just depends on if things keep going along well, then we can kind of gauge that,” he said. “But if all of a sudden there’s a day or two and I take a step backwards, then may change. so I really don’t know. I’ve been making steps forward this whole time so far. I’m really hoping to avoid any sort of regression.”
Watching his fill-ins, Jeff Schultz first and Matt Greene more recently, has tempered his disappointment. He has served as an enthusiastic cheerleader despite his frustration at sitting by idling while his teammates have played their best hockey of the season.
In fact, the Kings’ winning ways have afforded Regehr a chance to rehabilitate his knee and recover at a pace that ensures his full return to the lineup. A few more victories, and a trip to the Stanley Cup Final, could mean he rejoins the team before season’s end.
“I’ve got the pom poms out here and it seems to be working so far,” he said, smiling faintly. “The role change from being involved in the game and having the ability to go out there and contribute whether it’s penalty-killing or power play or defense or whatever it is, you feel a part of it.
“When you’re injured, you’re watching on TV and you’re not part of it at all. It’s tough. It’s really tough.”