Couple of news updates from today’s media sessions …
Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell update
Kings coach Darryl Sutter called the play of defenseman Willie Mitchell “solid,” after Mitchell played nearly 17 minutes in Game 1, his first action since he suffered a leg injury in Game 6 of the Kings’ first-round series against the San Jose Sharks.
Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr update
Sutter said defenseman Robyn Regehr hasn’t resumed skating after he was injured in Game 1 of the Kings’ second-round series against the Ducks. Sutter’s policy is to avoid talking about injured players, so that was the only update he would provide reporters.
Blackhawks center Andrew Shaw update
Injured center Andrew Shaw is expected to skate with his Blackhawks teammates today, and Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said the team would “assess” his progress, adding, “He’s made real good progress the last few days and he felt pretty good (Monday).”
Injured defensemen Willie Mitchell and Robyn Regehr were not on the ice when the Kings held a short practice Wednesday morning in El Segundo. Forward Jeff Carter also was not on the ice, but Kings coach Darryl Sutter said he would try to give Carter and defenseman Drew Doughty plenty of rest during the playoffs.
“Jeff and Drew played a lot of hockey this year, played in the gold-medal game,” Sutter said, referring to Carter’s and Doughty’s participation with Canada in the Sochi Olympics. “The more (rest) you can give them, the better. (Carter) is not a guy who needs to skate. He does his work off the ice.”
That was about it as far as news goes.
As expected, Jeff Schultz replaced injured Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr for Game 2 on Monday night at the Honda Center. Regehr played less than four minutes before he was hurt when the Ducks’ Teemu Selanne checked him into the boards roughly midway through the first period of Game 1 on Saturday.
Schultz, who played 67 games with the Kings’ American Hockey League team in Manchester, N.H., during the regular season, last played in the Stanley Cup playoffs while with the Washington Capitals when current Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau was there.
“I feel confident in myself being out there,” said Schultz, who was paired with Regehr’s usual partner, Slava Voynov. “We had some tough series back then against Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. I’m sure the rivalry is just as good out here against the Ducks.”
Injured defensemen Willie Mitchell and Robyn Regehr aren’t expected to play for the Kings in Game 2 against the Ducks on Monday. Mitchell could miss his third game after he was hurt in the Kings’ victory in Game 6 of their first-round win over the San Jose Sharks. Regehr was sidelined in the first period of Game 1 Saturday.
Matt Greene replaced Mitchell and Jeff Schultz is set to fill in for Regehr.
Schultz said he spoke briefly Sunday with Kings coach Darryl Sutter about his role.
“He just said, ‘Just go out there and play,’” said Schultz, who spent the regular season with the Kings’ American Hockey League team in Manchester, N.H., and was recalled last week after Mitchell was hurt. “It’s hard to replace a guy like Robyn, but I feel like I’m capable of doing a similar job of what he can do.”
Of watching Game 1 of the series from the sideline, he said, “It looks like a lot of fun out there. The Ducks are a team that is heavy on the forecheck and they come hard. It’s just a matter of getting back, moving pucks up and getting out of our zone.”
Sutter declined to speak about the conditions of Mitchell and Regehr. “It does me no good to talk about the injured players, just helps the other team,” Sutter said after the Kings held an optional skate at the El Segundo HQ.
The Kings pulled out a 3-2 overtime victory over the Ducks in Game 1 of their Freeway Series on Saturday night, but they finished the game without defenseman Robyn Regehr. The veteran played only 3 minutes, 23 seconds in the first period and was the target of a couple of hard hits along the boards, including one from the Ducks’ Teemu Selanne that left Regehr in an awkward position.
Kings coach Darryl Sutter declined to talk about Regehr’s injury except to point out the obvious that he was injured and didn’t return to the game. Regehr’s status is uncertain. If he can’t play in Game 2 on Monday, it would mean the Kings would be without two of their veterans. Willie Mitchell sat out Game 1 because of an unspecified injury suffered during Game 6 of the first-round series against San Jose. Mitchell did not play in Game 7 against the Sharks.
Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr is set to play his 1,000th game in the NHL when the team hosts the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday afternoon at Staples Center. The Kings plan to honor his milestone achievement with a pregrame ceremony. Regehr has played 999 games during his career with the Kings, Calgary Flames and Buffalo Sabres. Saturday’s opening faceoff is at 1 p.m.
Kings coach Darryl Sutter met with reporters for about 20 minutes two days after the team’s playoff ouster at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks. The conversation touched on a variety of subjects, including what the Kings must improve on for next season. There also questions about the health of the team following a second consecutive lengthy playoff run. Sutter answered some questions, dodged others and acknowledged the job reporters have to do. Here’s the third part of a four-part installment.
Question: Talking about lowering the goal-against average for next season, would that be the major concern or would it be the left wing and the lack of production there?
Answer: “I said goals-against. I didn’t say production. We went from 30th to sixth in offense. We went to third in our conference. So, we’re not looking at it by position. We have multiple players who play multiple positions. If you’re listening, I did that once we know our roster then we would know better. Our goals-against, very simple, you don’t win. Teams I coach are always great defensively. We were a great defensive team again this year. But our goals-against … what you do home-and-road, there’s a disparity.”
Kings coach Darryl Sutter said Monday that defenseman Robyn Regehr would need surgery to mend a non-specific arm injury suffered during an unknown point during the playoffs. Sutter at first said he wouldn’t talk about specific injuries to players, but then announced Regehr’s in a rather offhanded manner. Unlike several others, Regehr’s injury came as something of a surprise since there was nothing in his play during the postseason to indicate he was at anything less than his very best.
Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr didn’t hesitate when asked Thursday to compare current partner Drew Doughty with anyone he’s played with in the past. Regehr praised Doughty’s all-around game by comparing him to Scott Niedermayer, the now retired former Duck and New Jersey Devil.
True, general manager Dean Lombardi was looking for a short-term addition to the Kings’ defense corps when he acquired veteran Robyn Regehr from the Buffalo Sabres on April 1. But there was far more to the deal than that. Lombardi also viewed Regehr as more than just a rental player for the rest of the 2012-13 season.