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 Willie Mitchell won’t play in Game 7 of the Kings’ first-round playoff series against the Sharks tonight in San Jose. Mitchell was injured during the Kings’ victory in Game 6 at Staples Center. Matt Greene will play for only the second time in the series. He played in Game 2 and was a minus-4.
“It’s always fun to play a high-stakes game like this,” Greene said after the Kings’ skate Wednesday morning. “I want to come in and help out. Just have to establish our game and get a good forecheck and turn pucks over. Did a good job of that in Game 5. Play good defense. Play a good team game.”
Not sure why I’m even bothering with this, but the Kings wouldn’t say whether defenseman Willie Mitchell would be fit to play in Game 7 on Wednesday after he suffered an unspecified injury during Game 6 on Monday. It’s expected that Matt Greene, who struggled at times during the series, would step in for Mitchell.
“We’ll see tomorrow,” Kings coach Darryl Sutter said.
The Los Angeles chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association announced Thursday that defenseman Willie Mitchell is the Kings’ nominee for the 2014 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. The PHWA awards the trophy annually to honor the late North Stars player, who exhibited the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedicati.on to the game of ice hockey. Masterton died as a result of an on-ice injury Jan. 15, 1968.
Mitchell has long exemplified the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey that the Masterton is intended to recognize, most recently with his comeback from a knee injury that forced him to miss all of last season.
In addition to his steady on-ice play, Mitchell also is involved in a number of charities and sits on the board of the Fishing for Kids tournament in his native British Columbia, Canada. The event has generated more than $5 million for children’s charities in the province. He’s also on a board member of the SOS Marine Conservation Foundation, which tries to protect Pacific salmon. In addition, he is a supporter of the Pacific Salmon foundation.
In the past, Mitchell has helped obtain hockey equipment and pay registration fees for kids in and around his hometown of Port McNeill, British Columbia.
The Kings held an optional skate Wednesday, and most of the players took the option to do something else. Injured defenseman Willie Mitchell hit the ice, though. He couldn’t say afterward when he might be sound enough to rejoin the Kings’ lineup. He sat out Tuesday’s win over the Oilers because of an unspecified upper-body injury. “It was good, it was encouraging, just keep progressing,” Mitchell said.
Continue reading “Defenseman Willie Mitchell skates, sees some improvement in upper-body injury” »
The Kings’ bid for a franchise-record 12th consecutive game with at least one point came to a halt when they lost Saturday to the Calgary Flames. The prevailing thought in the dressing room was simply to “park it,” as defenseman Willie Mitchell phrased it Sunday. In other words, put it out by the curb and walk away from it. The Kings (16-7-4) have issues, starting with their faulty power play. They haven’t scored a man-advantage goal in the last five games, going 0 for 18. Right wing Justin Williams said the Kings need more shots from point-blank range instead of firing them from the perimeter while on the power play.
Williams scored the Kings’ lone goal Saturday, the 200th of his NHL career. Anze Kopitar had an assist for his 500th point. The teams meet for the first time since the Kings defeated the Blues in the first round of the playoffs last spring. The Blues are 18-4-3 and have the league’s second-best power play (22 for 89, 24.7 percent). Alexander Steen was tied with Ryan Getzlaf of the Ducks for third in scoring with 31 points (20 goals, 11 assists), as of Sunday morning. Only Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals (21) had more goals than Steen. Each had played 20 games.
After he watched the Kings give up two power-play goals in the first period Saturday against the Nashville Predators, after he saw their penalty-killing unit surrender at least one goal for the six consecutive game, coach Darryl Sutter decided to say something.
Continue reading “Willie Mitchell takes PK criticism from Kings coach Darryl Sutter in stride” »
After a four-game stretch in which the Kings did not give up a power-play goal, they’ve hit a skid that dropped them into 22nd place in the NHL, as of Wednesday morning. They are 50 of 63 on the penalty-kill for a rather pedestrian 79.4 percent success rate after 15 games. They have given up at least one power-play in six consecutive games going into Thursday’s contest against the Buffalo Sabres.
Continue reading “Defenseman Willie Mitchell says Kings must improve play on the penalty-kill” »
The Kings’ penalty-killing unit gave up two first-period power-play goals to the Nashville Predators during Saturday’s 4-3 loss. Coach Darryl Sutter later questioned the effectiveness of defensemen Matt Greene and Willie Mitchell, and even wondered about Jonathan Quick’s play in goal. The Kings have given up at least one power-play goal in six consecutive games.
The quality of the Kings’ penalties was lacking in the early going, however. Daniel Carcillo went to the box for kneeing on a play some 150 feet from his own net. Kyle Clifford followed him later after taking a boarding penalty in the neutral zone, more than 100 feet from his own goal.
“Those are penalties you don’t want,” team captain Dustin Brown said, speaking generally about penalties in the offensive and neutral zones rather than specifically about Carcillo’s and Clifford’s infractions. “We have to be smarter, that’s for sure. We’ve also got to kill penalties off at the end of the day.”