Practice on the road, Insiders!
practice on the road. a novel. The Kings were on the ice in Edmonton this afternoon focused on regrouping ahead of tomorrow’s showdown with the Oilers. The day’s practice wasn’t necessarily long, given last night’s short travel within the province of Alberta, but it served its purpose with the Kings focusing on some specific details they wanted to review, discuss, and talk about on the ice next. Yesterday’s game against flames.
“When we watched the Calgary game again, I think the will and the effort want to be there, but mentally some really bad decisions and some bad execution,” said Todd McClellan this morning, “We just talked about it, we showed them a few clips that we thought we were doing well.” In the previous five games we didn’t do well against Calgary and we’ll need tomorrow night against a really good team.”
While you could mark more specific areas of the game as missing areas, as McLellan said in availability yesterday, cutting out one of the 20 out-of-game moments might have helped but likely wouldn’t have changed the outcome. The Kings turned to pucks on their own end against the flames more often, resulting in three of their six goals against them, with McClellan admitting today that last night wasn’t as good as being “connected” as a group.
The resulting individual chances did not exist in the 4-0-1 period that preceded what McClellan mentioned, something that should change against Edmonton tomorrow night.
The bulk of the conversation, which has come from everyone calling Edmonton home, has come in regards to last year’s playoff series between those two teams. Questions surrounded the point in the series that McClellan felt the series had veered away from the Kings, the availability of Drew Doughty should the Kings advance to the second round and the concept of experience gained from the Kings’ point of view, how it was handled and how experience should be used and applied to have meaning. These questions were answered from the Kings’ perspective, but with it being the first rematch between the two teams, there were naturally some bigger stories for the media that way. A big dose of that arrives tomorrow and then we go.
In terms of today’s alignment, it looked as if the Kings are back to the way they started yesterday’s game at least in terms of forwards. McLellan and the staff chose to change the lines a bit at the second intermission yesterday, trying to get something going, but today’s jersey colors seem more of a return to base.
Here’s how the Kings align during the day’s skiing –
Kempe – Copitar – Vilardi
Viala – Brass – Grundstrom
Defensemen were shuffled, as the Kings had seven of them on the ice that mixed and matched pairs trying to duplicate each player. All seven defenders on the roster have been involved in practice and there have been no indications of a backfield change, but we’ll see what tomorrow’s skate brings.
North of the Border Concert
On a night where not much went the way the Kings hoped it would, forward Arthur Kaliyev himself had a 79-second lead early in the first period. In his own words, he simply took chances and buried them. Not a bad approach.
First, after the Kings conceded the first goal of the game, he was the final piece in one of the Kings’ best strings of power plays this season, burying the puck as he came down from his position on the right side of the canopy. To link the game to one. Kaliev credited the puck move his teammates were able to create with the final product being his ability to hit a single timer, on a sequence stemming from a low to high play in that particular sequence.
“Yeah, they’re just starting to do what they’re doing, I think we have the perfect combination with all the players we have [that unit]He said this morning. “It makes it easy to get a disc once in that side and I play there most of the time. It’s been doing well and we hope to keep it going.”
On his second goal, after just 1:19, it was just a matter of reading and reacting, but Kaliev also created a little space for Blake Lizotte through the no-man’s-land. His late movement towards the right wing allowed a little space for the Lizot, who eventually found defenseman Matt Roy off the rush. Kaliyev found himself on the right side, Roy’s rebound was pushed into him, and he reacted at the moment to try to beat Markström at the near post.
He added, “I saw a rebound that suddenly appeared and I was thinking maybe the goalkeepers will not return to his position.” “I figured I might just launch it on the net and see what happens and I got in.”
Earlier this season, Todd McClellan shared an expression made by assistant coach Jim Heller, that he’s ready to score, not just ready to shoot.
The expression applies specifically to Kaliev, who has such a high-level shot that no matter his shot selection at lower levels, he will be able to find the back of the net regularly. Moving here into his second season, he saw his selection improve and found himself ready to not only shoot, but score. He certainly achieved this on the man advantage, leading the team with four solid goals.
PPG’s last three assists have come from Viktor Arvidsson, who has helped add another dimension to his power play unit with his ability to make plays from down to the goal line. All four of Kaliev’s goals in the man advantage involved either a low to high play or a cross play, with Arvidsson usually doing the right reading and Kaliev having the awareness and hockey sense to find the most dangerous area on the ice. With his shot and mentality, he’s a huge weapon in those situations.
“I think he had that shooting mentality from the juniors, obviously he was a prolific scorer there, but it’s different,” McClellan said this afternoon. “A lot of these shots he’s taking now, he might have 30 goals in juniors, but the teams defending and goalkeepers that play in this league are very good, so you can’t get to take them and score with the mentality, you had to be ready to score. You might have to Shooting a little faster, and you might have to find a spot that’s a little better than what you’re used to. Very rarely does someone get into the league and score 40 right away, they work in increments. We see that in Arty’s game, and I think that’s part of it. He prepares to score instead of Just shoot.”
Doughty addresses the Hockey World Cup
Drew Doughty is a famous man when it comes to these Canadian excursions. So much so that I wonder if Cal Petersen stayed on the ice to do extra work just to save space on Doughty’s left, as the two were right next to each other here in Edmonton. Mickey Anderson may have done himself a favor in clearing the room with his choice before it plunged into chaos.
Among the topics Doughty touched on was the World Cup of Hockey. The NHL and the NHLPA had originally hoped to reach an agreement on a February 2024 best event, but announced on Friday of last week that details could not be agreed upon with the two sides now targeting February 2025. Doughty missed out on possibly making the Olympics last season. , when the NHL withdrew from the league due to the general spectacle of the COVID pandemic.
Doughty noted that the World Cup of Hockey is a fun event, but that it does not mean as much to the players as the Olympic Games. Doughty is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and was a potential draft pick last season when NHL players were scheduled to participate. Naturally, he was in Edmonton and was also asked about playing Conor McDavid in an international event, something McDavid had yet to do at senior level.
“It’s such a pity for him, he obviously deserves to be on this team and win and it would be an absolute honor to play with him, I can’t even imagine how easy it would be,” Doughty said. “I hope that day will come, but it won’t be for a while, so now I’m going to try to shut it down.”
Doughty is always up for games in Edmonton, with the opportunity to test himself against two of the best forwards in the league. For a player who takes immense pride in the defensive side of his game, there are few tests that will be greater than the ones he and his teammates will face tomorrow night against McDavid, Leon Drisettle and the Oilers.
Kopitar joins The Players Tribune
“You rush about this, because there are people who fly halfway across the world just to come here. I’ve been here for 16 years and you take everything for granted with how special this city is.”
Kings captain Anze Kopitar joined Player’s Tribune on a tour of Venice and Manhattan Beach, with a look at why he’s loved calling Los Angles home for the past 16 years. A great watch on the future Hall of Fame player who dedicated his entire career to the City and Kings organization.
“I’ve been here for 16 years and everything seems really normal, so you take everything for granted about how special this city is.”
Jump in the passenger seat and go for a ride @AnzeKopitar It shows you all over Los Angeles.
– PlayersTribune (@PlayersTribune) November 15, 2022
The Kings will take on the Oilers tomorrow night at 7pm Pacific, 8pm here in Edmonton, in game two of the current trip. More to follow from Morning Ski in the AM!