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Rieder draws back into lineup, focused on playing to his strengths to make an impact

by TY PILSON @typilson /

LOS ANGELES - As with all things in life, you can learn a lot when you get a different perspective on things.

Even if it's not a different perspective you welcome.

Hockey players are no exception.

Sitting a couple hundred feet away from the action, you see the game through a distinct lens.

While no player wants to watch a game perched in the press box instead of the much better vantage from the bench - and subsequently on the ice playing.

But if you have to, you make the best of the situation and try and use the time - just like practice or in the gym - to get better, to improve.

Tobias Rieder spent the recent two-game homestand sitting high above the ice after playing in the previous three-game road swing.

Asked if there can be benefits to that less-than-ideal situation, he nodded.

"There is," said Rieder, before cracking a smile. "Obviously you have a better view from up there. To be honest, it looks pretty easy from up there but as soon as you're back on the ice, it's a lot tougher. 

"But there's lots of situations where I feel like you have more time than you think, that's what it looks like from up there, and maybe use that a little bit. Hang on to pucks a little more."

He'll get a chance to put that into action tonight when he draws back into the lineup for a tilt against the Kings at the Staples Center.

Both Andrew Mangiapane and Elias Lindholm were injured and left the game in the team's recent win over the Red Wings on Thursday night. Neither returned.

Lindholm will play in tonight's contest but Mangiapane - who didn't accompany the team on the trip - will not play, leading to Rieder's activation.

"Tobi's been good," said head coach Bill Peters after the club's morning skate. "We're still a bit of a work in progress. I've liked our last three games. As far as going back right into San Jose, Philly and then our last one against Detroit, I've liked the way we've played.

"I've tried to keep the lineup the same, tried to keep guys in spots where they can be successful. That's why we had Mangie on the left side the other night with Doc. That won't be available obviously on this trip but hopefully when we get home against Washington that will be."



Signed after coming to camp this season on a PTO, Peters expects Rieder to continue giving the team solid play in both zones and a boost on special teams.

"He's going to kill penalties and be himself, just do what you do," said Peters. "You don't have to come in and reinvent the wheel, you don't have to do anything you can't do. Come in and be a solid guy, be a forechecker. He's going to generate offensive opportunities, especially if he plays with Doc or Janko; I think they can generate offence. He's going to be good on the penalty-kill. We'll be able to kill with three units of two, him and Doc will be a pair, and away we go."

Of course, 'not trying to do too much' is a familiar refrain but - like many things - is easier said than done.

When you get the opportunity to play again, you want to put your best skate forward, so to speak, and try to cement a permanent spot in the lineup.

"I guess it's just a mindset, how you go in," said Rieder. "Obviously you want to show yourself but at the same time, you don't want to buzz saw. It can be a bit difficult, but you just try to do out there what you usually do and go from there."

Captain Mark Giordano appreciates the situation Rieder is in.  

"You know what, every player is like that," said Giordano. "I think you get excited when you get back in, you're fired up. But I think Rieds has been really good for us when he's been in. He's a really good penalty-killer, you notice that right away, but he pushes teams back because of his speed. 

"I remember playing against him all these years, he's a tough guy to play against with that speed. When he's on the ice, you have to be aware. Any chipped pucks, it'll be a breakway if you don't know where he's at. He's going to help us big time. He's been great in the locker-room, great guy so far this year, and when he's gotten in he's looked really good."

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