The Kings skated at practice today at Toyota Sports Center from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., as the team prepared to play host to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night, a team they have shutout twice this season, 3-0 on Dec. 6 and by the same score at Nationwide Arena in Ohio on Dec. 23.
The last time the Kings shut out the same opponent in back-to-back games was vs. Nashville on Jan. 13, 2004 at Predators (0-0 tie) and Feb. 23, 2004 vs. Predators (3-0). That season was also the last time the Kings blanked their opponent three times in one season (also shut out Predators 3-0 on Nov. 19, 2003).
QUICKLY DEVELOPING INTO A LOGJAM AT GOALTENDER
Kings rookie Jonathan Quick has started the last four games and is expected to start on Monday vs. Columbus, a team he earned his first NHL shutout against in his sixth career NHL game (fourth career start). Quick earned his second NHL shutout Saturday, Dec. 27 at Phoenix (eighth NHL game, sixth start).
"The team did a great job in front of me, I think we had maybe four of five PKs in the third and the PK unit was great," Quick said. "I could see the shots and the ones I couldn't they were blocking.
"I got a lot of help, it was big to get a win there."
In five appearances this year he has stopped 111 of 119 shots (.933 save percentage).
"Quick has played well," head coach Terry Murray said. "Early in the first period he made a couple of stops, he looks confident, he is under control, he's really following the puck. He makes the big stop whenever he is asked of it."
Murray indicated that Quick will start tomorrow.
"He has to be excited about it," Murray said. "I told him out on the ice he was going to morrow. He is taking advantage of the opportunity that he is given and showed he is making the steps in the right direction."
Erik Ersberg, who has missed the last six games due to a groin injury, participated fully in practice and declared himself ready to play.
"I think after today, he is probably going to say he is feeling 100 percent," Murray told the media after practice. "He has been pain free the last couple of days and has all of the movement that he thinks he feels he needs to do."
With the play of Quick, the return of Ersberg and Jason LaBarbera, who started the first 10 games of the season as the Kings No. 1 netminder, also on the roster, the Kings have a bit of a log jam at the goaltending position.
So what is Murray to do. We will have to wait to find out.
"[I am going to] play Quick right now, he had the shutout. I will play him tomorrow and then we have four days of practice to evaluate things as we move forward."
"No matter what the situation is, to be part of something like this, that should be enough motivation," Quick said. "Not even looking at any of the other factors. They've got a couple of great goalies here, in Jason and Erik, so that makes it a little more competitive and I think it brings the best out in some people."
Ersberg doesn't care who is in net, as long as they win.
"There is a lot of good goalies in the organization," he said. "Whoever is playing, we need to win games is the bottom line. Whoever is playing needs to play well."
Sean O'Donnell did not practice today but is not suffering from any injury, he just needed some "maintenance work" for some "bumps and bruises" that is associated with all of the blocked shots the big defenseman has been accumulating. He is fully expected to play tomorrow as Murray stated there would be no lineup changes from the Phoenix game...Derek Armstrong skated again today and Murray indicated he has been "cleared by doctors to play, he just needs to get his feet under him so he is ready to play"...Brad Richardson attempted to skate for the second consecutive day and had it cut short after about 10 minutes on the ice. Richardson has not played since Dec. 2 and has had a second set of stitches on the cut on his foot. A timetable on his return is still not set...Jack Johnson's work load in practice continues to grow each day, but he is still wearing the yellow "no contact" jersey. No date has been set on when he is expected to resume contact.
Jarret Stoll is ninth in the NHL in faceoff win percentage (57.2)…Michael Handzus has 17 points (7-10=17) in 36 games this season. He had 21 points (7=14=21) in 82 games last year…Anze Kopitar has 11 points in the last 12 games (5-6=11)…Peter Harrold has points in three straight (2-1=3)…Teddy Purcell had his first multi-assist game Saturday at Phoenix...Raitis Ivanans has goals in two of the last three games (both game-winners)...Kyle Quincey is 16th in the NHL amongst blueliners with 20 points (2-18=20), he is tied with former King Lubomir Visnovsky...The Kings are 1-10-4 when the opponent scores first...Alexander Frolov has scored on 22 percent of his shots, which ranks in the top-10 in the NHL...The Kings are 33-34-11 in 2008 with one game remaining for a chance at .500.
THIS TIME LAST YEAR:
| || |
FIRST 36 GAMES IN 2008-09
FIRST 36 GAMES IN 2007-08
| RECORD || |
15-15-6 (36 points)
12-22-2 (26 points)
| GF || |
| GA || |
| PP || |
31-163 (19.0 percent)
34-172 (19.8 percent)
| PK || |
133-158 (84.2 percent)
112-144 (77.8 percent)