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KINGS NOTEBOOK (FEB. 20)

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
The Kings held practice on Wednesday, after having an off day yesterday. Scott Thornton, who has not played since Feb. 7 at Detroit, participated in practice today and said he “did okay and felt pretty healthy. It all depends on how I feel tomorrow on whether or not I am ready to go."


Practice Report 700K 

ON MODRY TRADE
“Mo played great for us this year,” Head coach Marc Crawford said. “A lot of people need to learn to appreciate a guy like Jaro, if you are expecting a guy like Stuart or Blake who are going to bull people over and knock them through the boards, you are going to be disappointed. Positionally he is as sound a player as we had this year.”

The stats support Crawford’s statement, Modry was a plus-2 rating for the season while chipping in a goal and five assists. His plus-2 rating was tied with Armstrong (amongst King regulars) for the team lead in plus/minus.

Crawford was also impressed with how he worked with Kings rookie Jack Johnson.

“Along with Rob, he did a good job of mentoring young Jack Johnson.”

Johnson echoed the sentiment.

"Obviously, it was kind of disappointing that Mo' had to go,'' Johnson said. "He was a great partner for me. I really learned a lot from him. I really admired his patience with the puck. He was always calm and never panicked. I think that was able to rub off a little bit on me when I played with him. Hopefully I can carry some of Modry with me the rest of my career."

Either way, the spot on the roster opens up an opportunity for young Peter Harrold, recalled from Manchester the day of the trade, to get some ice time at the NHL level, at least until Rob Blake returns from injury.

“It is what everyone wants, an opportunity to play. It looks like I have that chance now, at least until Blake gets back, who knows.”

Harrold will be paired with Lubomir Visnovsky, while Johnson will skate with Tom Preissing.

“I will just try and play solid 'D'," Harrold said, "and not get into any trouble.”

DRAFT PICKS PILED UP FOR 2008
The Kings have 11 picks slated for the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Here is the breakdown:
-First Round: two picks
-Second Round: two picks
-Third Round: three picks (one acquired for Jaroslav Modry Tuesday)
-Fourth Round: two picks
-Sixth Round: one pick
-Seventh Round: one pick

KINGS PLAYER STATS VS. ST. LOUIS
Alexander Frolov has 12 points (5-7=12) in 16 career games…Anze Kopitar has 10 points (1-9=10) in six career games…Ladislav Nagy has 18 points (5-13=18) in 20 career games.

SCORING WHEN IT COUNTS
In the last 11 games the Kings have outscored their opponents 13-6 in the third period.

GOOD THINGS HAPPEN WHEN KOPY SCORES
The Kings are 13-6-3 when Kopitar scores a goal.

FROLOV FLYING
Alexander Frolov has 12 points (4-8=12) in his last eight games. He also has 31 points in the last 26 games (12-19=31). Overall he has 51 points (16-35=51) in 51 games this season (third straight season with 50 points). He leads the club with 35 assists and five game-winning goals. The Kings are 9-3-1 when Frolov has a multi-point game. Of his 13 multi-point efforts, he has five three-point games and one five-point game. He had three assists Feb. 15 vs. Calgary, tying a career high. He’s now done it five times, including three times this season (Nov. 13 at Anaheim, Jan. 1 vs. Chicago and Feb. 15 vs. Calgary).

GETTING PLAYING TIME
Jack Johnson is third among NHL rookies with 21:20 average ice time per game. He has logged at least 25 minutes of ice time in five of the last eight games (including 31:44 Feb. 10 at Columbus).

IRON MEN
Six players have appeared in all 62 games this season: Anze Kopitar, Patrick O’Sullivan, Lubomir Visnovsky, Derek Armstrong, Michal Handzus and Jack Johnson.

THIS TIME LAST YEAR
The Kings (25-34-3 = 53 points) have five more wins and three more points than they had last season through 62 games (20-32-10 = 50 points).

KINGS GOAL-SCORING UP
The Kings (176 goals in 62 games) are averaging 2.84 goals per game. Last season (227 goals in 82 games) they averaged 2.77 goals per game.

ANNIVERSARY COMING UP
Saturday, March 1 will mark the 20th anniversary of Wayne Gretzky passing Gordie Howe as the all-time assist leader.

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