The Kings returned to the ice for practice on Monday after a day off in which the Kings were involved in the annual Rink Tour, with players visiting rinks across Southern California, putting on a clinic and signing autographs.
Practice Report 700K
As for practice, the team focused on battling drills and the big news was the return of Michael Cammalleri to the ice – albeit in a red no-contact jersey – at the end of practice.
WILLSIE HAS POINTS IN TWO STRAIGHT...APPROACHING MILESTONE
With his third-period assist on Brad Stuart’s goal to bring the Kings within 3-2 vs. Calgary on Saturday, Brian Willsie now has points in two straight games (1-1=2), bringing his totals to 2-5=7 in 32 games this year. Willsie scored on his only shot vs. Columbus on Jan. 3. The assist was the 50th of his career and gave the right winger 49-50=99, one away from 100 points.
As some of the Kings players began coming off the ice at the end of practice, Michael Cammalleri wore the red no contact jersey and skated around the ice. Head coach Marc Crawford was unable to give a clear timetable for his return, saying he hopes it would be prior to the end of the home stand, but his most likely return is during the Western Canada road trip next week.
“It is nice to see him out there, he is starting to get closer,” Crawford said. “He did not come out till the end of practice, so I think we can’t jump to any conclusions that he is moments away from jumping back into the lineup, but it is an encouraging sign.”
Dustin Brown, whom Kings fans saw skate off the ice and into the locker room after awkwardly hitting the boards vs. Calgary, is fine. He later returned to the game.
He spoke after practice about the hit: "My back and shoulder blade is a little sore. It is a muscle thing. It is just about icing it and it getting better."
NAGY ON A ROLL
Ladislav Nagy had his five-game assist and point steak snapped Thursday, but registered a point on his third-period, rebound goal that tied the score at three vs. Calgary Saturday. The goal gives Nagy 11 points (3-7=11) in the last seven games, with points in seven of the eight games. His five-game assist streak matched his career high (nine other times). He notched five points (3-2=5) on Jan. 1 vs. Chicago, tying a career high (Dec. 3, 2005 vs. Carolina). It was his third career hat trick (last was Dec. 3, 2005 vs. Carolina).
The goal was his ninth of the season, giving Nagy 9-16=25 in 33 games this season.
Alexander Frolov had three points (1-2=3) vs. Calgary on Saturday and now has eight points in the last three games (3-5=8) and points in five of the last seven games (3-8=11). He notched a career-high five points (2-3=5) Jan. 1 vs. Chicago. It was his second three-assist game of the season (fourth of career). His second goal Jan. 1 was his 100th in the NHL and as a King (now has 101-134=235). Frolov has 31 points overall (7-24=31) in 32 games this season. He leads the team with 24 assists and is tied for the team lead with two game-winning goals (Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown).
KOPITAR STILL LEADING THE TEAM
Anze Kopitar scored a goal vs. Calgary on Saturday and now has points in two straight games (1-1=2) and leads the team with 40 points (17-23=40), second on the team with 23 assists and is tied for the club lead with two game-winning goals (Dustin Brown and Alexander Frolov). He has 22 points in the last 23 games (9-13=22) and 26 points in the last 28 games (12-14=26).
RINK TOUR SUMMARY
The Kings broke up into groups and visited seven local rinks around Southern California, hosting a clinic and signing autographs.
The breakdown went as follows: Pasadena: Jack Johnson, Brad Stuart, Derek Armstrong and Mike Johnston; Riverside: Alexander Frolov, Tom Preissing, Jon Klemm, Jeff Giuliano and Daryl Evans; Palos Verdes: Michael Cammalleri, Scott Thornton, Michal Handzus and Marc Crawford; Aliso Viejo: Lubomir Visnovsky, Jason LaBarbera, Patrick O'Sullivan and Nelson Emerson; Ontario: Kyle Calder, Ladislav Nagy and Dave Lewis; Simi Valley: Rob Blake, Brian Willsie, Jaroslav Modry, Kevin Dallman and Bob Miller and Valencia: Anze Koptiar, JS Aubin, Raitis Ivanans, Nick Nickson and Jim Fox.
“They go to the various rinks with hockey programs and do a clinic and sign autographs a get together with the hockey players, parents and fans that live in the area,” Crawford said of the event. “There were lots of supportive fans. It was great for our players in light of two tough losses we have had in the past two games. It is nice to know there are a lot of fans that are appreciative of how hard the guys are playing and the improvement that we are making.”