The Kings practiced on Sunday, following their 1-0 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday night. They then hopped on a plane destined for Dallas at 1 p.m.
Raitis Ivanans, who has not played since taking a Rob Blake slap shot to the face in the Kings 5-1 win at San Jose on Nov. 2, has missed the last five games, but skated with the team today at practice. He had been skating on his own with Kyle Calder, who is also on the IR, in separate practice sessions then his Kings teammates.
Kings head coach Marc Crawford used football terminology to discuss his return, listing him as out for Monday at Dallas, doubtful for Wednesday at Phoenix and probable for Saturday at San Jose.
When he does return, the 6-3, 262-pound left winger, will have to wear a mask to protect the healing process for his surgically repaired face. Though this will limit his role as an enforcer, Crawford points out that his presence is still intimidating enough to fill that role without picking up the fighting majors.
“A lot of his intimidation is body checks,” Crawford said. “A lot of his physicality is with his robust style of play. The ability to indulge in fisitcufs and those types of things, I don’t know that it is necessary.”
SPEAKING OF FACES, HAVE YOU SEEN THE SHINER ON MOULSON?
Though it has been a great month for rookie Matt Moulson, turning 24 on Nov. 1, getting called up for his NHL debut on his birthday, scoring a goal in his NHL debut and posting 2-1=3 in six games so far with the club, not all of the luck has gone his way.
Last week at practice, he took a hockey puck to the face, just below his eye that glanced off the stick of Tom Preissing, whom he just happens to be rooming with on the road currently.
“This was courtesy of Mr. Tom Preissing,” Moulson said tongue in cheek. “He couldn’t handle a pass that was too hard for him and it went off his stick and hit me in the face.”
Hopefully the eye will clear up by Monday, as his parents will be able to see him for the first time play in the NHL as the Kings play at the Stars in Dallas.
AN ARTICLE FROM A HS HOCKEY PLAYER
If you watched the telecast of the Kings-Ducks game on Thursday night, you may have heard Jim Fox speak of an article written by Moulson.
“My principal asked me to write an article for the high school paper, about my experience going to Cornell and what not. I wrote a little piece for them. Moulson played four seasons at Cornell scoring 71-67=138 in 114 games. He was drafted by the Penguins in the ninth round, 263rd overall, in 2003 and signed with the Kings on Sept. 1, 2006. He played last season at Manchester, scoring 25-32=57 in 77 games, before making his NHL debut this season.
ARMY LOOKING TO TAKE A BITE OUT OF DONUT…
If you took a glance at the Kings statistics lately, one might notice the 0 next to Derek Armstrong’s name in the goal department. For the season, Armstrong has tallied 0-8=8 in 19 games.
“He needs to be generating more than he is right now,” Crawford said at practice on Sunday. “No one wants to contribute more on our team than Derek Armstrong. You talk to anyone on our team and they will tell you that this guy is a hard worker, he is conscientious and right now he is holding his stick too tight.
“We are trying to relax him as much as we can and he is trying to relax himself, but lets face it, you get relaxed when you get results and right now the results just have not been there for him…No body feels worse about his lack of scoring than he does.”
SPEAKING OF DONUTS…
On Saturday, the Kings lost to the Coyotes 1-0, it was the first time the Kings had been shut out on the season and the first since the club lost at Chicago, 3-0 on March 3, 2007.
The Kings were shut out three times last season (also 7-0 L at Nashville on Dec. 23, 2-0 L at Columbus on Oct. 27), all of which were on the road. The last time the Kings were shut out at home was April 6, 2006, a 5-0 loss to the San Jose Sharks, a span of 56 games.
“Offensively, there was no offensive genius in our game last night, there wasn’t any offensive genius from the coaching staff and there wasn’t any from the players,” Crawford said. “We all have to focus in on being better.”