|Scott Parse (now #21) will make his season debut Thursday. |
-- Scott Parse
has had to wait a long time to make his season debut, but it seems as though it will be a big night.
Parse, who injured his groin in the first preseason game and has been out of action since, is scheduled to be in the lineup Thursday when the Kings host Tampa Bay, and is scheduled to be the first-line left winger.
Parse practiced Tuesday with Anze Kopitar
and Dustin Brown
, and would become the Kings’ fourth different first-line left winger in 12 games this year.
``We're seeing all we can see in practice,'' coach Terry Murray said of Parse. ``It's time to get him in a game. … He's one of those guys we look at as an offensive player who can score goals. In order to do that, he has to be playing on a top line.''
Parse started training camp as the second-line left winger. He had 11 goals in 59 games last season, but came under some criticism from Murray because of inconsistency on the defensive end.
The Kings hope that Parse’s productivity, in a part-time role last season, can translate to solid numbers in a high-profile role. The Kings have had a successful second line -- of Ryan Smyth, Jarret Stoll
and Justin Williams
-- but are still looking for the right mix, and stronger offensive numbers, from the first line.
Parse has been practicing with the Kings for a couple weeks and said he’s healthy.
``I'm ready,'' Parse said after practice Tuesday. ``I've just got to get playing again, and get the timing again in games.''MOVES, LINES
In preparation for Parse’s removal from the injured list, the Kings assigned rookie forward Andrei Loktionov
to Manchester of the AHL. Loktionov had one goal and one assist in seven games and was a healthy scratch from the previous two games.
``It's not a numbers thing,'' Murray said. ``He needs to work on his game. We're going to keep our best players here. I like a lot of what Loktionov brings. He has a great skill level and he did a great job with his compete level. There's just a need to keep pushing his game and for him to have success on both sides of the puck.''
Alexei Ponikarovsky did not practice Tuesday, and Murray said Ponikarovksy was home with flu symptoms that had hit Ponikarovsky’s wife and children as well. Murray was not certain that Ponikarovsky would be able to play Thursday.
In his absence, and with Parse joining the first line, the Kings went with a third line of Brad Richardson
, Michal Handzus and Wayne Simmonds, and had four players -- Kyle Clifford
, Brayden Schenn, Kevin Westgarth
and Trevor Lewis
-- rotating on the fourth line.Drew Doughty
, out for six games due to concussion symptoms, was scheduled for a ``baseline test’’ on Tuesday, the results of which would determine whether Doughty would be able to play on Thursday.DECISION TIME?
Loktionov left the Kings, but Clifford and Schenn are still around. They have played seven and eight games, respectively, and after nine games, the Kings must decide whether to keep them or return them to their junior teams.
Murray said that he had met with general manager Dean Lombardi this week, regarding the rookies’ short-term future, but said no final decision has yet been reached.
``There's probably going to be a follow-up meeting on it,'' Murray said. ``We'll get through the next couple games and make a decision.''LOOKING FORWARD
The Kings are scheduled to practice Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo.