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KINGS TRAINING CAMP NOTEBOOK

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
Kevin Westgarth had a memorable tilt with fellow Princeton graduate George Parros last night.

The Kings last night lost their third straight overtime game and second straight to the Ducks by a 3-2 score. Chris Pronger scored twice for Anaheim, while Brian Boyle and Michal Handzus scored for the Kings.

Check out the recap by Nick Nickson and Daryl Evans, care of the Kings Radio Network.
 Kings Talk - Replay (Oct. 1, 2008)  

The team had originally scheduled practice for 10 a.m. today but moved it back to 11 a.m. The training camp-long trend of wearing multiple sets of colored jerseys continued this morning with all of the defensemen dressed in black, and the forwards divided up into four colors, Green, Grey, Purple and a Burgundy color. You will notice this if you make it out to a practice at Toyota Sports Center, which are free and open to the public.

The colored uniforms are broken up into groups of three, and those three skate together as a line. This morning the teams skated as:
Purple:
Oscar Moller – Anze KopitarDustin Brown
Green:
Kyle Calder – Derek Armstrong – Teddy Purcell
Burgundy:
Brad Richardson – Brian Boyle – Kevin Westgarth
Grey:
Wayne Simmonds – Michal Handzus – Raitis Ivanans

‘SOMETHING SPECIAL HAPPENING IN LA? YES’
ESPN the Magazine NHL Beat Writer Lindsay Berra put together her notes for the most recent edition of the Mag in an NHL Insider piece. Take a sneak peak.

PRINCETON PALS
If you were at the game in Anaheim on Wednesday night, or listened to Nickson's and Evans’ call on the Kings Radio Network or right here through LAKings.com, you would have heard about Kevin Westgarth’s and former King George Parros’ fight at 8:32 of the third period.

There were a lot of brains being bashed in on the ice at the Honda Center, as both are Princeton grads.

“We know each other,” Westgarth said of his combatant. “We have seen each other at numerous Princeton alumni events. George is a great guy, a great hockey player and I have a tremendous amount of respect for him.

“I went and hit one of his skill guys and he came after me and we had a nice little tilt. My coach at Princeton will be very excited. He has been looking forward to it. I think it has to be the first time two Princeton alums have faced off in a tilt on NHL Ice.”

Parros is not the only Duck that Westgarth has fought this preseason. He also tangled with Steve Montador the night before.

“That first game against Anaheim, I got into a fight with Montador and Greeney (Matt Greene) gave me the run down about him being a lefty. That could come out of nowhere and could surprise but I was able to turn the tables."

Westgarth appreciates being able to tap into the mind of Greene as well as Kings enforcer Raitis Ivanans.

“It is fantastic being able to talk to the guys here with the experience,” he said. “It is very easy to just go insane trying to figure out training camp, it is a tough time. It is wide open here. There are a lot of young quality players here and you just never know who will make the cut. You just take it day-by-day and try not to look at tomorrow. You make sure when you bring it you bring your best and hope that is good enough.”

Being the cerebral guy that he is, Westgarth appreciates feedback form the coaching staff in regard to his play so that he can correct things he may have done wrong on the ice. Westgarth notes that head coach Terry Murray and the staff have been very good at doing this which keeps things “real calm, which is important in a time like this.”

O’DONNELL FITTING IN
Recently acquired Sean O’Donnell skated in his first full practice with the Kings today. He was acquired prior to Tuesday’s preseason game vs. the Ducks and skated in the morning skate prior to Wednesday’s game against those very same Ducks, though he did not play.

So with one full practice with his new team under his belt, O’Donnell spoke a bit with LAKings.com about his new team, his role and his new commute to the office.

“Hockey is one of those great sports where it is like a fraternity,” O’Donnell said. “[When I was with Anaheim] I belonged to the fraternity, just a different chapter. I know some of these guys personally and have played against a lot of them. So they know a little about me and I know a little about them.

“There is a good group of guys here.”

On adjustments that he will have to make to play with the Kings, O’Donnell said, “this is my seventh team, and I have to tell you, 90 percent of what teams do, it is all the same. There are some small things that different teams will want you to do, but in games it typically comes down to who executes better. So there really is not a big overhaul, just a few things I have to do differently in defensive coverage.”

One of the perks of the new gig is that O’Donnell’s commute to work has been cut down considerably. O’Donnell, who lives in Hermosa Beach, said his drive time was cut from 45 minutes, to 12 this morning.

Another nice new perk will be playing mentor to some of the young defensemen on the Kings roster.

“I think they have a good group here. LThe last few years they have really stockpiled on draft picks and acquired some talent here and some depth. They are young but deep.

“I am a guy that can help these young kids. I can still play and play effective, but also, I don’t want to say teach, but maybe mentor a bit, some of the younger guys. The NHL is an elite league and any little bit that I can help out with, on or off the ice, I will help them with.”

Another development from today’s practice was O’Donnell’s pairing with No. 2 pick Drew Doughty, a pairing O’Donnell said was a “good fit.” O’Donnell came away from practice today impressed with the Kings young defenseman.

“You don’t go second overall unless you are very talented and he seems to be a good, level-headed kid who gets it. It is not just about talent with him, he seems to just get it. He has a great demeanor about him and is on his way to being a well-rounded professional.”

UPDATE ON THE BATTLE FOR NO. 2
With Jason LaBarbera named No. 1 goaltender earlier this week, Terry Murray has been evaluating both Jonathan Quick and Erik Ersberg for the back up netminder spot. There was much speculation that last night both would see time in net. However, Ersberg played all 50:26 in net stopping 27-of-30 in taking the 3-2 OT loss to the Ducks.

Ersberg has seen action in three games this preseason and in net for 128 minutes, stopping 40-of-46 shots, sporting a 2.81 GAA and an .870 SV% and has suffered two OT/SO losses.

Quick has seen action in two games for 45 minutes, stopping 17-of-18 and all three shots he faced in the shoot out in his win over Colorado. He has a 1.33 GAA and a .941 SV%.

With two games remaining, the competition is coming down to the wire. With a back-to-back this weekend vs. Phoenix and San Jose, one would think LaBarbera would play another full game as a final tuneup for the season, with the other game being a final test for the two remaining netminders.

ROSTER MOVES
The Kings signed goaltender Martin Jones to a three-year deal. Jones, who was in camp on a tryout, was later returned to his junior team, the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League. In addition, center David Meckler and defenseman Viatcheslav Voynov were assigned to Manchester Monarchs to bring the Kings roster to 32. (18 forwards, 11 defensemen and three goaltenders). The Kings final roster is expected to be announced on Oct. 8 by noon. Stay tuned to LAKings.com for the most up to date information available on you Los Angeles Kings.
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