EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Will Jonathan Quick return in net when the Los Angeles Kings play the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night?
It was difficult to tell at the morning skate. Quick and Martin Jones came off the ice at the same time, meaning the only sure thing is that it won't be Ben Scrivens in goal when L.A. tries to end a five-game losing streak.
Coach Darryl Sutter never tips his hand when it comes to the lineup, and he only alluded to the roster change that would be required. The Kings would have to re-assign a player, likely Jones, or put a player on injured reserve in order to make room for Quick.
"We'll either have three [goalies] on our roster tonight or … that's clear," Sutter said. "We need a goalie to win a game for us, and they've taken turns losing games. They need to get in the win column."
Quick has been out since Nov. 12 with a Grade 2 groin strain that occurred on the first game of a road trip against the Buffalo Sabres. He was expected to return the first week of January, and he told reporters Friday that "the next step is get some game action" and that it was up to the coaches and trainers to decide when that might happen.
No matter who's in goal, Sutter will coach his 1,000th game. He is the 21st coach in NHL history to reach the milestone. Not surprisingly, Sutter doesn't reminisce about it.
"Actually, it's about 2,000," he joked. "The most important one in all that is always [the] playoffs. That's way more [meaningful] than any of the other ones. The reason you coach is for playoffs. It's not a monumental thing for me.
"The only bearing it has on me is that … there isn't one former player that became a coach that thought he was going to become a coach. Somebody had to trust them and give them an opportunity. [Former Chicago Blackhawks coach] Bob Pulford and [former Blackhawks owner] Bill Wirtz gave me an opportunity."
Sutter said he came into each of his coaching jobs at San Jose, Chicago and L.A. in ideal situations where the teams were poised for success. Sutter is 486-362-151 in the regular season and 25-13 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with L.A.
"I've yet to interview for a coaching job," Sutter said. "I don't intend to….there's a lot of young coaches now that they just jump at any opportunity and usually that opportunity lasts one to two to three years, and they never get that opportunity again. The guys that coach a long period of time, they pick and choose who they coach. When you've had playoff success, you pick and choose."
Players weren't aware of the Sutter's milestone. Willie Mitchell joked that "We don't need old coaches being slow coaches for us out there. Better have some fresh legs tonight."
Here is the expected lineup …
Dwight King – Anze Kopitar – Jeff Carter
Dustin Brown – Mike Richards – Justin Williams
Tyler Toffoli – Jarret Stoll – Matt Frattin
Kyle Clifford – Trevor Lewis – Jordan Nolan
Jake Muzzin – Drew Doughty
Robyn Regehr – Slava Voynov
Willie Mitchell – Alec Martinez
Scratched: Matt Greene, Daniel Carcillo, Colin Fraser
NOTES: It appears that Martinez will go back into the lineup in place of Greene, who stayed out with the extras. That would give the Kings four left-handed defensemen in Muzzin, Mitchell, Regehr and Martinez.
The Kings did not do line rushes.