11/21 rehearsal – unite today + Fiala / Kopitar / Kempe reunion, Moverare on debut, roster moves

Back on the ice, Insiders!

The Kings deserved a day off yesterday and got back to work this morning preparing for a long game here in California. The next six games the team will play will be in their home country, with five home games and a quick trip to San Jose on the agenda for the next two weeks.

“If the players feel like I did, then yesterday was a good day for all of us,” Todd McClellan said today. “We needed to unpack our bags, put our feet up and relax. It was a lot, it was emotional and taxing but like I said we could keep selling that story if we wanted to but everyone is going to go through it at some point. The day off was good for us “.

The team returned to the ice this morning to practice at El Segundo, their first skating here on home ice in over a week. Here’s how the Kings lined up this morning for practice –

Fiala – Kopitar – Kempe
Grundstrom – Lezotte – Velarde – Anderson
Anderson Dolan – Copper – Kaliev

Defenders: Anderson, Adler, Maurier, Roy, and Walker

Goalkeepers: Fast / Petersen

Drew Doughty missed today’s practice for “personal reasons,” according to the LA Kings PR. Sean Dorsey, who is currently suffering from a lower body injury, also didn’t practice today, leaving the Kings with five defensemen all over the skate. On a single digit, the Kings rotated through the available options, with Sean Walker participating in the strength drill as the defensive option. It will be reassessed tomorrow, but absolutely nothing predicts that Doughty will at least not be available.

Notes –
Cut, take 2
During the game in Seattle, the Kings made an in-game decision to reunite the line of Kevin Fiala, Anzi Kopitar and Adrian Kempe. A trio to start the season, he was a clear fit with the newly acquired winger, point-per-game, joining the approved duo of Kopitar and Kempe from the previous season. We’ve seen glimpses of a streak that worked, but long after the Kings became disillusioned with a ‘chances-for-against’ perspective, the team opted to move Fiala away from that streak and make him an ‘alpha’ option in their own line, with Rasmus Koppari and Karl Grundström. This streak showed flashes of distinction, especially early on, but overall across the group the Kings’ finishing touches were late at 5-on-5.

In his recent losses against Seattle and Vancouver, McClellan was a believer in the chances that were created, but he felt that that polish when it came to finishing those chances was missing. Two equally powerful goals from those two matches naturally back that up. In the first break versus Kraken, the Kings opted to try Fiala again with Kopitar and Kempe, hoping to stir something up offensively.

This line was back together during today’s practice and this brings together three natural events –

McClellan on the Fiala Amendment – When we brought him in, we brought him in to play in that spot. We just had to iron a few things out and make him fit and comfortable. He and I spoke the other day, and he said he feels better about the language, the systems, the structure, his teammates, the surroundings, so that’s a good sign.

McLellan on Kempe, Kopitar and Fiala together, Round Two – I think we’re banking on that, hopefully more this time than it’s ever done before. There are three pieces to this puzzle, each of which must be completed together. We’ve been thinking since the summer, the day we got Kevin here, that they could do it together, but we’ll have to give it another go and see where it goes.

McClellan on how the changes have affected Gabe Velarde, and him getting various tackles on the third line – I’ve helped Kevin and you get the third pair or get the third line most of the time, and if you get the job done, let’s face it, it’s an easier job for the most part, so I hope this helps. Gabe played a lot of minutes, not twice but significantly more, against tougher competition on a more consistent basis, than 21 games in 39 nights. Not an easy task.

Overall, at 5-on-5, the streak tended to fall just below the 50% mark in terms of shot attempts and scoring chances, though overall goals were 6-6. These numbers are definitely not a reflection of the quality of the personnel on this line, as all three players are capable of great things when it comes to production. They also haven’t played together a low puck since October, so they’ll get a fresh start in their opening game against New York tomorrow night. The Kings hoped for a better connection to increase the abilities of the three players.

I have to go to Mo
Saturday’s game in Seattle marked the NHL season debut of defenseman Jacob Muverari.

Moverare scored less than 14 minutes into his first game of the season, playing his usual, simple game. Moverare won’t bother you with flashes or anything crazy in the offensive zone – even if he collects five shots on goal in Seattle – but he’s usually a solid player who handles his work in his own way, without the glamor that comes with it.

“We got exactly what we thought we were going to get, same, simple, playing well, blocking shots,” Todd McClellan said of his Saturday game. “It was good to have a left handed and honest man in all pairings and he gave us what we needed. He was well prepared and ready to go.”

Moverare was generally happy with his playing in Seattle, acknowledging that some things could have been improved, but overall, it was a solid effort.

His last game before Saturday was seven days earlier, on Saturday November 12 with the AHL’s Ontario Reign. Moverare was called up as Brandt Clarke went the other way, and has practiced with the Kings ever since. He did his best to treat his practices as critically as possible, to be ready when his number was full.

“I always try to work hard when we have skis, even if it’s skiing in the morning and I know I’m not playing, I’ll work with [Skills Coach Derik Johnson] And the [Goaltending Coach Bill Ranford] To stay fit. I also try to be mentally ready every day, something can happen, so we are playing cool so just try to be mentally ready.

In matches where he is not playing, Moverare has done his best to notice how fellow defenders have tried to play in certain situations and how he can apply those positions in his game.

Watching the different plays like reading and defending the odd man rush is something he took a lot of notes on and how he could apply them to them when he got back into the lineup.

“I’d rather see what they’re doing so I can apply it to my game,” he explained. “I, sometimes, see small details and see what works, so I try to see that and then apply it to my game and steal a little bit of what other people are good at.”

With only five defensemen on the ice today, it’s hard to tell if he’ll still be in action tomorrow night, but if he does, Moverare offers a reliable option for the Kings whenever he gets the chance.

Transactions, provided by Dunder Mifflin Paper
This morning the Kings announced a quick reversal of their three roster moves since yesterday.

Moverare, along with forwards Lias Andersson and Rasmus Kupari, were assigned to Ontario on their rest day, but are back with the big club this morning to practice. A set of paper type transactions, unlike the standard variety and the three players are expected to be available for tomorrow’s game at this time.

As you were, Insiders!

Game day tomorrow against the Rangers, the only game the Kings will play in five days. More to come in the AM!

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