WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: Los Angeles Kings (37-23-10) @ Winnipeg Jets (33-26-10)
WHAT: NHL PLAY in the regular season
IF: Saturday, April 2 at 4pm Pacific
WHERE: Canadian Center of Life – Winnipeg, MB
HOW TO DO IT: VIDEO: Bally Sports West – AUDIO – iHeart Radio – TWITTER: @DooleyLAK & @LAKings
TODAY’S MATCHAP: The Kings conclude their short trip to Canada tonight with their last meeting of the season against the Winnipeg Jets.
HEAD TO HEAD: The Kings and Jets have met twice this season, the pair in the 3-2 final in favor of Winnipeg. Forwards Adrian Kempe, Carl Grundström and Rasmus Cooper have scored this season against Winnipeg, with eight players contributing points to today’s game from the first two games.
KINGS VITALS: After yesterday’s weekend in Winnipeg, the Kings returned to the game this morning with additional team skating.
Goalkeeper Jonathan Quick was the Kings ’lone setter on the ice during the morning ride, pointing to Kel Petersen as the expected start this evening in Winnipeg. Petersen is 0-1-1 in his career against the Jets with a save percentage of 0.860 and an average of 3.99 goals. The 27-year-old was between the trumpets the last time the Kings were in Manitoba, defeating in overtime 3-2 back in November.
Without a full morning ride today the lineup for this evening is not fully known, although Todd McLellan said this morning that he does not expect any changes. Yesterday in an emergency, the Kings added forward Jarrett Anderson-Dolan, and the forward remained on the list as of this morning. The same situation happened in Calgary, and this decision came until the warm-up in Calgary. Anderson-Dolan was sent back to AHL-Ontario immediately after submitting the list. A situation that needs to be monitored in order to move on to today’s game.
For reference, here’s how the kings lined up on Thursday in Calgary –
Tonight @LAKings The line is rushing –
Jaffala – Kopitar – Kempe
Moore – Dano – Arvidson
Vilardi – Byfield – Kupari
Grundstrom – Anderson – Kaliyev
Maatta – Spence
Noble – engraver
– Zach Dooley (@DooleyLAK) April 1, 2022
VITAL JETS: Winnipeg has won nine of the last 13 games going on at tonight’s party, staying on the outer edge of the hunt for the playoffs, joining today’s meeting.
Winnipeg goalkeeper Conor Hallebike is set to start tonight, his second start of the season against the Kings. For all time against Kings Hallebike has a score of 4-4-0 with a save percentage of 0.907 and an average of 2.88 goals.
According to the Winnipeg team’s account, this is how the hosts lined up last time against Toronto –
– Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) March 31, 2022
In Winnipeg this evening there is no duo of Kyle Connor and Nate Schmidt, both players in the COVID protocol. Forward Cole Perfetti is the only player on the team with a long-term injury at the time of writing.
Back to that
Running on smoke.
That’s where Todd McLellan praised the group after a tough win over Calgary. Right, right? As noted yesterday, the Kings played 16 games in March, one of the biggest in the NHL. With that in mind, the team hasn’t skated since, yesterday was a full day off and this morning it was easy to skate for those who decided to go out on the ice.
“We’re going to find out how good the weekend was, sometimes the weekend can work against you, but we needed it,” McLellan said. “We had to refuel, I think the guys had a lot of rest yesterday, this morning we rode very fast, but the tank will be empty for all these teams from now until the end of the season. It’s just how the schedule, travel and pressure to win games can also get rid of you a little bit. As I said before, it’s very good that our group is going through. “
As McClellan noted, the weekend can go by one way or another. We saw the Kings storm after the weekend, and we saw them stretch a bit too – watch the game in Seattle last weekend. It’s a constant balance at this time of season when everyone is recording games left and right and time to spend is short.
Talking to Alex Jaffa this morning, he used a lot of buzzwords that kings drove home throughout the season. The early involvement of everyone in the Kings hockey was a message of success tonight.
“Get everyone involved, make sure we play fast, clear, immediately go to the front check and don’t let the puck out of our d-zone,” he said. “We’re focused on making more shots and staying aggressive, so we stick to the puck, stay aggressive and stay on them.”
Everyone in the building – except the 16,000+ dressed in red – was excited to see Alex Jaffa take off his targeted drought on Thursday in Calgary.
It also couldn’t have come at a bigger moment. Jaffala got the “Kings” on the board early in the second period in a final 3-2 victory, breaking the drought in 23 games without her. During this time, Jaffala did his best to continue to do the right things, which will eventually lead to more damage, while not harming the team.
Todd McLellan has repeatedly noted that Jaffa is not well “cheated,” as he puts it. He doesn’t take that extra step toward potentially creating weird people who create defensive challenges. He doesn’t sacrifice on one end to try to start everything on the other, and that’s what McLellan saw, even in the dry season of the offensive.
“Just trying to help, at every opportunity, I try to play well in defense, in every zone, trying to set a good example, especially for these young guys who are coming,” Jaffala said. “They’re looking for things to improve their game, that’s what I did when I was younger, just trying to be a good leader on the ice.”
Once upon a time, Jaffala was a younger player on the other side of the coin, looking at the veterans in the room to help him show how to do things. Now, the leader himself and assistant captain, Jaffala is doing his best to pay, so to speak.
He knows there were no goals and assists, even though the odds were there and he continued to provide and promote in other areas he always had.
“I know there was a big band – the fans, the media, whoever it was – who were on Alex for not scoring a goal, and that’s fair, but sit back and watch the rest of the game and he does a lot of things well “McLellan said.” “Because he deals with these things, it provides a children’s line or someone else as a young forward with a visual idea of how things should be done most nights. It’s called leadership. “
McClellan called Jaffa “a visual leader” and someone he wanted the young players in the room to watch. He’s not a “pompom” in the room, he’s more butt and quiet, but his details and his process are the ones to simulate.
“For them, it’s definitely very important to see it the right way, so I’m just trying to play it right,” Jaffala added. “When I was young, I was looking for little things that the older guys were doing to improve their game every day. That’s what I was trying to do when I didn’t score a lot to play in each zone as best I could ”.
Finally, check out this behind-the-scenes interview with Quinton Byfield, in the Kings ’latest production.
An exclusive interview with Bayfield in which he talks about his journey through the ranks and, finally, the NHL, where he began to establish himself as a regular player at this level.
Okay, insiders, another one here in Canada before we head home to LAKI Suite Night in Los Angeles! Let’s hope there are five points out of six, but today in Winnipeg “Kings” will face a difficult test.