EL SEGUNDO, CA — On September 19, the first day on the ice during their 2014 training camp, the Los Angeles Kings were missing one notable player and had several others operating at less than 100 percent.
Missing in action from the morning session was defenseman Drew Doughty, who suffered an upper body injury during the off-season.
Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times reported seeing Doughty skating just prior to training camp at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California (Kings practice facility), so it would appear that the injury is not serious.
Center Jarret Stoll and left wing Kyle Clifford skated during training camp drills after undergoing off-season hip and wrist surgeries, respectively.
Goaltender Jonathan Quick also participated in drills despite undergoing off-season wrist surgery.
“I wasn’t 100 percent, but I was surprised when they said I needed surgery,” he said. “I didn’t think it was that bad. That was a little bit of a surprise, but everything’s on track. I’m where I’m supposed to be, as far as recovery, strength and everything.”
“It’s just good to get out there and skate,” he added. “I don’t have many limitations out there. We’ll go from there.”
When asked to elaborate on what his limitations are, Quick replied, “We don’t have to get into that.”
He was then asked how he was injured.
“We don’t have to get into that, either,” he stated.
Finally, he was asked which wrist was injured. Once again, “we don’t have to get into that, either,” he said.
Laughter commenced, prompting KCBS/KCAL-TV sports reporter Jim Hill to comment, “Now you’re in mid-season form.”
Sutter indicated that Clifford, Stoll and Quick will not play in the Kings’ first two pre-season games.
“We didn’t have five months off,” said Sutter. “We had just a few weeks, so we’re setting training camp up to make sure guys are ready to play the last three [pre-season] games.”
“We really only play two [pre-season] games in ten days, when you look at it, back-to-back,” added Sutter. “The doubleheader is really one game for us, and then we play Anaheim at home on Thursday. So we literally play two games in ten days and then [four games in six days]. That’s what was set up for all those guys.”
Quick had no problem with that.
“We’ve got a few [goaltenders that] the coaches want to get out there and get them some ice time,” he noted. “With the wrist, there are some limitations right now, but we’ll manage that as camp goes along.”
Aside from that, the media got the usual regarding injuries from Sutter. The only difference is that this time, he didn’t even give them a chance to ask.
“I’m not answering questions about Doughty, Quick, Stoll, Clifford—all the guys who are not ready to play,” Sutter said, rather flatly, preempting all injury-related questions and showing that he is already in mid-season form.
Greene Looking To Bounce Back
After a couple of injury-plagued seasons and a lot of time spent on the sidelines because of them, or as a healthy scratch, veteran defenseman Matt Greene is looking at the 2014-15 season, the first of his new, four-year contract extension, as a new beginning.
“I just want to have a bounce-back year,” he stressed. “It’s tough to find your game when you’re not playing. Coming back, I wasn’t playing the way I needed to in order to be in the lineup.”
“I got the opportunity at the end of the year,” he added. “I had a chance to find my game, but then the season was done again. So I just want to pick up where I left off in the playoffs, and carry that over 82 games, stay healthy and be a contributing factor for this team.”
A big part of redeeming himself and getting his career back on track was remaining with the Kings.
“It was quick,” Greene said of contract negotiations this past off-season. “I wanted to stay here. I wanted to be here for awhile, and they accepted that. It was really simple to get done.”
“I wanted to stay here,” Greene added. “I wanted a chance to prove that I could still play. Luckily, that came around.”
What does Greene need to do in order to find his game again?
“Just play,” he observed. “I think that’s the main thing. It was the old adage last year. To equate it to baseball, to get into a rhythm, you’ve got to get at-bats, but at the same time, you’ve got to get some hits. That was the thing I wasn’t doing last year.”
“I think I needed to play more [in order] to get my game going, but I wasn’t playing well enough to justify the playing time,” he added. “So, for me, it’s just having my game going, right away, playing well with whomever they’re going to put me with, and make sure I’m taking care of business on my own en so I can keep playing, get comfortable, get a routine going, and play my game the way I can.”
2014 LA Kings Training Camp Coverage
- LA Kings 2014 Training Camp: Day 2 – The Hunger To Win It All Again, Or Just To Redeem Oneself
- Frozen Royalty Audio: LA Kings 2014 Training Camp – Day 2 Interviews
- 2014-15 Los Angeles Kings: “Make The Playoffs First”
- Frozen Royalty Audio: LA Kings 2014 Training Camp – Day 1 Interviews
- LA Kings Open Their 2014 Training Camp – In Photos
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