Preview 11/18 – Dubois “Drawn in Pencil” + the return of Laferriere, Talbot’s workload and performance,

Preview 11/18 – Dubois “Drawn in Pencil” + the return of Laferriere, Talbot’s workload and performance,

from: Los Angeles Kings (9-3-3) vs St. Louis Blues (8-6-1)
What: NHL regular season game
when: Saturday, November 18 at 7:30 PM PT
where: Arena – Los Angeles, California
How to follow: Video: KCAL-TV (Channel 9) – Audio – – Twitter: @DooleyLAK & @LAKings

Tonight’s match: The Kings return home tonight, hosting the St. Louis Blues to conclude a four-game homestand at Arena.

face to face: Forward Kevin Fiala led the Kings with seven points (1-6-7) from three games against St. Louis last season, with a multi-point night each time he faced the Blues. Forwards Carl Grundstrom and Adrian Kempe led the way with three goals each in the season series, with Kempe scoring all three of his goals at Arena.

Vital Kings: As has been their protocol for most of the season, the Kings held an optional morning skate practice today, following a full team practice yesterday afternoon.

Goaltender Cam Talbot was not on the ice for today’s skate, making him the expected starter in net for the Kings tonight once again. Talbot compiled an all-time record of 7-8-6 against the Blues, with an .893 save percentage and 3.21 goals-against average.

After leaving Thursday’s game with an injury during the third period and missing yesterday’s practice, forward Pierre-Luc Dubois took the ice today for the morning skate and the Kings have him “participating” tonight, even though he has yet to check in with the coach. The team’s coaching staff. Forward Quinton Byfield, who missed yesterday’s practice due to a maintenance day, was also on the ice. Therefore, the possible lineup for tonight’s match is:

Laferrière – Dubois – Kaliyev
Anderson Dolan

Gavrikov – Roy
To move


Per Todd McLellan, the Kings are at least planning to play Dubois. Additionally, striker Alex Laferriere will return to the lineup tonight, after missing the last game, replacing striker Jarrett Anderson-Dolan. On the transaction front, defenseman Jacob Moverard has been recalled from AHL-Ontario and will likely serve as the seventh defenseman during tonight’s game.

Blue vitality: St. Louis entered their four-game trip having won five of their last six games but lost the first game on the road in a 5-1 defeat in San Jose.

Goaltender Jordan Binnington is expected to get the nod tonight in Los Angeles, after entering the game rested Thursday in San Jose. Binnington has faced the Kings 14 times throughout his professional career, carrying a 5-7-2 record, a .908 save percentage and a 2.75 goals-against average.

Per Matthew DeFranks of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, here’s how the Blues line up Thursday in San Jose —

St. Louis ranks fifth in the NHL in fewest goals allowed this season and fifth and last in goals scored. The Blues are one of two teams in the NHL with fewer than 45 goals scored and allowed entering the day. Forward Robert Thomas leads all St. Louis skaters in goals (6), assists (11), points (17) and plus/minus (+8) entering tonight’s game.

Notes –
Laver back
Look for forward Alex Laferriere to double-check tonight’s lineup against the St. Louis Blues.

“As a young player, sometimes it’s not bad to go out and watch a game and then he comes straight back, we’re showing a huge amount of confidence in him,” McLellan said this morning. “He started out as a very confident player and we want him to continue to do those things. He played a very aggressive game early on and now, sometimes it’s safe to die playing hockey. Play freely, be prepared to make mistakes, we’ll help you make them, but he does a lot of “The good stuff and it’s very easy to help him with his confidence, when Jimmy (Heller) or somebody sits down with him and shows him those things. Stuff. He’ll see it a little bit more and he’ll be fine.”

The Kings gave forward Jarrett Anderson Dolan a game on Thursday, instead of Laferriere, and tonight we’ll see those two reversed.

Laferriere took this one step at a time. It was a start to the season for a young player playing his first full season at professional level. While everyone wants to play every night, this was viewed more as an opportunity to reset Laferriere than a demotion. It was one game to see things from the top down and get straight back into the lineup. he

“I think it definitely helped, just seeing the game from the top, kind of seeing the progression of the play and things like that,” Laferriere said this morning. “I think sometimes you can lose a little bit, just because of the number of games we play, but I think it was good to get up there and see everything from the top.”

Laferriere pointed to the direct communication from the coaches as a positive when discussing the situation as a whole.

McClellan isn’t usually one to say things in the media that he or a member of the coaching staff wouldn’t share with the player directly. That level of communication was something Laferrère appreciated when he first came out of the lineup.

He added: “I think the coaches did a good job of communicating what they wanted from me, and getting back to my game that I played at the beginning of the season.” “For me, I think it’s just about simplicity, working hard and just doing the little things.”

So what are those things? Let McClellan tell you.

“He’s a tenacious player, he’s got a good set of legs and the tenacity that goes after it, he can put pucks in good spots and he’s willing to put in the work for it,” McLellan said. “I thought he wasn’t delaying early in the season, he got the ball, he was ready to shoot it and go get it again. Now, when he gets it, he’s a little bit thinking about what else can I do with it? So, it was all his strengths.” It’s still there, it’s there and we’ll definitely see it again.

It’s good to see how Laferrère responds this evening against the Blues.

Talkin Talbot
Another solid night between the pipes for goaltender Cam Talbot on Thursday.

Coming off a performance in which he stopped 30 of 31 shots he faced in a 2-1 win over Florida, only one goaltender in the NHL has more wins this season than Talbot’s eight. Only four goaltenders with double-digit appearances have a better save percentage than Talbot’s .927. According to Natural Stats Trick, only three goaltenders in the NHL have a goals saved above average (GSAA) higher than Talbot’s 8.25 across all strengths.

From almost every angle, Talbot was exactly what the Kings needed here at the start of the season and his teammates took notice. Although they may not know the exact statistical distribution, the players in front of him have seen the level of play and are comfortable in front of him.

“He was fantastic, especially on that trip playing every game, and as a goalkeeper, you want to be in that position, ready to go every game,” Anze Kopitar said of Talbot. “Winning and scoring goals against him definitely helps, but he was solid out there. The saves he needs to make, he’s there and then. He helps us win games.”

Todd McLellan has spoken several times about his comfort level and confidence with Talbot between the pipes.

Talbot has proven to be a perfect fit in McLellan’s system here in their second time working together in the NHL. McClellan pointed to Talbot’s ability to not only save the puck, but to read plays effectively, as a possible reason why.

“I think Cam reads the play well,” McLellan said. “We only think about goalkeepers who are blockers, he can read the play. We try to be as predictable as possible in all positions, but especially for the goalkeeper, and maybe that will help him as well.

Since the schedule is in place now, the Kings have the ability to continue riding Talbot a little more aggressively than they will later in the season. By December and certainly into January, with the All-Star break underway, the Kings know they’ll need two goaltenders playing well.

Right now, McClellan and the coaching staff know the Kings are in a quieter part of their schedule and if they choose to return to Talbot, which it looks like they will tonight, they have the luxury of doing so now.

“I’m not saying we can only play one goalkeeper, but we have that luxury if we choose to,” McLellan said. “Talps played very well (Thursday), he’s played very well all season. He had an average workload, and then (Friday) was a clean day for our team and he didn’t get a lot of work in terms of fatigue in practice, which is just enough To feel good and ready to play again. So, if we choose to use it (tonight), I think we’re fine and then we’ll continue to make decisions day by day.”

While we may have envisioned more of a split in starts early this season, it was always clear that there was an opportunity for the goalkeeper to grab more of the share based on his performances, especially in the early stages. Talbot’s form so far has earned him the bulk of games here in October and November, but we’ve only played 15 of the 82 games, so there are ways forward.

The Kings will play 15 games during the month of January, then after the NHL All-Star break, they will have 11 games in 19 days through the end of February. There’s a long way to go and the Kings know they’ll need to rely on Pheonix Copley a lot during this round of games, as will Talbot.

For now, the Kings have the option to continue Talbot scoring in net, as his play is worth it. As long as the results last, there should be no big problem in doing so.

Kings and Blues, 7:30pm tonight on KCAL – the first of six games we’ll see this season on KCAL!

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