Er, technically, they’ve already arrived. Tanner Pearson and Martin Jones are the latest prospects to get the call up since an apparent Higher Being/Deity/deities (if you believe in that sort of stuff) has struck down another Kings player. It was another busy day for the Kings’ front office as they continue to compensate for extensive injuries throughout the roster. Los Angeles managed to escape the first month of the season relatively unscathed. Then the calendar changed and so did the injury status of their roster. First Jeff Carter was put on IR, retroactive to October 30th, then Stoll went out with an upper-body injury along with Matt Greene who has some kind of mysterious, undisclosed injury. All three of them went out pretty much around the same time. While you obviously hate to see anyone get hurt, it did open the door for call ups Tyler Toffoli and Linden Vey, who have both done an admirable job in stepping in and adapting to the speed and skill of the NHL. Both have shown tremendous on-ice awareness and great composure with the puck, with Vey earning his first NHL point in only his second game along with a myriad of puns from delighted fans. However, now it seems the Kings’ good fortune from the first month has come back to haunt them — with interest. Jeff Carter remains on IR due to a broken foot sustained during a 4v3 PP against the San Jose Sharks on October 30th. Per Lisa Dillman, he will be re-evaluated at the end of the week to gauge his progress. Matt Greene was placed on Long Term Injured Reserve retroactive to November 2 with what was finally revealed as an “upper body injury.” Previously, Darryl Sutter had told reporters it was like “a Mystery Valley for me.” Kyle Clifford was also placed on Injured Reserve Wednesday after he “got his bell rung” in the first period last Saturday against the Canucks. With Matt Greene’s injury, the Kings are now down to six healthy defensemen, so a possible move to call up a defenseman from Manchester is likely in the near future. There is some good news on the injury front: Jarret Stoll did partake in Monday’s on ice practice, although he did not participate in morning rushes prior to Tuesday’s game against the Sabres. He participated in Wednesday’s practice, but did not partake in line rushes. Sutter says Stoll feels close, but Sutter is not yet comfortable putting him back in game action. Unfortunately, on the heels of such positive news comes a huge blow for the Kings: Jonathan Quick appeared to suffer some kind of a lower body injury during overtime while making a save. Quick returned to Los Angeles on Wednesday since Sutter preferred not to have him evaluated on the road. Jewels From the Crown has a brief video of the play that caused the injury. Kings trainers told GM Dean Lombardi after the game that it is either a hamstring or a groin issue. He is scheduled to have an MRI on Thursday. Up next for Los Angeles: the Kings are on Long Island visiting their old friend Thomas Hickey (a former defense prospect who was claimed off waivers at the start of the 2012-2013 season). On Friday, they will be in New Jersey to finally face off against former Stanley Cup Final opponent, the Devils. The Kings will close out their road trip on Sunday against Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers and look to win back the 2 points they gave up during the home opener. The Kings now look to Ben Scrivens to bear the weight of Jonathan Quick’s starting duties until he returns. Prospects Martin Jones (goalie) and Tanner Pearson (LW) arrived at the team’s Long Island hotel Wednesday evening. They are both expected to participate in Thursday’s morning skate, though it is unclear if/when they will see game action (particularly questionable for Jones, given Sutter’s history indicates that he prefers to ride his starting goalies hard, even in back-to-back game situations). Los Angeles’ depth is being tested as the injuries keep piling up for the team. The Kings are missing a total of five starting players and are now relying heavily on their call ups from the AHL to help them through this tough period. While it is still early in the season, player after player going down is a bit disconcerting and feels a bit ominous for many Kings fans. Hopefully the Hockey Gods (should you believe in them) will be a bit kinder to this team in the future and stop taking out so many players — at least all at once.
This has nothing to do with the above article, but it is something that came up on during the Sabres-Kings game on Tuesday night. Last season, while playing the Colorado Avalanche, Kings fans were involved in a bit of a “controversial” story. They were accused of booing injured rookie goalie Sami Aittokallio, who had suddenly gone down in the crease. At the time that trainers were tending to him, former Ducks goalie J.S. Giguere was stretching in front of the team’s bench. Some fans accused the goalie of faking an injury to buy his team more rest time (even though the Avs were on a PP at the time). It was “controversial” because many fans claimed that they were booing Giguere, but the booing of the injured rookie goalie had taken twitter by storm. During Tuesday night’s game against the Sabres, fans in attendance began to boo Jonathan Quick as he was taking his time to stretch after injuring himself. Boos continued to rain down, despite a Los Angeles trainer coming out on to the ice and speaking with Quick. As a Kings fan, some might accuse me of bias and they’d be right. However, I write this from the perspective of a general hockey fan. I’m sure we’ve all had enough of people accusing others of being uncool/classless/jerks/etc. If the next time you’re at a sporting event (any sport, it doesn’t matter), you could please try to remember that these are human beings and not robots, that’d be great. Sure, we all pay a lot of money to attend these events and we want to be entertained. But let’s try to remember that these are actual people who are putting their actual bodies on the line and sacrificing their blood, sweat and tears partly for our entertainment (yes, yes, they do it also because they love the game. That’s not the point). To give you an example, Steven Stamkos really did break his leg; it was not a plot point on a TV show. It was a horrific result of something that had happened on the ice. Steven Stamkos is a real person, not just some abstract character on the Tampa Bay Lightning Show. Boston fans at the Garden were fantastic by cheering for him as he left the ice on a stretcher. I’m not saying that you have to cheer for a player when he gets back up after he goes down, but just try not to boo. So, classiness aside, let’s all try to remember that it isn’t easy for them to do their jobs and that those figures out there are, in fact, other human beings.