Matt Greene shoves people - Jim McIsaac
Willie Mitchell (knee injury) participated in practice with the team, but will not be ready for Tuesday. Right now Drewiske, Muzzin, and Bodnarchuk will battle it out for two spots.
Can the Kings ever get a day of 100% good injury news?
Anze Kopitar is set to rejoin the lineup on Tuesday, and Mitchell has begun skating again. So of course they lose one of their veteran defensemen to injury in his first game back. Bob McKenzie says Greene's back injury could be the end of his season.
We were already puzzling over which defense pairs we might see against Colorado. Now we wonder what they'll look like for the rest of the year.
Some quick bullet point reactions:
- Davis Drewiske is the Kings' usual 7th defenseman. He had a poor game on Saturday. Can he shake off the rust and become good enough to hold down a regular spot?
- Jake Muzzin (6'3", 214 lbs) played with Voynov in Manchester. He has the size and physicality to balance the pairing out, but I'm not at all sure he's ready for second pairing competition.
- Andrew Bodnarchuk (5'10, 188 lbs) struck me as a pretty reliable offensive defenseman for the Monarchs, though on the small side. He played 5 games for the Bruins in 2009-10. It's notable that the Kings chose to keep him over Hickey.
- None of the free agents are very attractive options. Chris Campoli, often put at the top of the available list, struggled last year despite soft competition.
- Finally, we must assume that Lombardi will explore the trade market. They have cap space to spare, and a few forwards could be moved. However, many teams are in search of defensive upgrades, so the market could be tight. A team like the Buffalo Sabres may be open to trading a third-pairing defenseman, but I don't know their needs.
Let us pray that Mitchell's progress continues. Whew.
Can you think of possible trade targets if Greene is in fact out for the year?
How nervous are you on a scale of one to aaaaaaaagh?