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Sunday Morning in El Segundo

Colten Teubert (red shirt, injured thumb) and Wayne Simmonds wait for the whistle during skating drills.
Colten Teubert (red shirt, injured thumb) and Wayne Simmonds wait for the whistle during skating drills.

Some quick thoughts from this morning's practice:

  • Scott Parse / Jarret Stoll / Justin Williams look like a real line.
  • Wayne Simmonds and Michal Handzus have good chemistry. Some nice give-and-go plays in tight.
  • Alexei Ponikarovsky is not invisible. I feel much better about the Alexander Frolov / Poni swap. I was okay with it before. But he seems like a great fit on that line. And not just because of RudyKelly's interest in "poni meat."
  • Willie Mitchell, in the corner "trench-warfare" drill, laughs heartily as he clears the crease.
  • Rich Clune looks much bigger than John Zeiler, even though Clune is listed as an inch shorter.
  • In a zone-entry drill (or something), Andrei Loktionov had a nice little fake and shot to the tippy-top corner above Jonathan Quick's glove.
  • Loktionov does look bigger. He's filling out his jersey now. It used to kind of hang down from his shoulder pads like curtains.
  • Didn't get a read on Brayden Schenn one way or another. 
  • Westgarth looks more like a hockey player.
  • Colten Teubert (pictured above) looks thicker. This is a big body.
  • Oscar Moller and Kyle Clifford both look less like kids. I feel like I'm repeating myself, but it's a theme.
  • Great passes always seem to turn out to be from Loktionov or Hickey. Both are excellent at misdirection. This is good news for a Kings power-play that (despite excellent numbers) is prone to the telegraphed pass.
  • Working very hard: Andrew Campbell.
  • Can't tell: Johan Fransson.
  • There's some guy in work out clothes up in the corner where the pro shop used to be. He's in the window, skating on some kind of treadmill while someone passes pucks to him, which he shoots at a net twenty feet away. He's attached to an elaborate harness attached to a steel frame and he's skating in place at about 15 miles an hour. I go check it out. It's Jamie Storr. He's got this whole skating system worked out based on this "endless ice" treadmill contraption. I've seen video of other skating treadmills before, but this one has a bigger (synthetic) ice surface, and you can stick handle on it. Storr and (I believe I heard this right) Jason Blake are co-conspirators in this. Storr is one of three teachers, which is cool in and of itself. Amazing. I'm going to sign my kid up for lessons. If I had a spare (I'm guessing) $50,000, I would put one in my garage. Can you imagine? 
  • I left the practice feeling like Hickey has the edge over Jake Muzzin and Fransson, and Moller, Clifford and Loktionov are a rung above Schenn. But even if that happens to be exactly what Lombardi thinks too,  I don't know what he's planning on doing with that information. If Richardson, Westgarth and Parse have really already won spots, that's three spots for Moller, Clifford, Loktionov, Clune, Trevor Lewis and Schenn -- and two of those are in the press box.  Of those names, only one (Clune) can really be healthy-scratched for chunks of the season. Moller, Loktionov, Clifford and Schenn need to play
  • In a way, maybe it's better for Moller and Loktionov to go to Manchester to cement their chemistry while Clifford/Richardson/Westgarth (Lewis and Clune) work the last five spots. Clifford/Westgarth is a scary pair of wings. That of course means Schenn goes back to junior for another year. Which sucks. This week's games are going to be interesting.