The Los Angeles Kings haven't had their preseason top six all in the lineup at the same time once this season. For that reason, we've seen players like Brayden McNabb, Jeff Schultz, and Jamie McBain spend unexpectedly large amounts of time on the ice for LA this year. With Alec Martinez injured for the second time this season, the Kings have decided to recall Derek Forbort from the Manchester Monarchs.
Everyone's made a big deal about the recall, but will he even play for LA? The next four games offer opportunities to rotate Forbort in at least once before the Stadium Series game, which (I assume) Forbort probably won't get the chance to play in. Let's see what reasons Darryl Sutter might, and might not, give him a shot before Martinez gets back in the lineup. (Keep in mind that Forbort shoots left, same as Jake Muzzin, Robyn Regehr, and Brayden McNabb.)
February 12: Calgary Flames
WHY: Calgary is a really poor possession team; Jamie McBain played less than ten minutes against Columbus and might be left out; he wore a retro jersey when he was drafted; Jeff Schultz got his first game of the year against Calgary after his call-up.
WHY NOT: Calgary is second in the Pacific Division, so this game has a huge impact on the playoff race; they're 17-4-1 against the Pacific and 3-0-0 against the Kings; Forbort's only been up for two days and might do well with a game watching from the press box.
February 14: Washington Capitals
WHY: A game against an Eastern Conference opponent has less bearing on the playoff race; Forbort's ability to kill penalties might come in handy against the league's fourth-best power play; Sutter will probably be dissatisfied with SOMEONE's performance against Calgary; it's a home game.
WHY NOT: The Capitals just dominated the Kings nine days ago; Sutter would be unlikely to change the lineup after a win; Brayden McNabb might be a safer choice against a more dynamic team.
February 16: Tampa Bay Lightning
WHY: Another home game, so Sutter can try finding him weak matchups; another game against an Eastern Conference team; the Kings beat Tampa Bay with five defensemen!
WHY NOT: Good luck finding him weak matchups against this team; this Eastern Conference team is really, really good; seriously, don't push your luck.
February 18: Colorado Avalanche
WHY: Jeff Schultz was called up on December 19 and played his first game after three games on the bench too; Colorado is also a struggling possession team and is 12th in the West; the Kings haven't faced the Avalanche all season, so Forbort has as much experience against this year's squad as anyone else.
WHY NOT: A road game takes away Sutter's ability to dictate his matchups; Colorado is a fast team which could pounce on Forbort's mistakes; there's a better chance Martinez will be back for this contest.
Do you think Forbort will get his NHL debut in the coming week? Or will he simply be kept in reserve, waiting for either an injury to get into the lineup or Martinez's return to head back to Manchester? Vote in the poll and weigh in with some comments below.