A young Kings squad found themselves frustrated by the Anaheim Ducks’ rookie team yesterday, and despite coming out of the first period with a 1-0 lead, the Kings surrendered three goals in the second. Anaheim never surrendered the lead and the Kings went on to lose their opening game 8-3. Jaret Anderson-Dolan scored to of the goals and had the primary assist on the other (the goal went to camp invitee Mark Rassell).
While your intrepid midwestern JFTC correspondent was unable to watch the game thanks to geographic restrictions on streaming, Robyn reported back with some observations of the game:
- The speed of the game didn’t always suit the Kings players. The Ducks squad kept the tempo fast, while the Kings, despite having some speedy players, looked to slow the game down.
- The penalty kill initially was strong, but struggled as the game went on (and as the Kings continued to amass penalties).
- Drake Rymsha, Jaret Anderson-Dolan, and Mikey Eyssimont were all highly noticeable throughout the game. Eyssimont in particular could be someone who earns a call-up to the NHL if he performs well in Ontario.
- The Kings had some momentum early in the third period, with Rassel potting an early goal to put the Kings within one, but five straight goals from Anaheim ended any hopes of a comeback.
The Kings take on the Arizona Coyotes rookie squad today and will look to bounce back from yesterday’s loss.
HOW TO WATCH
Game Time: 3:00 PM (Pacific)
WHO TO WATCH
Kale Clague: Without any information on possible lines for tonight, it’s just a guess at who’s playing, but based on the Kings’ social media, it’s somewhat of a safe bet that Clague will be in again.
As the team’s top defensive prospect, the organization probably wants to see him get as much ice time as possible. And Clague needs it, because he was unnoticeable at times yesterday. As a highly-skilled player who has the potential to be a game-changer, you don’t want him to be the kind of defenseman who fades into the background. While the expectation is that Clague will start the season in Ontario, it’s not out of line to want to see him show a higher comfort level with his game sooner rather than later.
The Goaltender: There’s no signs yet on who will be between the pipes today, but with three goaltenders on the roster and three games on the schedule, it’s a fair bet that each player will see action. With Matt Villalta having played last night, that means we should see either Cole Kehler or Jacob Ingham in net.This will be the first look Kings fans get at either goalie, with Kehler having signed as a free agent and Ingham only being drafted this summer.
ETA: In between drafting this and preparing it to post, Cole Kehler was announced as the starter. Kehler’s an interesting prospect because with Cal Petersen and Peter Budaj slated to start in Ontario, Kehler will most likely be in Manchester, marking the first time in quite a while that the Kings had a legitimate goalie prospect of their own down in the ECHL.