Day 1! Butterflies, Scrimmage Notes & Arvidsson/Durzi Updates + Players Talk Focusing on Day One

For as much of a veteran as Anze Kopitar is, he still admits getting butterflies on the first day of training camp.

“I always get the jitters on the first day, or at least the test days yesterday and today,” Kopitar admitted. “It’s definitely nice to be familiar with Todd’s first day and all that stuff, but still a little unnerving going into 17 days. It’s always exciting.”

From between the tubes, goalkeeper Jonathan Quick shared similar thoughts.

“Looking back, there’s still excitement in the year, the first day of camp for everyone,” Quick said. “You can ask the older guys, on test day you feel a little nervous and stuff. I don’t think much has changed.”

The same can be said of young Quinton Byfield, who is only entering his third NHL training camp and his first comeback after 40 games experience with the Kings last season.

“Yeah, sure, a little nervous,” he said. “You look at the schedule, there is a lot on the board. Your body has definitely been through a bit of a rut, so you think about that a bit and you always want to make a good first impression. You never know where you are, so you want to give everything every day, so there are some butterflies for me too.”

Veteran or rookie, butterflies or not, the LA Kings entered Day 1 earlier today with a fresh look and new expectations. Armed with last season’s playoffs, plus the addition of a new offensive threat and the growth opportunities for younger players, the tension and expectations are certainly higher compared to King’s past seasons. More on that later.

The Kings skated with three groups today – Groups A and B provided a good mix of players expected to compete for professional jobs at both NHL and AHL levels with Group C ending the day with more players on tryouts, be it a PTO or a camp invitation mixed with a few veterans. Group A started the day with a structured drill, followed by a scrimmage in two halves, running time, before Group B had their own practice. Group C closed the day with its own practice session, led by members of the Ontario Reign coaching staff.

The scrimmage looked square to groups A and B, with the teams skating to a 2-2 draw here on the opening day of camp. In the first half, veterans Adrian Kempe and Phillip Danault traded goals, which came in vintage style for both players. In the first few minutes, Kempe forced a turnover in the neutral zone, walked into the rush and scored the first goal of the game. Danault then replied later, cashing in from a familiar spot just outside the crease. Kempe away from the crowds, Danault in the dirty areas, it’s starting to feel like we’re back already.

In the second half it was Anders(s) to see, as we saw Lias Andersson and Jaret Anderson-Dolan trade. Andersson fired a wrist shot from inside the right circle, on an assist from TJ Tynan, before Anderson-Dolan scored from a scramble for the net to make the game two. Kempe then brought the game to ice with a shootout game winner.

Although it was one scrimmage, the line of Alex Iafallo, Quinton Byfield and Arthur Kaliyev on the first day of training camp was a solid unit, often expanding possession in the attack zone with a strong bet on the forecheck, leading to several offensive attacks. chances . A good sign for three players looking to determine their roles this season, with the first day providing a glimpse into what those roles can be linked together.

SEE HERE for a full rundown of the lineups on day one, posted here on LAKI earlier this morning. Striker Viktor Arvidsson, who came out of an off-season back surgery, skated alone before Group A hit the ice, while defender Sean Durzi, who worked his way back from an off-season shoulder surgery, competed in the skating with Group C in a non-contact match. red jersey.

Todd McLellan said neither player’s Day 1 status was a surprise. Arvidsson is still on his original timeline and while he wasn’t with the full group on Day 1, he’s also not ruled out for Opening Night in three weeks.

“From the day he injured himself, to the surgery until now, he hasn’t fallen off his recovery path or anything, so we expected him to be delayed at training camp,” McLellan said.

As for Durzi, the newly withdrawn defender skated in the third group, in a non-contact jersey. The expectation for Durzi is a shorter timeline than Arvidsson’s, with McLellan noting that Durzi could get into an exhibition game or two ahead of the season. Durzi could certainly be integrated into the full group sooner rather than later, at least compared to Arvidsson, which is certainly a good sign for the Kings.

“He’s evolved with the group for a short period of time on a non-contact level and then he should be back,” added McLellan. “I expect Sean to play maybe one or two exhibition games, he’s that close. He just needs to put in a little more work.”

Photo via LA Kings

Several Kings players weighed in with their thoughts from day 1! Anze Kopitar’s approach to day one, Jonathan Quick on transitioning from summer skating to formal training camp, and Adrian Kempe’s expectations on Day 1, filtered all of them out below as we go through the massive amount of interview material gathered here on Day 1.

Anze Kopitar about what he is looking for personally from day 1 of camp
When you get back into the fold, you’ll shake off the rust and get used to the pace and pace and timing of it. It’s really good to get the body going and getting it back on track.

Jonathan Quick, on transitioning from summer skating to formal training
It’s a bit more organized, so it helps you a bit with your reads, a bit more structured exercises, scrimmages and that sort of thing. It definitely goes a step further, guys [are playing] harder and the tempo is a bit faster. So those kinds of adjustments make reading a bit faster.

Drew Doughty if this year’s camp is exciting for him due to injury
Yeah right. I missed playing with the guys, especially the first year back in the playoffs – and I really enjoyed watching them play – but it’s been eating me all summer that I couldn’t really play, so yeah, super excited for this year. I really like the direction the team has gone in and I really like how I think we’re going to be a really good team this year and I’m super excited.

Trevor Moore, on taking summer training to the first day of training camp
Just getting your legs back, that physicality, playing with guys all over you. You can try it all summer, but it’s just different when men lean on you. You can hit the treadmill as much as you want, but it’s just another level of endurance and once you get your legs under you come and play and all that sort of thing after that.

Phillip Danault on his second, first day with the LA Kings organization
Awesome. We see the good pace there, the guys are already burning and pushing, so it was fun. It was a bit of a light day, but good for getting a scrimmage, half a second quicker than in the summer to get you on the right track.

Adrian Kempe on day 1 expectations, emerging from a career year
Yeah, definitely different because last year I didn’t really know where I was going to end up on that line and things like that. I ended up playing with Kopi for the most part so my expectations are the same as year round [last year]. I’m probably going to play with him eventually and you know, expectations are going up now, since the year we had as a team and also for the year as myself.

Kempe made expectations high at the end of that quote and expectations were the theme of the day. Later in the evening, we’ll have a more in-depth article on expectations and what that word means for the LA Kings, both internally and externally. Expectations have certainly changed, both in the hall among the players and coaches, and for those of us involved from other quarters, and everyone had their own take on the expectations that are there for the Kings.

Todd McLellan explained the process quite eloquently, while veteran players shared their own approach and thoughts on expectations for the season. Regardless of who was speaking, the excitement was palpable and it was reflected in several interviews. More to come in a few hours, Insiders!

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