Update on Kings' Jack Johnson injury
Just spoke with Terry Murray, whose patience and resourcefulness are already being sorely tested two games into his tenure as the Kings' coach.
In a rare and very welcome display of candor regarding injuries, Murray said defenseman Jack Johnson has a tear in the labrum of his left shoulder and isn't expected back until after the All-Star break.
The All-Star Game will be played Jan. 25, so that's a long time for the Kings to be without a defenseman they projected to play big minutes in all situations. Johnson, 21, is scheduled to undergo surgery later this week. The Kings placed him on injured reserve.
"It's very unfortunate," Murray said. "When you look at it, and when you look at things like this, it always seems like an innocent play."
Johnson was injured Sunday, during the first period of the Kings' 1-0 loss to San Jose at Staples Center. Murray said Johnson was attempting to play a puck that had flipped up in the air and was hit at a bad angle by a Sharks player.
"He saw the player at the last second and tried to get out of the way but couldn't," Murray said.
Johnson's place in the lineup Tuesday night against the Ducks at Staples Center will be taken by Peter Harrold, who stuck with the Kings out of training camp but didn't play in their first two games. Another option is Kyle Quincey, who was claimed by the Kings from Detroit off waivers on Monday and was expected to arrive in Los Angeles this evening.
"I don't know him, so we'll have to see where he is," Murray said.
We know where the Kings are: in an even more difficult spot than ever.
-- Helene Elliott
Photo: Los Angeles Kings defenseman Jack Johnson, left, stops San Jose Sharks center Jeremy Roenick during the first period of an Oct. 12, 2008 game in Los Angeles. Credit: Gus Ruelas / Associated Press