More info on Drew Doughty, plus why Brayden Schenn is out of the Kings' lineup [Updated]
Here's a bit more on the status of Kings defenseman Drew Doughty.
Doughty, who suffered a concussion last Wednesday in a collision with Carolina's Erik Cole, won't play at Chicago on Wednesday and is doubtful for Thursday's game at Dallas, General Manager Dean Lombardi said Monday.
[Updated at 2:42 p.m.: The Kings announced late Monday that they had put Doughty on injured reserve retroactive to last Thursday and have recalled defenseman Jake Muzzin from Manchester of the American Hockey League. Muzzin began the season with the Kings but was sent to Manchester on Saturday when Matt Greene returned from shoulder surgery.]
Lombardi said Doughty had been skating for several days but experienced a setback Saturday with the return of post-concussion symptoms. Lombardi said Doughty would have to experience two symptom-free days before he could undergo tests that would be compared with his baseline test results. Doughty skated Sunday and again on Monday in Los Angeles.
The baseline tests are administered to players when they're injury-free and measure reactions and cognitive functions. They are used to determine what's "normal" for each player. After a player suffers a head injury, he takes the same tests and those results are measured against results of the tests he took before the injury.
The Kings had been hoping Doughty that would be able to play at Dallas, but it now appears they will give him more time and not fly him out for the finale of this five-game trip. After the Kings play at Dallas, they return home to face New Jersey on Saturday at Staples Center. Sparing Doughty a quick trip to Dallas and allowing him extra time to be sure he is fully recovered is the wiser course.
"All you can do is what the doctors tell you," Lombardi said Monday after the Kings’ game-day skate at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. "That's why they have the baseline tests."
The Kings were fortunate that defenseman Matt Greene was able to return Saturday at Colorado, his first game after undergoing surgery on his left shoulder in July. He played a solid 21 minutes, 24 seconds and was +2 against the Avalanche.
"That's one of those scenarios where you’ve been out and anxious to get going, excited about playing and you get back and pour everything into the game," Coach Terry Murray said. "I thought it was a very emotional game for him. He was very excited in the locker room, and he played real heavy. A lot of physical play and he did a tremendous job.”
Murray said he planned to give Greene even more ice time against Minnesota. "I think the day off was good, and he's ready to get going," Murray said.
Greene said he felt no problems with his shoulder after Saturday's game and didn't realize how much he had played. "I feel good," he said. "I didn't know it was that much. I’m ready to go."
Murray made one lineup change, taking Brayden Schenn out and inserting Kyle Clifford while reconfiguring the first and fourth lines. Brad Richardson, coming off a hat trick at Colorado, will move up to play left wing on the top line with Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown. Andrei Loktionov, a natural center who had been playing left wing with Kopitar and Brown, will center the fourth line with Kyle Clifford and Kevin Westgarth.
Murray said Schenn "is going to be a real good hockey player. We just need to continually pull him aside and talk to him about his shifts, reviewing the video, putting a focus on the checking part of the game. ... For Schenn right now, the important part is understanding the checking part of it. The part of the game that we value greatly is playing without the puck and there's some issues and some areas of the game that he's breaking down in our own D-zone coverage. So we'll go back at it and talk and review and practice and get it back in again."
However, Murray said he wants to keep Schenn and Clifford on the roster instead of sending them back to junior hockey. Because both are 19, they can only go back to their respective junior teams and can’t be sent to the American Hockey League. They can play nine NHL games before they use up a year on their contracts.
"My plan is to have them contribute as we get into February and March," Murray said.
Also, right wing Wayne Simmonds, who was subject to supplementary discipline from the NHL after being assessed a major penalty and game misconduct Saturday for butt-ending Colorado's T.J. Galiardi, was not suspended and will be in the Kings’ lineup.
One more note: The runway to the visitors' locker room at the Xcel Energy Center was the scene of a confrontation between a fan and Vancouver Canucks forward Rick Rypien last week, and Rypien was suspended six games by the NHL for his actions. A spokesman for the Minnesota Wild said additional security personnel would be in that area Monday night to guard against similar incidents.
More later at www.latimes.com/sports
-- Helene Elliott in St. Paul, Minn.