Marco Sturm ready for Kings debut
Greetings from Denver, where there’s a lot of snow in the mountains but none downtown though it’s about 30 degrees colder than it was on Monday.
As expected, left wing Marco Sturm was activated from the non-roster injured list and is scheduled to make his Kings and season debut Tuesday night against the Avalanche at the Pepsi Center.
Sturm, acquired by the Kings from Boston on Dec. 11 for future considerations — which consist of taking his salary off the cap-strapped Bruins’ payroll — last played on May 1. He underwent extensive surgery on his right knee May 18.
He had been skating with the Bruins before the Kings acquired him and picked up his activity during this five-game trip. He went to Coach Terry Murray after Monday’s practice and said he felt ready to go and eager for a new beginning.
He’s scheduled to start on the fourth line, with Trevor Lewis and Alexei Ponikarovsky, but line combinations tend to be fluid with Murray behind the bench.
“Nervous, excited, a new team, obviously, makes it even more exciting,” Sturm said when asked how he felt after Tuesday’s morning skate. “As soon as I knew I’m going to get out of Boston, I think maybe it’s a good thing to start fresh again and start a new, key part of my career and hopefully in a good way.”
Sturm, 32, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in December 2008 and came back in the 2009-10 season to score 22 goals in 76 games, the seventh time he had scored 20 goals or more. When he returned from the first knee surgery, adjusting to the speed and timing of the game was a big hurdle, he said, as was getting into battles.
“It’s more in the head than in the legs,” he said. “Sometimes you have to battle. That’s why it takes probably a few games to get used to it again but I hope it’s going to be not as hard.
“I feel fine. I feel good. I think it’s more mentally right now than anything else.”
He also said he’s comfortable with being eased back into action rather than being put on the first line. Brad Richardson, who had a hat trick in the Kings’ last visit here Oct. 23, is scheduled to start on the top line with Anze Kopitar and right wing Dustin Brown.
"It’s been awhile, so I’ve just got to get used to everything again,” Sturm said. “It’s maybe going to take me awhile too, so I think starting with Lewie and Poni is going to be good and hopefully I can move up from there.”
Playing well enough to move up to the first line is what the Kings hope to see after trying seven players on the left side on that line.
“My goal is to get playing again and get the first few over with and be the same player I was before. I know it’s not going to happen right away and it will maybe take some time.”
A few more notes: Jonathan Quick will start in goal.... Defenseman Willie Mitchell, who sustained a lower-body injury last Thursday at St. Louis, wore a huge brace on his left knee and did not skate but rode the bike. Defenseman Matt Greene, who suffered an apparent concussion last Monday, will be re-evaluated when the team returns to Los Angeles, a club spokesman said.
More in a little while at www.latimes.com/sports
-- Helene Elliott in Denver.