As always in Canadian cities, there was a huge media crowd at the Kings’ game-day skate at the Air Canada Centre on Monday, and the assembled throng got to witness John Stevens’ final morning skate as the Kings’ interim coach.
The timetable for Darryl Sutter’s succession now figures to be an announcement of his hiring on Tuesday, his first practice on Wednesday morning followed by a news conference, and his first game behind the bench on Thursday against the Ducks at Staples Center.
Stevens is 1-2 since temporarily taking over for Terry Murray, unable to halt a skid that has reached six losses in seven games. In addition, the Kings have been held to two goals or fewer in 11 straight games and are the league’s lowest-scoring team on a per-game average. Their power play is scoreless in 18 chances over the last six games.
Stevens will be part of Sutter’s staff, though it’s unclear whether Sutter will want to bring in an assistant of his own. He said he enjoyed the experience as interim coach, though it was taxing in many ways.
“I love coaching whether it’s an assistant or head position. Obviously this week has been very difficult with what’s transpired with Terry,” said Stevens, who tried to lighten the mood Sunday by taking the team to Dairy Queen after practice.