In a highly anticipated season opener, the Los Angeles Kings faced off against the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night. However, the Kings found themselves in a challenging situation as they had to navigate the game with a shortened roster due to injuries and cap limitations.
- Viktor Arvidsson’s day-to-day injury forced the Kings to play with just 11 forwards and 6 defensemen.
- The team may consider placing Arvidsson on LTIR, but it remains uncertain.
- The Kings can utilize an emergency call-up for Saturday’s game, provided the player’s salary is under $850K.
Viktor Arvidsson, originally expected to make a significant contribution to the Kings’ season opener, suffered a lower-body injury during practice on Monday. What was initially labeled as an “adjustment” quickly escalated into a day-to-day concern. Head coach Todd McLellan expressed uncertainty regarding Arvidsson’s potential long-term injured reserve (LTIR) status.
“Arvy will not play tonight,” said McLellan. “He’ll be a little longer than day-to-day.”
“Arty will be called up to serve the suspension,” said McLellan. “Our team will play one player short. But that’s okay. We have quality people that are ready to go and the one thing I know, at this time of the year, people are begging for ice time. So, there it is it’s right in front of you so do something with it.”
The Kings’ roster predicament is compounded by their already tight cap situation, allowing them to carry just 21 players. Adding to their woes, Arthur Kaliyev will serve a suspension on Wednesday night, further limiting their options.
Playing with a shortened lineup is far from ideal, but McLellan appears unfazed by the challenge. One silver lining is that they can employ an emergency call-up if needed, which would not count against the salary cap. However, the selected player must have a salary below $850,000, effectively ruling out Alex Turcotte as an option.
“The coaching staff, we’re excited to see how we’re going to respond tonight,” said McLellan. “Not based on how many players we’re dressing or who’s in the lineup, but what are we going to bring to the ice surface? Are we going to play on our toes? Are we going to get after a really good team? Or are we going to sit back and see what happens? That’s what’s exciting about tonight. And dealing with adversity, whatever it might be, we haven’t even played a game yet. I don’t know if we’re in adversity or not, but the excitement is, we get to play.”
As the Kings prepared for their season opener, the morning skate provided some clarity on the expected lineup:
- Quinton Byfield – Anze Kopitar – Adrian Kempe
- Kevin Fiala – Pierre-Luc Dubois – Alex Laferriere
- Trevor Moore – Phil Danault – Carl Grundstrom
- Trevor Lewis – Blake Lizotte
- Mikey Anderson – Drew Doughty
- Vladislav Gavrikov – Matt Roy
- Tobias Bjornfot – Andreas Englund
- Cam Talbot
- Pheonix Copley
On the opposing side, the Colorado Avalanche presented a formidable challenge with their own lineup:
Colorado Avalanche Lines per DailyFaceoff.com:
- Jonathan Drouin – Nathan MacKinnon – Mikko Rantanen
- Artturi Lehkonen – Ryan Johansen – Valeri Nichuskin
- Miles Wood – Ross Colton – Tomas Tatar
- Andrew Cogliano – Fredrik Olofsson – Logan O’Connor
- Devon Toews – Cale Makar
- Bowen Byram – Josh Manson
- Samuel Girard – Erik Johnson
- Alexander Georgiev
- Justus Annunen
Despite the challenges, the Kings remain determined to kick off their season on a positive note. With a mixture of experienced veterans and young talents, they hope to overcome the odds against the talented Colorado Avalanche.