Kings Practice: Power Play a Big Focus & Injury Updates
Both Jordan Spence and Arthur Kaliyev took all of the reps with the second power-play unit.
The Los Angeles Kings' improvement on the power play this season has been remarkable.
Still top-five in the league, after having one of the worst power plays in the league last season. The strides they've made are impressive.
But that success has slowed massively over the last few weeks.
Over the last 10 games, the Kings are 3 of 31 on the man advantage.
Because of this, a large focus at practice on Monday and in film study for the coaching staff Sunday was the power play.
While there's no guarantee either player draws in against the New York Islanders on Tuesday. Both Jordan Spence and Arthur Kaliyev took all of the reps with the second power-play unit.
The second unit also saw Trevor Moore and Alex Iafallo rotate out with each other.
On the top unit, nothing changed. Quinton Byfield is still in place of Kevin Fiala.
Spence and Kaliyev potentially coming back into the lineup will be huge for the power play. The second unit desperately missed both a quarterback and a big-shot threat, something they both bring.
Todd McLellan did address the power play's need to improve and players like Kaliyev and Spence's ability to help in that area.
"They (Kaliyev and Spence) do help that system," said McLellan. "Our power play, we can say it's struggling, it hasn't produced at the 25% rate it got to at one point. But it's still top-10 in the league. One of the issues we had at the beginning in Minnesota was taking all the penalties on the power play. We killed six of our own off because we took ill-advised penalties. And for the last couple of games that's been fixed, so I give the guys credit there. Arthur and Jordan both have traits that allow them to be productive in that area. So, it does bring them into the equation for sure."
Kaliyev, in particular, is a massive threat on the power play. Few players in the world, let alone the Kings' roster, can shoot the puck like Kaliyev. Despite playing just 44 games, Kaliyev is second on the team in power-play goals with eight. Just one behind Adrian Kempe's nine.
Kaliyev's struggled a bit at five-on-five since returning from injury but bringing him back in could go a long way in fixing the Kings' power-play woes.
McLellan also mentioned that the coaching staff spent a large part of Sunday going over the power play.
"I can tell you, we spent a large part of yesterday (Sunday), as a staff, players rested, that's a given," said McLellan. "We spent yesterday finishing up the Nashville game and looking at a lot of the power play scenarios that we faced over the last little bit. We did not spend time looking at the Islanders. So, we spent the extra time looking at our team and dealing with what we feel needs some addressing."
McLellan also gave updates on both Fiala and Sean Durzi.
"Right now, it's short term," McLellan said of Fiala's injury. "And we're going to see how he reacts to his treatment and we anticipate it will be short term."
"(He's) feeling better," McLellan said of Durzi's injury. "But, not available to play until he gets back on the ice."
McLellan then confirmed that neither Fiala nor Durzi have been able to skate at all, even light skates on their own.