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Kings Practice: Gavrikov & Korpisalo Prepared to Face Former Team

Thursday will be an emotional game for the two newcomers, facing off against their former team for the first time.



Just two weeks ago the Los Angeles Kings completed the blockbuster trade that brought Vladislav Gavrikov and Joonas Korpisalo from the Columbus Blue Jackets to Los Angeles. 

Thursday will be an emotional game for the two newcomers, facing off against their former team for the first time.

"Yeah, it will be kind of weird," said Gavrikov. "Especially, as you said, it hasn't been a long time (since the trade). But I will do my job, not much for me to say. The most important thing right now is two points, to stay in the race and climbing."

For sure, regardless if I play or not it will be weird seeing my former teammates on the other end," said Korpisalo. "It's only been a couple of weeks so; it feels like it was just yesterday I played for Columbus so it's going to be kind of weird."

Korpisalo's seen more Blue Jackets players shoot the puck than anyone, so he'll have a good idea of their tendencies if he gets in. But they'll know his as well.

"I don't know, we all know each other so well," said Korpisalo when asked who will have the advantage. "We'll see, I know where the guys are shooting and they know where to shoot on me. It's going to be tricky."

The only way Korpisalo will get into the game is if Pheonix Copley falters. Todd McLellan confirmed that the goalie rotation will continue tomorrow.

"I don't think it (the rotation) is going to change," said McLellan. "We're going to keep going, there's no need to get really sentimental, I know it's Korpi's former team. Copley's going to play, it's the rotation we have, we don't need to change anything. And that's what we're going with. We're in a good spot right now, we want to stay in a good spot."

Both Korpisalo and Gavrikov are also getting more comfortable within the Kings' structure. Gavrikov is getting more aggressive both defensively and offensively. While Korpsialo had maybe his best game in a Kings jersey on Tuesday. 

"Yeah, as soon as you start playing more games here you become comfortable," said Gavrikov. "So, it's going to get better and better every game, I feel better and more comfortable."

"I feel pretty good," said Korpisalo. "I mean, the guys are doing a heck of a job for me, letting me see the puck all the time and that helps me a lot. And there's certainly a lot of stuff I can clean up, a lot of rebounds lately I feel like. But the guys do a heck of a job with it."

A common thing goalies reference when coming to Los Angeles or playing for the Kings is the impact of goalie coach Bill Ranford and Korpisalo is already feeling that impact.

"Really well, he's a great guy," Korpisalo said of his relationship with Ranford. "I think we think the game alike, so we're on the same page immediately it's been great to work with him."

He's even picked up a few new things from Ranford already.

"Yeah, there's been some adjustments," said Korpisalo. "Most of my post play, I don't know if any of you guys know goalie stuff, but yeah, some details and I think I manage to get them into games as well."

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