Scrimmage Day 2, where offensive thrives.
The Kings skated to a 6-6 tie in today’s scrimmage, with goals flying left and right throughout the course of the two, 30-minute sessions.
The first half saw Group B jump out to a 3-1 lead, with goals from Samuel Fagemo, Alan Quine and Brendan Lemieux. Fagemo opened the scoring as he skated into the right-hand circle and snapped home a shot for his first of the day, followed by a nice give-and-go goal from Quine, who combined with Brandt Clarke on the play. Lemieux then traded goals with defenseman Sean Walker, who tallied for Group A late in the first half.
Quine scored his second of the game early in the second half, with a penalty-shot goal, before Trevor Moore intercepted a pass in his own end, sprinted the length of the ice and buried on a breakaway. Alex Iafallo and Gabe Vilardi brought the score to 5-3, with goals for Group A, before Fagemo collected his second of the morning with a nice finish off the rush. Group A came all the way back to tie the game at six, with Austin Wagner and Kevin Fiala scoring late to force a shootout for the second straight day. Group A won in the shootout with Adrian Kempe scoring an SHG for the second straight day.
For a look at how the Kings lined up today, SEE HERE for the groupings. As a note, forward Phillip Danault was originally slated for Group C, but did not skate today with a “muscle issue” that kept him off the ice today. Todd McLellan called it “nothing serious” and noted that Danault could be back with the group as soon as tomorrow.
“I wanted to come back, they offered me to come back so I thought that’s what I wanted first, that was my first choice,” Edler said. “I liked everything here last year, I think it was a good fit for me and my family off the ice and I really liked what we did on the ice. We added some pieces last year and we had a good season I think, and I wanted to be part of it this year.”
That was Alex Edler on re-signing with the Kings. Almost jokingly, he noted that it wasn’t necessarily his decision, but rather the Kings offered and he accepted, though I think he’s being a bit modest. Coming off of a season in which Edler posted some excellent metrics, he likely would have had plenty of offers and opportunities should he have chosen unrestricted free agency.
What he did choose, however, was to return to something he believes is working, and that’s what the Kings are building here in Los Angeles. Edler noted he believes that the group here is buying into what’s being built, a sentiment that seems to be going around the room.
Edler also weighed in on the theme of the day from yesterday – expectations.
“I think before last season, maybe in the outside world expectations weren’t that high but I think we really came together as a team and we played the way we wanted to and we had some success, but that was last year and it’s gonna be tougher this year to take another step.”
Edler has been a part of teams that went from missing the playoffs to making it, as the Kings did last year, and he’s seen a team follow up that season up by making the playoffs again and taking that next step. He’s also been a part of teams that were in the same position, from out of the playoffs to in, and took a step back by not making the playoffs again.
Important experience to have, he’s seen both sides of the coin, and he understands that taking the next step forward won’t happen on its own. It requires hard work.
“When you have a good year, it’s not going to happen by itself the next year,” he added. “It’s going to be even tougher, the expectations are higher from the outside world, you’re gonna have higher expectations on yourself and you’re gonna want to do better. but you got to work for that. You’ve got to take what you did last year and then build off it and not think that it’s gonna happen on its own. It’s a lot of hard work.”
Sammy Snap Shot 🎯 https://t.co/6CcvMNPm0X
—Zach Dooley (@DooleyLAK) September 23, 2022
As a big fan of alliteration, it was a good day for Samuel Fagemo to snap home a couple of goals in today’s scrimmage.
Now, Fagemo was an interview target today regardless, as he’s earned the first crack on a line with Phillip Danault and Trevor Moore in place of a currently injured Viktor Arvidsson.
As a starter here, it’s important to note that while Fagemo started camp here, the plan is to try multiple players in that spot. And that’s coming from the horse’s mouth, directly from Todd McLellan.
“We will see different players rotate through that line and don’t forget by the time in a few weeks, Arvy may very well be there and just not be up to par,” McLellan said. “Long term, we see the three of them getting back together and being productive. We know that lines don’t stay together all year, but to start with that’s where we’d like to get to. Sammy was there today, there might be a different player there tomorrow, exhibition games will rotate different players in and out, but 99 percent sure that Trevor and Phil will play together and we’ll try and find the right piece.”
With that being said, Fagemo got the first look during yesterday’s skate and played with Moore and Rasmus Kupari today, with Danault not skating as noted above. The young Swede made the most of things in today’s scrimmage, as he buried two goals using one of his most notable assets – his shot.
“Sammy, he’s a sniper, a very good player, had a good year last year,” Danault said of his new winger. “I can’t wait to see what he’s got [in a game], it’s hard to see in a scrimmage, everyone’s buzzing. It’ll be nice to see him in an exhibition game.”
Danault noted that he did speak with McLellan on deciding which player might slot onto that line as Arvidsson works his way back from injury.
Speaking with Moore yesterday, he feels that he and Danault are relatively easy to play with, but it’s not as if anyone could just slot into that role. Fagemo is a player both Danault and Moore were complementary of, and whether he sticks there for the duration of camp or not, or if we see more of a rotation as McLellan alluded to, Fagemo is a guy who embraces the hard-working approach of 12 and 24.
“I think we can play with probably a lot of guys, but a guy like Sammy, he’s not only super talented, but he works super hard and that complements our game a lot,” Moore said. “We always want to be the guys who are the hardest workers on the ice, you can’t do it without that. Sammy’s been a good fit.”
Fagemo noted that Arvidsson is a player he watches a lot of video of, which gives him a bit of insight into how that line plays, and what a third member should contribute. Fagemo believes that the approach of the line fits well with the approach he takes to his own game as well.
“I think their style is just to compete so hard and they have a lot of speed and skill too,” Fagemo said today. “I think that fits my game too and it’s felt great so far.”
McLellan has said a couple of times now that we will see multiple players given an opportunity on that line, but it’s fair to think that we might at least see Fagemo get a look during exhibition contests, with that line or not, to showcase himself for a spot amongst the 13 or 14 forwards on the opening-night roster.
Regardless of his deployment, he’s thankful for his early opportunities and determined to make the most of them moving forward.
“I think that’s a great opportunity for me and I’m really thankful for that opportunity I’m getting,” he said. “I’m just going to have fun with it, keep competing and just stay calm, keep having fun.”
The Kings are back on the ice for the same schedule tomorrow, the final day of what was an opening three to begin camp. The team will break up differently beginning on Sunday, with the first games of the preseason coming on the road on Sunday and Monday, thus switching up game groups and practice groups based on the day. Full preseason coverage will be found here on LAKI, including pre-game storylines and post-game notes and quotes.
As always, Insiders, thank you for reading!