LOS ANGELES — Is it an injury or is it not? Darryl Sutter will never tell.
During the Los Angeles Kings’ first Stanley Cup Final practice Tuesday afternoon, goaltender Jonathan Quick appeared to deflect a high shot from Kyle Clifford awkwardly. He doubled over and stayed on the ice momentarily before skating off awkwardly.
Or was it really awkwardly? Quick does sometimes bend at the waist when he skates off and although he left practice early, it wasn’t exceptionally early. The Kings, who rarely divulge any injury information, played coy as usual.
Sutter felt that there was no reason to be concerned.
"No. Jonathan is a tough guy," the Kings’ head coach said at Tuesday’s Stanley Cup Media Day. "He’s probably the first guy out of the room."
Kyle Clifford told reporters that Quick was "fine" and two others told LA Kings Insider Jon Rosen that 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy winner demurred the "injury" as well, saying that he wasn’t at all worried. He showed up for his turn with the media promptly and did not appear to being wearing ice or any other type of brace near his collarbone, where it appeared that he took the shot, and insisted that he had been near the end of his practice time already.
"It was somewhere between by head and my knees," he said. "I was on my way out. I had already been out there for a good 40 minutes. I was on my way out anyway."
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His backup, rookie Martin Jones, has played in two games in the postseason, both in relief. He’s faced seven shots and stopped all seven. Jones has never faced the Rangers.
The toughest test
New York Rangers general manager Glen Sather has a very tough job during the Stanley Cup. And very difficult decisions to make.
"It’s really complicated," Sather said. "Today it took us about three hours to figure out which golf course we were going to play on this afternoon, then later on this evening we have the question about dinner. What are you going to watch on TV tonight? Is Game of Thrones on?
Sather grew up with Sutter as a farm boy in rural Alberta, and the two have more than hockey and cattle in common: Clearly, they’re both good at deflecting questions.
Carcillo suspension update
Rangers forward Daniel Carcillo received the news that his suspension for abuse of an official was lowered from 10 games to six, meaning he will, in fact, be able to play in the Stanley Cup Final.
Early Tuesday morning, the league announced that his punishment was better deemed a violation of a different rule and that Carcillo would be eligible to return for Game 4 in New York. Carcillo had appealed the initial decision has not played since May 23. He apologized to linesman Scott Driscoll after elbowing him in the face while he was being restrained during a fight and attempting to get him into the penalty box after being charged a penalty.
"I went in there and I wanted to say what I needed to say," Carcillo said. "Whatever happened, happened, you know? I felt, just relieved after getting a chance to speak and apologize to Scott and say my piece. From that standpoint, it was just a big weight off my shoulders doing that."