Los Angeles Kings Must Avoid Letdown With Key Players Returning

December 26th, 2009 by Gann Matsuda Leave a reply »
EL SEGUNDO, CA — During the Christmas break, the Los Angeles Kings were all away from the rink, spending time with family and friends, sharing the spirit of the season.

While those who celebrate the holiday season by exchanging gifts did so with loved ones and friends, the Kings received the gift they wanted most at this point in the 2009-10 season, the return of several key players from injury, including veteran left wing Ryan Smyth, right wing Wayne Simmonds and defenseman Jack Johnson.

Johnson missed just one game after taking a slap shot by Edmonton Oilers defenseman Sheldon Souray off his foot, so the Kings did not miss him for long. But the return of Simmonds (out for four games) and Smyth (missed fifteen games) has been something the Kings have been waiting for with the proverbial bated breath.

“This is a good time for us,” said center Anze Kopitar, who will have Smyth back on left wing on his line with right with Justin Williams when the Kings return to action at Phoenix on December 26.

A big reason Kopitar was smiling all week in practice was because with Smyth’s presence in front of the opposition’s net, he was sco ...

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