The Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles Kings are about to get even stronger. The team has announced that veteran forward Kyle Clifford has been activated from the injured reserve. After missing all but the first three games of the 2017-18 season with an upper body injury, Clifford could return to the L.A. lineup as early as tonight’s match-up against the New Jersey Devils. The Kings had an open roster spot, meaning no corresponding moves were needed to activate Clifford and likely indicating that he is expected to go tonight. The two-way winger is a career King and thus a two-time Stanley Cup champ. L.A. will surely appreciate having his seven years of experience and familiarity back in the lineup.
- The St. Louis Blues, division leaders themselves, have returned Samuel Blais to the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage. The timing of the move is curious, given that Jaden Schwartz was just recently sidelined for six weeks and the Blues could use his offensive instincts in the lineup. Blais has only three points in nine NHL games in his rookie season, but impressed the organization in the preseason and has 13 points in 11 AHL games. With a tough game against the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight and a crucial home-and-home with the Winnipeg Jets coming up this weekend, perhaps coach Mike Yeo wanted to field a more veteran, two-way lineup, especially given the absences of Alex Pietrangelo and Jay Bouwmeester. However, the team could regret missing out on Blais’ offensive fire power if missing Schwartz is more apparent.
- The New York Islanders are still upset about the lack of league retribution handed out to the Bruins’ Brad Marchand for his high hit on Isles captain John Tavares on Saturday. En route to a 3-1 Boston win, the game did get physical and Marchand took offense to an earlier incident and undoubtedly charged at and hit Tavares. However, the five-minute major he was awarded was enough for the NHL Department of Player Safety, who announced they would not have a hearing with a familiar face in Marchand. That didn’t sit well with Islanders head coach Doug Weight, Greg Joyce of the New York Post writes. “I was probably a little surprised,” Weight said, explaining “Things are targeted, things happen spontaneously, but to me, the ones that are premeditated, it’s unfortunate when we only look at results. So if Johnny lies there and he is hurt, there’d probably be something done. I don’t know the logic in that.” For now, all the Islanders can do is be thankful that Tavares wasn’t hurt and be prepared to deliver some justice themselves when the Isles face the Bruins again in their first game of 2018.