Jonathan Quick sure didn't sound as if he spent the weekend watching the All-Star game with a bag of popcorn. The showcase event is torturous for goaltenders, and Quick didn't wonder about what he missed.
Instead he took aim at getting well and was back at practice Monday.
"Obviously with 30 games left, that's more important playing in the games this past weekend," Quick said. "I'm focused on that."
How helpful were the days off to rehab what the Kings call a lingering injury?
"Very," he said.
Kings coach John Stevens elaborated more, saying Quick received "lots of rehab" over the break and should be back in a "really healthy position" going into the second half. The Kings placed Quick on injured reserve, but it was for roster considerations as Michael Amadio, Jonny Brodzinski, Paul LaDue and Jack Campbell were recalled. Quick can be activated Thursday, though Stevens stopped short of predicting that.
"We don't expect him to be long-term," Stevens said. "I think he's day to day, and I think if he continues to progress, there's no reason why he shouldn't join us soon."
Quick isn't eligible to play Tuesday because he missed the All-Star game, league rules stating a player must miss a regular-season game if they drop out of star festivities. Campbell, a former first-round pick of the Dallas Stars, was recalled to presumably back up Darcy Kuemper. This two-game Southern tour represents the third time in a month the Kings will return from a hiatus. The results are middling at best. They went 2-2-1 out of the Christmas break but 1-4 out of the bye week.
If there is any added incentive needed, the timing is right because the players' fathers are traveling for this trip, a tradition among many NHL clubs.
"I think the families are watching, whether they're with us or not, but certainly having them in-house — winning's winning, right?" Stevens said. "The trip's going to be more enjoyable for the dads if you have success, and I think the players want nothing more than that."
KINGS AT DALLAS STARS
When: Tuesday, 5:30 p.m. PST.
On the air: TV: FS West; Radio: 790.
Update: Derek Forbort (upper body) and Nick Shore (lower body) practiced. Jeff Carter (ankle) is making progress, Stevens said, but hasn't begun skating with the team. Dallas forward Alexander Radulov is on a career-high-tying nine-game point streak. Teammate John Klingberg leads NHL defensemen in scoring.