Some, but not all, of the signs pointed toward Kings goalie Jonathan Quick making his first start since injuring his groin on Nov. 12 against the Buffalo Sabres.
Tangible: Quick left the ice at Saturday’s morning skate at about the same time as rookie goalie Martin Jones. And Quick appeared to come through the brief session unscathed. If Quick is activated for Saturday night's game against Vancouver at Staples Center, then it appears Jones would go back to Manchester (N.H.) of the American Hockey League.
Intangible: If body language was any sign, well, then Quick looked in prime midseason form as he left the practice facility, focused with his hoodie pulled on tight serving as a barrier. The Kings have lost their last five games and are coming off a 5-0 defeat at St. Louis on Thursday.
It appears as though defenseman Alec Martinez will be back in the lineup after three games as a healthy scratch. Based on the morning skate, veteran defenseman Matt Greene looks like the odd man out.
Kings Coach Darryl Sutter addressed the goaltending issue, sort of.
“We’ll either have three guys on our roster tonight or that’s clear, right,” Sutter said. “So I’m not one way or the other on it.
“We need a goalie to win a game for us. And they’ve taken turns losing games. They need to get in the win column.”
Veteran goalie Roberto Luongo is returning tonight for the Canucks. Quick vs. Luongo … cue up those Olympic previews.
Luongo has been out since suffering a lower-body injury on Dec. 22 against Winnipeg.
“I’m excited to get back on the ice,” Luongo told Vancouver reporters on Saturday. “I feel good and I’m ready to play.”
Sutter noted the similar story lines for Luongo and Quick.
“I kind of laughed,” Sutter said. “It’s the very same thing that Bobby Lou is saying on the other side. He’s saying, ‘I feel good. I’m ready to go, if they activate me.'
“It’s the same thing with both guys when you look at it. It’s the very same situation.”
That might have been the best hint of the morning from Sutter.