Cammalleri skates but is not close

Times Staff Writer

The glimmer-of-hope news: Michael Cammalleri, spotted just before 11:30 in the morning Monday at the Kings’ practice facility in El Segundo, actually skating again for the first time since he briefly attempted doing so the day after Christmas.

The reality: He was wearing a red jersey, signifying his injured status and the exercise of skating was just that, skating, not an imminent return. He has been sidelined since suffering a rib injury in the early minutes against Nashville on Dec. 22.

“It felt good to be back on the ice,” said Cammalleri, who declined to give details on how much pain he was feeling. “ . . . It [stinks]. It’s definitely taking more time than I hoped. It’s definitely not one of those injuries that’s easy to gauge.


“I hate watching. I hate watching.”

The process of going from mere skating to contact in practice means that, barring a surprise, his return won’t come before the Kings leave for a three-game trip to Western Canada, starting in Edmonton on Jan. 15.

Coach Marc Crawford said Cammalleri would need at least one and maybe even two or three full practices before returning to the lineup.

“It is an encouraging sign,” Crawford said. “I know he feels better. What he talked to me about is now it’s sore. Before it was just pain. Now it’s just soreness. He feels there’s a big difference.

“He points to it as a good sign, that the healing is happening.”


At least Dustin Brown didn’t seriously injure his other shoulder Saturday night against the Flames. It looked serious, and he thought it was the case too, when he first went down early in the third period. But he returned after the shoulder spasm subsided.

“I had a hard time getting back up on the ice,” said Brown, who practiced Monday. “My first thought was, ‘This is really bad.’ ”


Quote 1: Defenseman Rob Blake, on playing under pressure: “We should play loose. We’re a last-place team. . . . There should be no pressure whatsoever.”


Quote 2: Forward Alexander Frolov, on communication: “On the ice, when you can see the play in front of you and he [a teammate] goes for the puck and he doesn’t really know what’s going on. You just have to talk to him and communicate and say, ‘If you have time.’ That’s what we can improve. In the locker room, I think we have enough talking.”


vs. Nashville, 7:30, FSN West

Site -- Staples Center.

Radio -- 1150.

Records -- Kings 15-26-2, Predators 20-19-2.

Record vs. Predators -- 1-1.

Update -- Ah, so many bad memories for the Kings, of the last meeting between the teams, at the Sommet Center in Nashville on Dec 22: Cammalleri’s injury in the first period, another road loss and the Predators’ Jason Arnott’s seventh career hat trick. Heading into Monday night’s game at Anaheim, Arnott had a team-leading 33 points and 14 goals.