So the big moment has arrived for goalie Jhonas Enroth.
His first regular-season start for the Kings.
“It’s special because it’s the first game for me here,” he said after Thursday morning’s skate. “I’m excited for that. I feel like it’s about time. It’s been awhile since I played a game obviously. But I’ve been feeling pretty good throughout practice.
“I feel ready to go.”
Kings Coach Darryl Sutter very rarely, if ever, discusses his goaltending plans even with games on back-to-back nights. Enroth was the first goalie off the ice here and Jonathan Quick stayed on for a lengthy session of extra work, all signs pointing to Enroth’s first start with the Kings coming against the Sharks. The Kings play Carolina on Friday night at Staples Center.
Enroth, who signed with the Kings as a free agent in July, played in Buffalo and Dallas last season. His last regular-season game was April 11 as he helped lead the Stars to a 4-1 win over Nashville.
Even in a short period of time, Enroth said his work with Kings goalie coach Bill Ranford has been beneficial.
“I think he’s a really good goalie coach. He’s already taught me a lot and he really makes you work,” Enroth said. “Working with him, the first month or whatever it’s been, I’ve learned a lot already from him.”
The Kings are coming off back-to-back wins and Sutter is seeing signs that they’ve been able to establish their “identity,” or are moving in the right direction.
“We’re finding our work ethic again and our identity again,” Sutter said. “I’ve said lots about the turnover in our veteran guys, the guys that are really strong identity players – (Justin Williams), Jarret (Stoll), Robyn (Regehr) and Mike (Richards), really strong identity players. Really important players. Guys need [to step] up and assume those responsibilities, especially in those positions they played.”
Later on Thursday, the Kings recalled defenseman Jamie McBain from their American Hockey League affiliate in Ontario (Calif.) and he was expected to join the Kings in San Jose. The Kings are thin on numbers on defense because of Matt Greene’s unspecified injury.
McBain played in 26 games with the Kings last season and started the season in Ontario when the Kings opted to keep Jeff Schultz in Los Angeles. Schultz was assigned to Ontario on Oct. 12