“It gives us more speed in our first two lines, that’s for sure,” head coach Darryl Sutter said, per LA Kings Insider. “I think that we haven’t gotten much out of our left side, if you look at it, all of training camp. So that’ll help, for sure. Tanner’s a guy that you count on and trust, and the fact of the matter is he scored 15 goals last year. We’ve got a lot of guys that didn’t get many goals, so that’s a guy that can contribute, for sure, on the shooting and scoring part.”
Pearson was suspended for the first two games of the regular season, a 2-1 loss in San Jose and a 4-2 defeat at home to Philadelphia. The Kings were also without injured winger Marian Gaborik for those games, and they will be for a while longer. Ditto for goalie Jonathan Quick, who lasted just a period against the Sharks and could miss months with a reported groin injury.
And don’t forget the Kings lost Milan Lucic to free agency over the summer. He scored 20 goals for them last season, and no obvious replacement was brought in.
So some early adversity for the Kings, no doubt about that. They play the Wild tonight, then travel to Dallas for a game Thursday.
Getting Pearson back will be nice, but will it be enough?