With Willie Mitchell’s status for Wednesday’s Game 7 against San Jose up in the air, the Kings are reportedly going to recall veteran defenseman Jeff Schultz from AHL Manchester, per LA Kings Insider.
Schultz, 28, has been called up on occasion this year but failed to play a single game with L.A., spending almost the entire campaign with the Monarchs. It’s expected that, if Mitchell can’t go tomorrow, Matt Greene will draw into the lineup and Schultz will serve as the emergency defenseman.
So really, the big story here is Mitchell.
The veteran defenseman, who played over 19 minutes in each of the first five games of the series, only logged 10:04 in Game 6 after getting hurt midway through the second period (possibly while killing a San Jose 5-on-3 power play.)
Mitchell has been a good playoff warrior for the Kings over the last three years, providing big minutes on the Stanley Cup-winning team in 2012. This postseason, he leads all L.A. skaters in shorthanded time on ice per game (3:20) and has been instrumental in keeping the Sharks power play silent over the last two games — San Jose went 0-for-9 with the man advantage in Games 5 and 6.
Not surprisingly, Kings head coach Darryl Sutter was tight-lipped about Mitchell’s availability for Game 7:
Darryl Sutter, on Willie Mitchell’s availability: “We’ll see tomorrow. See how that goes.”
— Jon Rosen (@lakingsinsider) April 29, 2014