Los Angeles Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi joined the guys on the Power Play to talk a little past (why he signed in LA), present (the road trip) and future (the Kings Stanley Cup possibilities).
Please note – as always, these recaps are near exact quotes. However, some information has been paraphrased for brevity.
Here’s a quick recap…
* [topic: What did guys in the room say after the first period in Detroit, with the Kings trailing?] Most of the veterans and the guys talking had the same things to say ‘Don’t respect the team too much. The Red Wings have a way of putting a team in ah. You sit back and kind of watch them do there thing. Although they are a very good team, you have to remember we’re a good team too.’ Right off the bat in the second period everybody responded with the right type of attitude, and more importantly, the right type of play.
* [Any confidence carrying over from the 6-1-3 road stretch in February?] We were extremely disappointed in the January homestand. We had a great chance to make up ground and instead we lost a bunch. You don’t want to play catch up hockey on the road. However, it seemed to light a fire under our rear ends and get everybody going. Yes, after having that success, we probably entered this road trip with the confidence we can do the same type of thing.
* [Why did you sign the free agent contract in LA - Phil Esposito actually said 'Was it purely the money' or did you want to play there?] It’s always a bit of both. I was incredibly fortunate to be part of a Stanley Cup winning team in Pittsburgh. Part of the benefit of that is that a lot of teams want you. Had it not been a Cup year things might have been different. I was very fortunate to have a lot of choices. Although money is one of the things that always factors into your decisions, with multiple offers of roughly the same amount of money, it was up to me to determine where I wanted to play. After studying the rosters and thinking about which general way a team might go in the next two to three years, I thought LA was the place for me. I didn’t want to go somewhere and rebuild. I want to be part of a winner and I want to win another Stanley Cup and I thought LA was the place for me to do that.
* [Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson are good building blocks] Both of those guys are incredible talents. If the Los Angeles Kings are going to have success, it’s going to be because those two are our best two defenseman. Certainly, everyone is going to have to do their part. But, those guys are going to have to carry the load if the Kings are going to win a Stanley Cup. I think they both have the talent and the will. Hopefully, they’ll go out and prove it for us.
* [Is travel a big issue in the Western Conference?] I don’t think its that bad. I think I’m at an advantage in Los Angeles though because we get all the time back. If you’re a player in Detroit or Columbus, that might be tough coming back from a long trip to California (and losing three hours). But, for us, we get all that time back. I don’t think it’s as bad as people say it is.
* [Zdeno Chara hit on Max Pacioretty] In my opinion, I thought they made the right call. It turned out to be terrible because a player was injured, which nobody wants to see. If Chara had done the same thing at the blue line where a forward shoots it past you and goes to get the puck and he just gave him a little bump, it would have been harmless. But, it happened to be right by the turnbuckle and, unfortunately, he was hurt quite severely. But, I still think they made the right call because that play happens so many times during the course of a game. It just happened to be in the middle of the ice. Nobody wants to see a player hurt, but it’s the right call and Chara’s reputation speaks for itself.
* [Are players aware the turnbuckle is there?] I think that’s a tough call. As a forward he’s trying to get the puck. From Chara’s point of view you know the puck is behind you. You don’t have time to think about where the turnbuckle is. That’s the last thing on your mind.