You won’t get a lot of cliche answers from Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell about the team’s performance. He’s a veteran who’s been through the rigors of the season with five different teams over 10 years and brings an honest perspective when assessing games.
After practice yesterday he said the Kings “dominated” Monday’s game and that some players may have lost interest when it became 4-1 (full comments here).
Smyth – “I wouldn’t think we lost interest because we started to battle back a little bit in the scoring punch. But, there were times throughout that where we weren’t as consistent as we are capable of being. Playing a full 60 (minutes) against a team like that is something you have to do. For us to be successful, you have to bring your assets to the table as a group and come through against a team like that.”
Murray – “He’s probably right about the middle (of the game). You lose focus, you don’t lose interest. You lose your focus, you lose your concentration. But, it came back in the third period. I thought we gave it a pretty good push. And what’s really important – we were talking about it on the bench – is we got behind and you know you’re playing Detroit and it’s going to be very hard to get back against that team because they check so well, they know how to do the job. But, we’re talking about doing things the right way. You can’t get bad habits into the game. If you start cheating on the game and cheating on your system and structure and not giving 100% on your effort, then you’re doing a disservice to your hockey club, to the LA Kings, and I won’t tolerate that.”
“So, we pushed it hard in the third period. I liked what we did. We got some goals and that’s a good thing to build on as we come through it. We reviewed the game today (Wednesday) in our video session with the team. There’s a lot of good things that we did. Even as you get into the second period, when we let up probably in our concentration. There’s still structurally and system-wise, we executed pretty well. But, we’re not going to back off on the demands. I’m going to push the guys to, no matter the score, we’re going to do it right. If you’re not going to do it right, you’re not going to be a part of it.”