Stars are stars.
Yet, how many times has a no name player or a minimally used role player come up big for a team in the playoffs?
There have been quite a few for the Kings, perhaps none bigger than Gary Shuchuk and Robb Stauber in 1993.
Prior to the Kings leaving for San Jose I spoke with several of the players and asked them who they thought would come up big versus San Jose.
Drew Doughty went with the returning Justin Williams and he sure looked good in game one. Not exactly a ‘totally random’ choice, but still – he called it.
Alexei Ponikarovsky, who was banging into every Sharks player he could find on Thursday night, wasn’t concerned with the name on the back of the jersey. He went with more of an ‘all for one, one for all’ mantra…
“I think we need everybody,” said Ponikarovsky. “We have to play as a team. So, it’s going to take everybody to win this series. It doesn’t matter who’s going to score the big goal. We’re going to play as a team and we’ll go from there. We’re going to work as a team and when we get goals it will have been the whole team that worked for it.”
Meanwhile, rookie Kyle Clifford had his sights squarely set on one of the other youngsters making their post-season debuts in this series…
“There are a number of guys in this room that are more than capable of having a breakout series. We’re probably going to need some of the younger guys too - like Oscar Moller, Trevor Lewis and Alec Martinez. I think they’re more than capable of doing it and throughout the year you’ve seen glimpses of what type of players they’re going to be. So, my choice would be one of those three.”
Moller is back in the line-up tonight. So, perhaps he can make Clifford will look as smart as Doughty did on Thursday.
To read Doughty’s full comments about Williams click here.
And to re-live that magical ’93 playoff run, check out Shuchuk’s interview here.