Blues at LA Kings – a ‘pissed off’ Stoll on what to watch for

If you needed an exhibit to submit in court demonstrating the Kings’ struggles on offense last year, the four-game series vs. the Blues would more than suffice.

In their last three match-ups, LA managed a combined total of two goals. And over the four-game season series they were outscored 15-6, losing all four games.

Jonathan Quick, who played every game against the Blues last season, will get the start again tonight. On the other side of the ice, St. Louis comes in with a revamped roster, that now includes veteran forwards Jason Arnott and Jamie Langenbrunner.

So, what are the keys to tonight’s game? Here’s what Quick, Jarret Stoll, Anze Kopitar and coach Terry Murray had to say following practice…

Quick – “They were a playoff (caliber) team last year, I felt. They had a few injuries that hurt them though and they weren’t able to get past them. We know that Based on what they had last year they were a great team and then they’ve added a couple pieces. They’re a very, very physical team and we have to be prepared on the physical side of it. If we can’t out battle them, it will make for a tough game.”

Kopitar – “First of all, we just have to worry about ourselves and how we’re going to play. We should make them adjust to us, instead of us adjusting to them – especially at home, where you want to get off to a hot start. We just have to play the game hard and play it with a lot of discipline.”

Stoll – “First of all, we were 0-4 against them last year and we didn’t play them very well at all, in any of the games. So, we have to have an attitude and get a little pissed off about that. We need to play that team better, for sure. We also need to be fired up and excited for our home opener, to finally play in front of our fans, it’s been a long time. They’re a tough team and they’re good on the forecheck. They’re also good on the cycle because they’re so big and strong. We need to be ready.”

Coach Murray – “One of the keys is we have to better with our execution. I remember the games we played, at St. Louis in particular last year, we had some serious breakdowns, turnovers, giving them opportunities to respond and do things they needed to do in the game. So, our own execution right now is very important. We need to come back home here, after this start away, with awareness that it’s going to be difficult, emotionally, to get yourself to that level of intensity that you have to have. We talk about this all the time, with our first game back after a long road trip, that that game is hard emotionally. You have to find a way to dig down very deep and help your teammates push each other up and support each other throughout the game and get it done with the right level of intensity and compete.”

Game time is 7:30pm PST.

Also, we will be running our first goal contest later today. If you’d like a chance at winning a free t-shirt, simply reply below with the name of the Kings player you think will score the first goal for LA tonight.

The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL
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