Kevin Westgarth on what goes into preparing for a scrap

As sometimes happens when you sit down with Kevin Westgarth, the conversation can drift. His insightful answers to questions on topic A can quickly lead to you asking about topics B, C and D. Such was the case recently when we began talking about something as simple as taping his wrists.

“I do a light tape,” began Westgarth, who is celebrating his 28th birthday today. “Even for the game, it kind of solidifies your grip and your wrists. A lot of guys I’ve run into have either hand or wrist problems. So, in some sense I’m sure it’s probably placebo, but I’m sure there’s something to it. It keeps things a little tighter and makes you a little more solid.”

Not everybody agrees with him, per se. “I’ve never taped my wrists,” said Kyle Clifford. “But, I’m not throwing heavyweight punches like him. So, it’s kind of different.”

There isn’t a guide to follow when it comes to preparing for a game – and the possibility of a fight – says Westgarth, “It’s mostly trial and error. In Manch (Manchester, AHL), I was the heavyweight. So, it was a lot of blazing my own trail. But, I tried to learn as much as I could, even from watching guys on other teams that I respected. There was some help from a few of the older guys. But, they weren’t as into it as maybe I have to be. In the summers I also try to talk to different guys that I’m training with or just run into. Marty (McSorley), here, is a great resource too.”

Earlier this season, McSorley was on MayorsManor and talked about helping guys with their balance, is it that something he’s been able to work with Westgarth on?

“It’s definitely something we’ve touched on. Balance has been a focus of mine, just skating regularly,” he said with a laugh. “Also, in a fight, it’s paramount to success. If you’re (down) on the ice, you’re not doing very well in a fight.”

Westgarth also credits the team’s new strength and conditioning coach, Ryan van Asten, for helping him build his core strength. The Kings recently brought on van Asten to replace the departed Tim Adams. He previously worked with Hockey Canada and at the Canadian Sport Centre in Calgary.

Westgarth doesn’t limit his preparation to the training room though. “It’s like anything in my life, I just try to get information and knowledge from everywhere,” he shared. “That’s paid dividends for me in many facets of my life.”

Another type of tape is becoming part of the preparation of tough guys around the league as well. For example, New Jersey’s Cam Janssen once told us he used hockeyfights.com to research several LA Kings players.

“Some guys are diehards about it,” said Westgarth. “I’ve studied a few guys. But, one of the things I’ve always found is, you have to believe in your own strengths. Obviously, if you can catch something they’re particularly weak in, you can take advantage of it. But, I tend to think, for me, go with your strength against whatever they’re going to bring. So, it’s that confidence that’s going to win you the fight.”

Even so, he’s still willing to take some help along the way. “My brother will sometimes scout guys out and give me info on a team we’re about to meet up with. He played in the AHL for a few years and he knows his stuff too. So, it’s nice to have a bit of a network to help me out.”

Confidence, family and a little bit of tape. Each plays a part in what ultimately leads to a post-fight clap and Westgarth skating off to the penalty box for five minutes.

The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL
www.facebook.com/MayorsManor

RELATED ARTICLES:

Marty McSorley interview – talking fighting, Kings vs Sharks, Kopitar and more

Five minute major with Cam Janssen – comments about the Kings, Blues, etc.

Kings coach Tim Adams putting Dustin Penner through crazy workouts

Recent Articles

VIDEO: Kings of the Roundtable – Episode 6, Lightning Round

We are now over an hours deep on this summer’s Kings of the Roundtable. Now get ready for Episode 6, a rapid fire lightning round on a plethora of different topics.
MayorsManor and The Fourth Period partnered to bring you an all star cast — featuring Dennis Bernstein (Senior Writer at The Fourth Period), Jonathan […]

VIDEO: Kings of the Roundtable – Episode 5

After beginning to talk about potential trades and/or free agent signings during Kings of the Roundtable, Episode 4, the group is back to finish that discussion, as well as go to-to-toe on Dustin Brown losing the captaincy, the possibility of a bounce back year from Tyler Toffoli, should Anze Kopitar be expected to raise the […]

VIDEO: Kings of the Roundtable – Episode 4

Has the LA Kings’ championship window closed? Is a roster rebuild necessary? Who should play with Anze Kopitar next season? What trades or free agent signings should the team explore this summer? These are just some of the questions answered in Kings of the Roundtable, Episode 4.
MayorsManor and The Fourth Period partnered to bring you […]

Major News Items

LA Kings 2017 Mid-Season Prospect Rankings: Top Two Players Revealed

The wait is over; it's time to reveal the top two players on our 2017 Mid-Season Prospect Rankings. Which player has earned the coveted No. 1 spot? As we finish off this multi-part series, we'll begin with a thank you … [Read More...]

More Prospect News