Game 3: Morning comments from Willie Mitchell

Here are some more comments following the Kings’ pre-game skate at Staples Center earlier today…

Q. Just by nature, being one of the older guys, have you taken on a role of mentor?

MITCHELL: Try to, yeah, a little bit. Always said you can learn from anyone. You can learn from a 21- or 22-year-old, even though you’re 35, as far as what they do with the game, what they do well. I watch Drew all the time as far as offensive things he’s good at. There’s some things you can’t recreate because he’s such a dynamic player. There’s some reads you can learn off of.

I think being a guy who has been around, learned from things on the defensive side of things, that’s what I try to do, talk about bringing pressure, things like that. Really I believe when your D partner makes you a good player. I truly believe he’s the eyes and ears for you. Slav can do that for me, makes me look good. If I can do that for him, makes him look good. The situation he’s been in as a rookie defensive, how many guys have done it that well?

Q. Normally when a team is playing this well, there would be some sort of a letdown, take one for granted. I don’t know if there has been and it just hasn’t cost you. Why do you seem to be so good?

MITCHELL: We didn’t play very good in Game 1, not at all. We didn’t feel like we had any legs. Game 2, we felt we played better, but the Devils played really well. I think a lot of it has to do with being a better-prepared team down the stretch. A large portion of that is on Darryl’s shoulders. Game day, he said there’s nothing better. It’s true, there isn’t nothing better. He’s been the ultimate as far as preparing the team. I think that’s what we need. We’re quite a young team. We’re a young team. Being in L.A., being in the sun, walk outside, 75 degrees, sunny, nice. Sometimes it’s human nature to forget about what’s at hand. Like I said, he’s done a great job with the young guys, preparing them to play. That’s been a great reason for more consistency in our game.

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John Hoven is a member of the of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and co-hosts Kings of the Podcast. He is also the founder and editor of MayorsManor.com, which has been named Best Sports Blog in Los Angeles by LA Weekly and Hockey Blog of the Year by Yahoo Sports. Click "ABOUT OUR TEAM" above for a full bio.