In some respects, it’s not surprising that Rob Scuderi scored the Kings first goal of the game vs. the visiting Chicago Blackhawks. Many of his teammates had to be nervous – or at least emotionally charged – after going through the banner raising ceremony and getting their rings. Very few of them had ever been through something like that before.
But Scuderi, the team’s usual rock on defense, was just as calm, cool and collected as he always is. And why shouldn’t he have been? The veteran blueliner already experienced the whole thing with Pittsburgh before coming to Los Angeles as a free agent in the summer of 2009.
So, there he was, as usual, settling the water today. Although Scuderi is normally shutting down the oppositions attack, this time around he provided a little offensive spark. Here’s the video to prove it…
Afterward the game, here’s what he had to say about the team’s loss in game one…
– On mistakes made: “You’re going to make some physical mistakes in these first seven or eight games. That’s just the way it is. I expect physical mistakes, but we have to be prepared mentally to play the game and at least give ourselves a chance. If you’re in the right position which is a mental thing, then you give yourself a chance to win a physical battle.”
– On what needs to be worked on: “I think just working as a unit of five. I thought that we got spread out a lot, and besides that just physical conditioning. Just getting back into the swing of things. I think Chicago made short, simple things and kept the game very easy as we all transition into the season. I thought we tried to make really long plays. Maybe things that maybe you wouldn’t even try in the middle of a season.”
– If trying to play following the banner ceremony was too much for the team: “Maybe a little bit. Myself? No…We were looking forward to playing. I felt physically rusty (at the start), but by the end of the game I felt much better. I think it was more the mental side of it. Trying to get yourself into the right mode, into the right position and into the right frame of mind.”
– How does the team make that mental adjustment that’s needed: “I think just more practice and more games. You know we’ve only been in team practices for 5-6 days. You’re just getting used to the speed again. The first couple days it takes a little while to get it back, and then we headed right into a regular season game. There’s going to be mistakes and like I said that’s fine, but we just have to limit the mental ones.”
– On the overall banner ceremony: “I thought it was awesome…To share the Cup with the fans, a moment of reflection….I think as players we really appreciated the fans and the organization making a really nice presentation. Something we could all share in you know, but also the fact that we have to move on….I thought the Kings organization did a fantastic job. It was good to have that chemistry with the organization. With the fans most importantly who have been very patient throughout the whole lockout.”
– On teams gunning for them this season: “With the shortened season we don’t have a lot of leeway to feel our way into it. Certainly with divisional play, with two point and four point swings in each direction, it’s going to be an uphill battle for us. Every team is going to give us their best shot and going to be ready. We’re not going to surprise anyone, and we have to be ready for that challenge.”
– More on the impact of the banner ceremony: “To be honest, I thought both teams were rusty. I thought Chicago made a lot of mistakes, we made more, no doubt about it. I think probably the whole league is going to be rusty for the first few games.”
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