Fraser talks Western Connection, Richardson and music

Following the Kings morning skate in Anaheim today forward Colin Fraser stopped to share a few thoughts…

- On being in and out of the lineup: “Obviously you don’t want to be…Nobody ever wants to sit, and you want to play every game. But with a deep team like we got as soon as you maybe make mistakes or don’t play as well as you should; you sit out. Nature of the beast. It’s the way it goes, and you just gotta be ready when it’s your turn again.”

- On if he received tough love from Sutter: “No, I’ve been in the league long enough. I know what to expect, what to expect out of myself, and you always want to be better. Always want to be getting better, and obviously not going the other way, getting worse. For a fourth line guys, it’s been my whole career. I mean I’ve been in and out of lineups for the six years I’ve been in the NHL. So I don’t want to sit, but when I do get back in I just gotta play good.”

- On how his relationship has changed with Sutter since he was first hired: “I don’t think it’s changed. We know what to expect. He’s a tough coach that demands a lot obviously. First and foremost is hard work, which is pretty standard really, in the NHL I think. You should demand a lot out of yourself. I don’t think it’s changed. I think we know the type of coach he is. He’s been around. We know what to expect from him, and he keeps trying to get the best out of us.”

- On if the commonality of their Western Canadian upbringing helps with communication: “No, that’s all those other guys that don’t play in the west. They always complain about this “Western Connection” garbage that I’m not buying into. It’s just a coincidence. But hey, I played in the WHL. It’s the best league in the CHL in my opinion.”

- On if he had anything to do with the all ‘country music’ morning in the Kings room today: “I don’t touch the iPod. I haven’t updated my iPod in probably two years. If you’re talking about music, you’re talking to the wrong guy. (I know it’s full of Nickelback and your buddy Chad.) That sums it up. People ask me what my favorite music is, and those are the only two guys I can think of. I just listen to the AM sports talk radio and news. I’m boring.”

- On if he gets sick of all the Lakers coverage on sports talk radio: “It depends. I’d say more in the summer I listen to that, but I’m not a huge basketball guy either. I don’t know, I like to switch it up. All music sounds the same to me over and over and over. So I just like to be a body of knowledge, and learn about what’s going on in the world today. Body of knowledge. You gotta be smart. You gotta keep up with what’s going on, you know?”

- On if he ever gets lost on Wikipedia: “I wouldn’t say for an hour, but I’ve certainly been on Wikipedia to see what’s going on. They’re up to date. Man those guys…They’re updating that thing a day later. It’s amazing. That’s the amazing part, not the articles, it’s how quick they update that thing. (Wikipedia has you in the lineup tonight.) I hope so. If they don’t, that’s news to me.”

- On the rivalry with Anaheim: “Yeah, I think to say. I guess yeah, a little bit. In the sense that they’re a divisional opponent. I don’t think it’s…You know people put more of an emphasis on that we’re geographically in the same area. But I think for all your divisional games there can be a good rivalry. I mean us and San Jose. Tight in the standings. You know we’re chasing the guys. It’s not about geographics. It’s more about I guess the types of teams, and where you’re battling for position in the standings.”

- On if they’re third in terms of hatred (behind Phoenix and San Jose): “Oh hatred. I don’t want to pick who’s in order of hatred. (Leave that for Doughty?) Leave that for Drew. I’m just saying all divisional opponents in my opinion are a rivalry in a sense that you play each other six times in a full regular season. Plus exhibition or playoffs if you do. So it all adds up. You gotta win those divisional games, because they’re big games.”

- On the difference with Richardson back in the lineup: “I really like playing with Richy because of his speed. He gets on pucks quick. He’s played center in a sense where he can fill the middle sometimes. A broken play type thing where he can fill in in the middle, and I’ll just kind of read off him and take the wall. It makes it easier for me. If he’s down low, or whatever in the D-zone, I think he just kind of knows what centermen go through. Not go through. That sounds bad. He can read it really well in the sense that he knows where I’m going to be as a centerman. He knows that, or I see him on face-offs. He’s helping out on draws, you know what I mean, or everywhere. He’s been in the center position to know what it’s like. I don’t mean that in a bad way either. I’m not complaining about centers.”

- On the mental strain of the shortened schedule: “It can’t really be a strain, because everybody’s doing the same thing, right? As soon as you make it a strain, that’s kind of when you let your guard down and don’t play as well. Every team’s in the same boat. There’s no excuses. Every team’s played the same amount of games. Three in for, or six in ten, or whatever it is.”

- On if there’s a difference with how teams play in front of different goalies: “I don’t think so at all. I think you have your systems or whatever in place, and you play the same way every night. Obviously you’re going to have good games and bad games, but at the end of the day you strive to play the perfect game every night. It doesn’t matter who you have in net, or what the lines are, who’s the defense, or anything like that.”

Near the end of the conversation Jake Muzzin walked out of the locker room and glared at Fraser, like ‘Hurry up man.’ When I asked Fraser if Muzzin had earned enough cred to do that sort of thing yet, he agreed it was a pretty bold move. But, then added, “Rookie of the Month, so I’ll cut him some slack.”

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