Over the last few days we spent time collecting thoughts from a handful of LA Kings players, asking them to look back on the 48 games played in 99 days – a whirlwind of a schedule to say the least. What were the high points, what were the low points? Here’s what they had to say…
- Drew Doughty: “I think the low point, for sure, was the beginning of the season. We didn’t play well, starting it off we dropped a lot of wins we could have had early on and I think that was the low point for us. And the the high point, I think has been maybe the last month. I don’t think I can pick out one individual game, but I think we’re finally coming into our own. Last two (road) games (weren’t) good, but before that, we were playing great hockey and I think we were playing with that swagger that we need to have and I think that’s a good thing going into playoffs.”
- Dustin Brown: “I don’t know if there’s really a high point or a low point. I mean, you don’t look at it looking back, it’s kind of just a big blur really. You try to take it a game at a time. We had good stretches of hockey and bad stretches of hockey. It’s all kind of lumped into one big blur.”
- Jarret Stoll: “I think the low point was obviously our start - just a little sluggish coming out the gate, not finding ways to win games and then finding the groove a little bit. There’s a good stretch there where we were playing some pretty good hockey. We didn’t have eight, nine, 10 wins in a row, but we were getting points, we were getting wins. I think those two things, just the start and then finding our game.”
- Anze Kopitar: “Wow, it has gone so quick that you don’t really think about that. The low point’s got to be the, is it 15 now? (games since he’s scored a goal) Fifteen and counting so far, so that’s got to be it. I don’t know about the high point…Didn’t we win seven games in a row at home or six? Seven? I think that was the stretch we were playing well. We were playing with swagger and everyone was going, so that was probably the high one.”
- Dustin Penner: “I think about 65-70 percent way through the season, we had a 5-1 segment. We were playing our best hockey. We were scoring a lot of goals. Our power play was good. It was definitely a high point then. I think in general though, our season hasn’t been a constant climb to where we want to be, except we’ve just been a little bit better overall compared to last year. Because we weren’t fighting for a playoff spot up until the last game.”
- Slava Voynov: “Best part of the season was (securing) a playoff spot with six games left. The worst, not just for us, but for every team I think, it was the schedule. Play every day, late games, travel games, go back home for a game. So, it was hard.”
- Kyle Clifford: “Clinching playoffs, that was our goal. So, to get in. But, you know, you always have ups and downs throughout the year. There’s no specific low point. I think we handled our low points really well. Bounced back really good…I think we’re ready to go here now. I’m ready to go. I’m confident, and playoffs is obviously an exciting time for everybody. It’s a time where guys step up and have big games.”
- Brad Richardson: “Playing, being in the lineup, that was fun. I like doing that. I like playing hockey. So that’s good. (laughs)But yeah, it did fly by. I was just thinking about that, like where’d it go? But this is the time we’re all excited for. When we started the year, I think everyone would have skipped the season and (jumped ahead to the) playoffs if we could. So, everyone’s excited. ”
- Coach Darryl Sutter: “At the start we were supposed to be all hung over. We weren’t. So we’ve operated on if you do it right…the six teams that have all got those spots (in the Western Conference standings), they’re all on over 100-point clips. So you know what, the most important thing is stability and consistency. It’s not about if you’re in the right frame of mind and you’ve done enough work off the ice and on the ice, then you have a chance to be a 100-point team. And if that isn’t enough to get you home ice, then so be it. Highs and lows are for those guys that are right now 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. They have highs, they have lows.”
- Trevor Lewis: “I think the low was, we started off a little slower than we thought we would. I think the high was kind of battling back, and getting back to the team that we knew we were. Definitely it’s a lot tougher. We lost Mitchy and Greener for most of the year. To see guys step up and step in for those guys with more responsibility; it’s pretty cool to see.”
Well, there was other low – seeing Lewis’ San Francisco Giants hat on his dresser during the recent Fox Sports West segment about him and Doughty living together. Naturally, Lewis wanted to defend himself a bit when we asked about it.
“I went to a World Series game, so I might as well rock it, right?” he began. “Why would I get rid of it? It’s pretty tough to find a hat that fits this head. It’s a pretty small bean. It’s tough having a small head. You don’t have ‘small head problems,’ do you? (laughing) I have a Dodgers hat too. I wear it just as much as the Giants hat. If they had a team in Utah, I’d be wearing that hat, but they don’t. So, I cheer for anybody else but the Blue Jays. Anybody who’s playing the Blue Jays. I have about four Baltimore Orioles hats just to make Dewey mad.”
The fun with those two never ends.
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