I laughed. From Hammond:
The Kings have one game left before an eight-game All-Star break, and it won’t be an easy one. The Ottawa Senators have been one of the surprise teams in the NHL this season. They’re averaging three goals per game — imagine that — and, of late, they’ve received some outstanding goaltending from Craig Anderson. The Senators have a 10-2-1 record since Dec. 27, and they’re also going to be coming into Staples Center mad, given that they were handed a 2-1 loss by the Anaheim Ducks yesterday. Not exactly the best situation for the Kings, particularly given that the Senators hadn’t lost a road game in regulation since Dec. 1. Justin Williams said he’s aware that the Kings will face a significant challenge.
Remember what I wrote before the recent game against the Vancouver Canucks where I declared that no loser talk was allowed?
That sentiment applies to this game as well, as it does to Rich’s express concern that the Senators are “coming in mad”, whatever the hell that means to our preparation and focus.
What the Senators are coming in is hot. They are a high scoring team. They’re fast, physical and, as Rich points out, getting top-notch goaltending.
To all of those things, I however could care less. You could apply those accolades to any good team in the league. Hell, I am sure opponents have said that about us since Sutter came aboard and given our performance during some of those games.
The point is winners don’t worry about their opponent’s preparation or purpose. They care about their own. The L.A. Kings have all the tools to beat any team on any given night. Their aggressive forecheck and neutralize zone pressure, superior defense and all-star goaltending can, at times, dominate and, at minimum, keep us in games.
If we want this game more than the Senators, we’ll win.
If not, we won’t.
I like a lot of what Darryl Sutter has done. The boys don’t have the excuse of a one-dimensional offense that hinders their ability to create, nor do they have the chemistry claim. Sutter is keeping the lines together but for a Westgarth substitution tonight. Jarret Stoll, Dustin Penner and Mike Richards have to be better hockey players on both ends of the ice. Drew Doughty, Jack Johnson and Matt Greene have to be smarter on defense. If they all are, we attack with depth, defend with depth and win with depth. If they don’t, see the Colorado Avalanche game for expected results.