Luuuc Interview During Kings vs. Coyotes Game

John Ondrasik did an interview with Lucky Luc Robitaille during the last Kings vs. Coyotes game. Our reader, Jopocop, sent it over to me and thought Surly & I should share it. If you have not seen it, enjoy. Jopo thought the powerplay comments were interesting. I joked they were an indictment of Jamie Kompon. It’s a long interview. Here were my highlights.

J: You keep mentioning the word lucky. I know Tiger Williams gave you your nickname. Does that name ever annoy you? In a sense “Lucky” implies it’s not all talent and work ethic.

L: (laughing) No, because I know personally I had to earn it. Same as what I do now. Even though people open up and are nice to me, I still have to earn the respect in the business world. I know for me, it’s not luck, so it doesn’t bother me.

J: The Kings struggle on the PP. You were a power play specialist. When you guys were struggling what was the strategy to turn it around?

L: When you’re struggling on a power play the thing you need to do is get it to the net. I remember when Dave Tippett was our power play coach here, he would say Luc, if you get it in the corner, take it to the net. No matter what take it to the net.

(Kings Hit Post)…

J: Like that?

L: Yes! If you do that, start shooting…every good power play, the good play is done off the rebound. It’s never done off the set up. The perfect play is very rare because every penalty kill is too good. It’s off a rebound. If you watch Detroit, whom everyone says is the best; they got a guy in front of the net every time.  I remember when we were struggling I’d take it from the corner and just jam it to the net. Not knowing what would happen. Next thing you know you’d fall on the goalie and a guy pops it in the net.

J: Why do you think the Kings don’t do that?

L: We have to.

J: Is that why Bernie (Nicholls) was brought in?

L: Yes, Bernie understands the power play and is good at telling the young guys what to do with the puck. The key to the PP is Drew Doughty.  If Drew gets it to the net, we are going to get rebounds. I think the biggest thing in scoring goals comes down to scoring chances. A good goal scorer will get 4-5 scoring chances a game. Then some games you’ll get one goal and some games you’ll get a few.

J: Do you remember all your fights?

L: Yeah…if a player was disrespectful toward me I’d never let it go. I’d throw a lot of elbows. If I didn’t give it back they’d take advantage of me. I remember Chelios. Cheli was whacking me after every whistle. In 2001, one night I had enough. We’re up by a couple goals and he hit me a couple times and I wacked him back. He then took 2 penalties on me. I called him stupid and he punched me. I didn’t have time to drop my gloves as the referees jumped in. I got really mad because they gave me a penalty for fighting. So I get out of the penalty box and went on the bench and grabbed our left winger, pulled him off the ice, jumped on the ice, found Chris and crossed checked him into the boards. I dropped my gloves and started punching. I got 19 minutes of penalties.

J: WOW!

L: Even Chris was laughing…He liked it…

J: Did you ever have a concussion?

L: I never missed a game.

J: Did you ever get woozy?

L: I got hit a couple games where I was hobbling. If it was today I would have missed a few days for sure. In those days it was take a couple Advil.

J: What do you miss the most about playing in the NHL?

L: The Room: There’s no boundaries. There’s nothing you can’t say in the room. That can’t happen in the business world. No ones calling HR and saying, “you embarrassed me in front of the team.” You got to take it.

HERO OF THE GAME…

As a big supporter of our troops I love the hero of the game. I also love how the players tap their sticks. The other day an opposing player, who was in the box, stood and clapped for a service member. Made me love hockey players and hockey. How did the hero of the game come about?

L: Our coach wanted to salute someone from the service…

J: What coach?

L: Mark Crawford. He wanted to salute someone, take them to dinner, and call them the Hero of the game. Introduce them doing the anthem. So that’s how it came about…

If you’re on the PP Game 7 Stanley Cup Final, 2 minutes to go, who do you want on the ice with you? Anybody past, present?

L: Lemieux, Gretz, Nick Lidstrom, Ray Bourque

J: Who would you want in Goal for your team?

L: Patrick…(Roy)

J: OHH!….When he winked at Tomas Sandstrom did you guys know on the bench?

L: No, we didn’t see it till a few days later.

J: Does that make your stomach hurt every time you see the wink?

L: (laughing) NO…

J: It makes mine hurt…

J: What goalie did you fear the most?

L: Patrick and (Dominik) Hasek…

J: Who’s the best fighter that rarely fought?

L: Cam Neely

J: Who’s the worst fighter that fought a lot?

L: Kelly Buchberger, because he was always wide open. He was dangerous if he hit you, but he was always wide open.



Categories: L.A. Kings News

Tags: , ,

5 replies

  1. Thanks for posting. This was an interesting read.

  2. Thank you so much for Getting that to us!
    I don’t know if I would have run across it myself..Luc is my #1 of all time…
    So ‘lucky’ I was here to watch him play…
    Really appreciate..
    GO KINGS GO!!!

  3. Luc Robitaille

    “Cool Hand Luc” Robitaille is one of the most popular athletes on the Hollywood sports scene ever. However when the Los Angeles Kings made Robitaille their ninth round pick (171st pick overall) of the 1984 NHL Entry draft, they didn’t expect much from the left winger. The Kings got a bit “lucky” themselves when “Lucky Luc” Robitaille’s career blossomed following his draft year.

    Robitaille would be returned to junior hockey for the following two seasons where he dominated with the Quebec league’s Hull Olympiques. In his magnificent junior career, Luc played in 197 games recording 155 goals, 270 assists for 425 points! 191 of those points came in his final season with Hull, a season in which he was named the Canadian Major Junior Player of the Year.

    Doubts of his skating ability still plagued him but he managed to shake that reputation in 1987 as he won the Calder trophy as the National Hockey League’s best rookie, outdistancing Flyers rookie goalie Ron Hextall in voting. He also was named to the NHL Second All Star Team in just his first year, scoring 45 times and totaling 84 points.

    Robitaille made up for any skating deficiencies with one of the most accurate shots in NHL history. He was a regular leader in shooting percentage, thanks to a number of reasons. He worked himself into high percentage scoring areas, often down low and in tight. Though a defender might have been draped all over him, he always kept his stick unchecked. He would release his shot in the blink of an eye, usually just burying passes and rebounds with no backswing at all.

    There was no sophomore jinx for Lucky Luc, either, as he improved his performance in year 2 to 53 goals and 111 points and was named to the NHL’s First All Star Team for the first of 4 times.

    Robitaille’s best season came in 1992-92 when he established NHL records for goals (63) and points (125) by a left winger and was named the Kings MVP as he elevated his game to the highest level as Wayne Gretzky missed half the season with a back injury. Robitaille also served as team captain during Gretzky’s absence.

    Robitaille, an under-noticed physical player, continued to be almost unquestioningly the league’s best left winger for 8 seasons, consistently scoring goals. He scored at least 44 goals in 8 consecutive seasons (only Gretzky and Mike Bossy had better streaks), and also managed to shake his playoff jinx as he became a genuine playoff threat in 1992 with 12 goals in 12 games and in 1993 when he was a major part of the Kings “Cinderella” Cup run.

    Just one year after coming so close to winning Lord Stanley’s Grail, the Kings missed the playoffs. Robitaille played for Canada’s national team at the 1994 World Championship in Italy. It was Robitaille who scored the gold medal winning goal in a shootout, giving Canada its first world championship in 33 years.

    Back in Los Angeles changes were afoot following the disappointing playoff no-show. In the biggest trade of all, perhaps the most popular King of all time to Pittsburgh where he would join Mario Lemieux and the league’s best collection of sharpshooters. However it wasn’t meant to be in Pittsburgh. First Mario announced he wouldn’t play that season to rest his ailing back, and then the NHL lock-out resulted in just a 48 game schedule. Luc managed 23 goals and 42 points, and despite scoring 7 times in 12 playoff games, he was dealt to the NY Rangers.

    Robitaille’s performance in the Big Apple dipped to average only 24 goals in his two seasons. Despite briefly being reunited with Wayne Gretzky, Robitaille wasn’t used regularly because his style never really fit in with the Rangers. His lack of quickness was again becoming an issue as he got older.

    At the beginning of the 1997 season, Luc was returned to the Los Angeles Kings where he is now a veteran counted on for leadership. With another injury riddled year, he scored only 16 times and many had written off Robitaille, which only proved to be a mistake.

    Robitaille found his scoring touch again in 1998-99, lighting the lamp 39 times. He followed that up with seasons of 37 and 36 goals.

    One of these goals stood out more than the others. He reached the 500-goal milestone in a game against the Buffalo Sabres on January 9, 1999. Only the sixth left winger in league history to reach the plateau, Robitaille scored the goal in his 928th NHL game, making him the 12th fastest ever to accomplish the feat.

    In a surprise move, Robitaille became a un-restricted free agent and opted to sign with Detroit Red Wings in 2001. In his first season with the Wings, Robitaille registered 30 goals surpassing the 600-goal club and captured his first Stanley Cup and the Wings third cup in six years. Interestingly, with his day with the Stanley Cup, Robitaille brought the Cup back to Los Angeles, taking the trophy up into the hills by the famous “Hollywood” sign.

    After two seasons and one Stanley Cup in Detroit, Robitaille was returned once again to the Los Angeles Kings for his third stint with the club in the summer of 2003. Luc Robitaille played his last game on April 17, 2006 with the Los Angeles Kings after 19 seasons of NHL competition.

    With 557 of his 668 career NHL goals coming in a Los Angeles uniform he retired as the Kings all time leading goal scorer. He later became the fifth King to have his jersey #20 retired, joining Gretzky, Rogie Vachon, Marcel Dionne and Dave Taylor.

  4. Some tips by Luc on goal scoring…

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