The Kings not only want to take a 2-0 Stanley Cup Final lead back to New York with them Sunday, but they also want New Yorkers to have a hint of what it’s like to be inside Staples Center.
The Kings purchased video-board advertising in Times Square near Madison Square Garden, posting the video Friday of comedian Will Ferrell imploring fans -- in text below the screen, no audio -- to roar, “Go Kings Go!”
“There’s a lot of attention and buzz surrounding the Stanley Cup Final,” said Michael Altieri, the team’s vice president of communications and broadcasting. “Our goal is to rise above the noise.
“This was an opportunity to do that with respect to the Kings and NHL, with no disrespect to the Rangers.”
The video was a one-day activation dreamed up by the team’s marketing department. Altieri said the team might implement other ideas, but he wanted to remain coy about divulging plans.
Ferrell gave his approval for the segment that routinely plays inside Staples to air in New York, Altieri said.
SPENDING THE NIGHT: A good night’s sleep can be the difference between a good day and a bad one.
We know it. Hockey coaches know it.
Instead of rushing back to New York on a cross-country red-eye flight, both the Kings and Rangers are going to spend Saturday night in Southern California, then board their charters toward the Big Apple Sunday morning with Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final looming Monday night at Madison Square Garden.
“It's just common sense,” Rangers Coach Alain Vigneault said Saturday afternoon, hours before Game 2 at Staples Center. “If we were to fly home after the game, we'd be leaving here, let's say, 9 [p.m.] Western time, which is [midnight] our time, we'd be getting home at 5 or 6 in the morning. You lose a full night's sleep.
“Obviously, you don't sleep the same way on a plane than you do in your own bed, so we're going to stay over.”
For the Kings, who made three round trips to Chicago in winning the Western Conference finals in seven games, getting another night at home extends the added rest the team got from two days off between their 3-2 overtime victory in Game 1 and today’s game.
“You get the two days -- we talked about it lots -- we were a tired team,” Kings Coach Darryl Sutter said Saturday. “Yesterday was good for us, not just in terms of the on-ice stuff, but to be able to get a little more set in how we wanted to play against them. We'll be better, for sure. At the end of the day, both teams will be better.”
Vigneault similarly balked at confirming that defenseman John Moore, who was suspended for two games due to a hit in the Eastern Conference finals, will be inserted for Raphael Diaz.
On Thursday, Vigneault said he’d let reporters assess whether the Rangers let their best chance to win in Los Angeles slip away by losing a 2-0 lead in Game 1, then watching a turnover by defenseman Dan Girardi get converted into an overtime goal by Kings forward Justin Williams.
“Our group knows the importance of today's game,” Vigneault said Saturday. “They're going to try and put their best game on the ice. They've been very professional in how they prepare. We got through the first-game jitters. Obviously, we don't have the experience that L.A. does. We got them through that first game, took them to overtime, and I think we'll be better tonight.
“It's a real important game. … I think we can play better, and that's what we're going to try and do.”