Stanley Cup: Kings defensemen Voynov, Mitchell talk about fatigue

Stanley Cup: Kings defensemen Voynov, Mitchell talk about fatigue
Kings teammates swarm Willie Mitchell, who initiated the winning score in double overtime Saturday night against the New York Rangers. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Kings defenseman Slava Voynov has been getting more and more comfortable conducting interviews in English — just as long as there aren't any TV crews around.

The 26-year-old Russian is a bit nervous about his English-language skills when there are cameras and bright lights shining in his face. That wasn't an issue when he was talking with a couple of L.A. reporters after Monday's morning skate here in New York before Game 3, saying this was his "longest season ever."


Naturally, the topic turned toward fatigue. The Kings have played three straight overtime games, including Saturday's 5-4 double-overtime win in Game 2 over the Rangers at Staples Center. Voynov was standing near defenseman Alec Martinez when he was asked about sleeping on planes.

"Marty usually sleep all time," Voynov said.

Martinez was greatly amused and seemed surprised at Voynov's creativity.

"You just completely made that up," Martinez said, laughing. "I have an awful time sleeping on airplanes."

Most of his teammates don't have that problem.

The Kings, understandably, are downplaying the fatigue factor.

"I don't put much stock into it, not this time of the year," defenseman Willie Mitchell said. "You're so full-on adrenaline this time of year that no one is tired."

Of particular concern is getting off to a better start in Game 3. The Kings have been able to rely on their ability to come back time and time again.

"The great teams, or the good teams, are the teams that manage their game and find a way when you're in that situation," Mitchell said. "Fortunate enough for us, we've been able to do that over the course of the last few years.

"You look at great teams. You look at Detroit when they had all their success. You tell me they played their A-game every night? No.

"Those good teams can find a way to win when you don't have your A-game every night and that's the difference maker. We'll look for our A-game tonight, though."