For Los Angeles Kings, honesty has been the best policy
One of the interesting things about covering a team that goes to the Stanley Cup Final is seeing the reactions of out-of-town writers to the players and coaches you’ve become accustomed to covering all season.
The consensus among journalists who don’t see the Kings much is that Dustin Penner is funny, Dustin Brown is honest, Jarret Stoll is the go-to guy when you need a quote that sums up a situation or puts things in perspective, and that Jonathan Quick is not very talkative. And that when Quick does talk, he usually falls into a pattern of clichés, as in after the Kings’ Game 2 victory at New Jersey on Saturday.
They’re right, but Brown on Monday suggested a reasonable explanation for why Quick has been so guarded in his responses. Brown also said there’s more than a little truth to the “We can be better” clichés that most players tend to offer.
“I think it might be a mechanism to stay focused a little bit,” Brown said of Quick’s brief answers, “but I also think we’re pretty honest with each other in here when we don’t play well. We hold each other accountable in all areas of the ice.”
That accountability, he said, comes from Coach Darryl Sutter.
“I think in Game 2 we probably didn’t play as well as we would like, but we found a way to win. That’s the sign of a good team, I think,” Brown said. “We found ways to win in different ways all year long, and especially in the playoffs.
“I think guys are just trying to stay collected. I know we’re up 2-0, but I think there’s definitely room for improvement. This has been probably the two hardest games we’ve played in the playoffs and probably by a long shot the most Grade A scoring chances [against]. Jersey has had more chances than most teams. Maybe Vancouver was up there the first couple games. But we also had four goals a game against Vancouver.”
And they had only two in each of their overtime wins over the Devils.
Brown also said that players are managing to stay collected and not think about being within two victories of the Cup as they prepared for Game 3 Monday night at Staples Center.
“When you come to the rink it’s what you’ve got to do to prepare yourself for the game,” he said. “Any player that says they’re not thinking about it is probably lying. You come to the rink, you get your work boots on.
“But it’s away from the rink, in the hotel room with your roommate, at home with your family, people are going to be talking about it regardless and you definitely think about it. You kind of put it in the back of your mind and bring your focus to what you need to do to achieve it when you get to the rink.”
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