CHICAGO -- If you compare the rosters, the Kings aren’t really that much bigger than the Chicago Blackhawks, their opponents in the NHL Western Conference final beginning on Saturday. But their physical style of play can make them seem larger on the ice.
Meeting with reporters at a Chicago hotel before Game 1, Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi and Coach Darryl Sutter were asked if they had purposely constructed the roster with size in mind.
Lombardi said they followed a model similar to the one they used in a previous incarnation, when they were both with the San Jose Sharks. And yes, size was part of the equation.
“But if the size doesn’t compete and have the will to win, it doesn’t matter,” Lombardi said.
Sutter pointed out that two of his taller players, 6-foot-4 Dwight King and 6-3 Jordan Nolan, were added to the lineup because of their hockey skills. During these playoffs, he has occasionally benched large skaters in favor of smaller ones.
“We certainly didn’t have, ‘Let’s just dress our big guys,’” Sutter said. “We dressed what was best that night.”
If the sport was just about height and weight, he added, “then there would be 25 guys in work boots.”