Maybe he will be sentimental afterward, but Kings Coach Darryl Sutter was in gruff game-day mode on Tuesday morning.
No, he wasn’t inclined to share his memories of former Kings Justin Williams and Mike Richards, now with the Washington Capitals. It appears as though Kings goalie Jonathan Quick will get the start tonight because he left the ice first during the morning skate, and this would be his first appearance since getting hurt in Boston.
Williams and Richards will be playing against their former Kings teammates for the first time since leaving Los Angeles. Likewise, Sutter didn’t have much to offer before the Kings faced former teammate Jarret Stoll last month when Minnesota came to town.
“They’re on the other team tonight,” Sutter said of Williams and Richards. “They won two Cups with us. They’re great memories. We don’t have to share them publicly, do we?”
Then there was this gem.
“You guys writing a book about all the players who used to play in Los Angeles?” Sutter asked. “Is this a 50-year thing, or what’s going on here?”
After that, no one was about to bring up Keaton Ellerby or Linden Vey.
There was more insight elsewhere on Tuesday morning. Kings defenseman Drew Doughty mentioned again how Williams had the knack for picking the right moment to speak.
“When a guy like that says something, when a guy like that who’s won three Stanley Cups and a Conn Smythe, everyone is going to listen,” Doughty said. “He’s a smart man and he knows the right things to say at the right time. It was huge for our team. I’ll never forget, he did this speech one time before our [Stanley Cup] clinching game against the New Jersey Devils [in 2012 Stanley Cup Final] and I think it made a difference.”
So, did Kings forward Tyler Toffoli ever call Williams by his nickname, Mr. Game 7?
“I didn’t, but I know he hated it," Toffoli said, looking amused. “So maybe I’ll say it to him on the ice.”
Doughty was happy Richards found a “home” in Washington. Not only did Doughty win two Cups with Richards, but they won a gold medal together for Team Canada at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010.
“How can you not root for a guy like that?” Doughty said. “He was a great teammate of ours and a huge part of our success in the last few years. It was weird not seeing him in any lineups and sitting at home or whatever it was for a little bit. So I’m happy for him, I’m happy that he found a home here in Washington and I think that he can help them a lot.”