Sleepless over Stanley: Kings prepare for Game 4 against the Rangers

Sleepless over Stanley: Kings prepare for Game 4 against the Rangers
Tyler Toffoli and a few other Kings found it difficult to sleep Tuesday night. (Victor Decolongon / Getty Images)

Kings rookie Tyler Toffoli, on the verge of winning his first Stanley Cup, did all the right things. He went to bed early Tuesday night and dropped off right away.

The Kings lead the Stanley Cup Final, three games to none, and Game 4 is in New York tonight. They could clinch their second Stanley Cup in the last three seasons.


"I fell asleep at 9, thought I was going to have the best sleep of my life, then I woke up at 12, and couldn't fall asleep for the next four, five hours," said Toffoli after Wednesday's morning skate.

"It's obviously exciting. I don't think winning at Madison Square Garden is the biggest deal, as much as winning it in general. We're focused, need to be ready to go and play our best game tonight."

He wasn't the only Kings player having trouble with an active mind in the middle of the night. Not all were sleepless, however. Anze Kopitar reported he had "a real good sleep."

"A lot of things going through my mind ...trying to run through my head to play the best I possibly can and help the team," Toffoli said.

It's been a long playoff grind for the Kings.

"I don't really remember being down 3-0 to San Jose, or being down to Anaheim, or going to Chicago for Game 7, it just happened," Toffoli said. "Here we are."

Kings Coach Darryl Sutter often keeps it brief in his media sessions on game day. But he was more expansive than usual Wednesday. He was asked whether he kept in contact with his brothers much during this playoff run.

"I talk to all of them a lot either via phone or text, more to see what's going on," Sutter said. "They're at home. Checking to see how we're doing.

"They're pretty smart hockey guys. They can see how you're playing and how certain guys are playing."

As promised, Sutter came up with a good comparison to Justin Williams. Sutter said Tuesday when asked about Williams he would come up with someone.

"The only player I could come up with that was real similar in terms of big games and veteran experience and consistency, playing for a long time, playing on championships, was Martin Gelinas," Sutter said.