Stevens, Lombardi try to maintain focus
The major question of today was, why was Dean Lombardi wearing a red sweater in Detroit? Was he paying homage to Darryl Sutter’s days in Calgary? Or maybe it’s just that he’s color-blind (he actually is). Regardless, Lombardi has been a up-front presence since he fired Terry Murray on Monday, with Lombardi spending more time than usual, post-practice, in the locker room chatting with players. By all accounts, things are progressing for Sutter to officially join the Kings as coach in the next few days, with Sutter tending to family, immigration and compensation issues this week. The Kings have legal guru Jeff Solomon — star of many “GM breakfast’’ Q&As — on the case as well. For now, the Kings wait, and John Stevens has done an admirable job of keeping the team together, during a period when they must have a ton of questions about the short-term future. Today, Stevens talked about trying to maintain that focus.
STEVENS: “Dean has not just avoided the whole situation. He has met with the team a couple times and explained a few things, but for the most part, I think we’ve all agreed, all along, that we like the character of the people here on the hockey team. I think they’ve been very respectful of the whole situation, towards everyone, the organization and the staff. I think they’ve been true professionals through the whole thing, to play as hard as they did in Boston, even though they were emotionally hurting, and then to bounce back in Columbus and play as well as they did. I give credit to the leadership group, and you can throw in Stoll and Scuderi and the young guys, Doughty and Johnson, in there as well. We’ve just taken a real professional approach, and we’re focusing on the task at hand here and trying to win hockey games and trying to get better as a team. They’ve had a really good attitude about it.’’