December 18, 2011 3:00 pm

Kings still upset, but work through it

It’s always interesting to observe the mood of a team the day after a bad loss, and losses don’t get much worse than the 8-2 mauling the Kings took in Detroit last night. The Kings were on the ice at 1 p.m. local time today, and things were quiet at the start, but coaches kept the tempo of practice and a high level and the mood seemed to follow. The team cracked up when Mike Richards went for a one-timer and had his skate slide out from under him, and there was cheering and razzing when practice ended with a 2-on-2 competition between the “white’’ team and the “black’’ team. After practice, captain Dustin Brown talked about the mood of the team today, and what was accomplished in practice, as did Willie Mitchell and interim coach John Stevens…

BROWN: “I think everyone was still (upset) about it this morning. When you get embarrassed and you play like we did, it’s not a thing that you can just let go. But, at the same time, it’s part of the battle of playing every other day. There’s nothing we can do to change the outcome of that game, or how we played. The only thing we can focus on is playing Toronto and being better. It started today in practice, by getting out there today and having a good practice.’’

MITCHELL: “Those are the practices we’re going to need if we’re going to get out of this. It was up-tempo. The forwards were buzzing, they were going to the net hard. It pushes the limits of defensemen when you practice like that. It’s the old cliche but it’s true. You need good practice habits to play well in the game. I don’t think our practices have been the best around here. It was a good skate. It was quick, it was up-tempo, the guys worked hard and it was perfect for me to test the groin.’’

STEVENS: “It was good. We met this morning as a group here today and just kind of addressed what happened last night. If you look at Detroit, as good as they are and as talented as they are, once you sit down and watch all their goals, it just comes from good, hard work. It’s checking and playing the game the right way and being determined. So even though they’re a talented team, they don’t just step on the ice and try to out-skill you. They’re pretty determined to outwork you, and I think that’s something we have to learn from. I thought the focus today in practice was excellent. I thought the guys worked hard, picked up the tempo, got to the net, did the things we asked them to do. We can’t change what happened last night in Detroit. I really look at this road trip as an opportunity to go 2-2 under some pretty tough circumstances, and I thought the guys were very professional about their approach today.’’

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