Williams: Sutter's `enthusiasm is rubbing off on us' - LA Kings Insider

Darryl Sutter’s eyes flashed bright yesterday when I brought up the idea that the Kings needed to improve their home record. Turns out, it’s been a major theme — perhaps the major theme — for Sutter since his arrival last month. Under Sutter, the Kings are 4-0-1 at home. Before his arrival, they were 7-8-1 at Staples Center. Coincidence? Perhaps it’s that the Kings, in general, have looked better under Sutter, but Justin Williams said Sutter has made playing well at home a daily theme for the team…

WILLIAMS: “Every day on the board, it’s `homers, homers, homers.’ He didn’t make us feel bad, but he made us upset that we lost that point to Colorado. He said, `We let one slip there. Let’s make sure we push right back and get it tonight.’ We’ve established a pretty decent home record, but we want Staples Center to be a harder place to play.’’

Williams also addressed some of the changes Sutter has brought, in terms of subtle team-building. Rather than players trickling off the ice, one or two at a time, after practice, for the most part they now leave the ice as a group, and then have a full-team meeting in the locker-room area after removing gear.

WILLIAMS: “It’s just something different. It keeps us fresh and it keeps us on our toes. We’re enjoying the up-tempo style that he’s bringing, and we’re excited about what he’s bringing, that enthusiasm. We’re feeding off that, and we’re excited. I think you can tell in practice. Guys are smiling, guys are excited and guys are skating out there pretty hard. His enthusiasm is rubbing off on us.’’

Finally, Williams talked about the importance of avoiding a “trap game’’ tomorrow. It’s a day game, against the team (Columbus) with the fewest points in the NHL.

WILLIAMS: “I hate to go to the `two points’ thing, but they’re just as important tomorrow as they are in the 81 games. We can’t afford to let anything slip. We know where we stand. Yeah, we’re six points out of first but we’re also two points out of ninth. So it’s a fine line. You win a couple in a row and you’re in there, but we’ve got to keep the push going and get ourselves where we want to be. We want to be comfortable and keep pushing forward.’’

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Jake Muzzin

#6 | 6′ 3″ | 216 lb | Age: 27

Born: Feb 21, 1989
Birthplace: Woodstock, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Left


Muzzin was drafted in 2007 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, before signing to the Kings in 2010. He has since become the first Woodstock, Ontario professional athlete to win a major sports trophy.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

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Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

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#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.

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Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
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Handedness: Right


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Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


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