There was no hockey for the Kings today, only a gym workout. But there were sports. Ping-pong, soccer, football, basketball… Apparently, the pitching machine was broken, so there was no batting practice. The idea, the day after last night’s Game 4 loss, was for the Kings to get some physical work in, and to mentally stay in the series, but to get a little bit of a breather. They don’t get much more odd, in the playoffs, than this week. The Kings played Game 3 on Sunday, then had two days off before Game 4 and now have three days off before Game 5. That’s a lifetime, and players don’t particularly like it. The Kings, especially, after last night’s disappointing loss, would prefer to play again as quick as possible, Jarret Stoll said today.
STOLL: “I think we’d like to play, obviously, and redeem yourselves a little bit. But at the same time, the momentum, hopefully for our sake, it could be gone by the time Sunday hits. Both teams can get some good practice time in, a lot of video probably, and get ready for Game 5.’’
Stoll and Anze Kopitar said the mood was light for the Kings today, with some recreational sports going on, in and outside the training facility…
STOLL: “We had a good workout. We were tossing the football around, playing ping-pong. Guys were playing basketball in the back there. It’s fun. It’s the funnest time of year to play hockey. We lost one game. You’ve got to come to the rink… The sun is shining, as far as I’m concerned. We know we’re a good team.’’
KOPITAR: “We’re still in a good position. We know it’s going to take a good game from everybody to close this series, and that’s what we’re going to try to do on Sunday.’’
The Kings are scheduled to get back on the ice tomorrow in El Segundo, likely at 10:30 a.m., for what figures to be an intense practice.
STOLL: “There’s some down time, obviously, and there’s a lot of talk that’s going to be happening in the next couple days, but you’ve got to understand that you’re not going to go 16-0. There are areas of our game that we’ve got to work on, and get better. When you lose a game, that’s what it’s all about. Even when you win a game, that’s what it’s about. There’s always areas that you can improve and get better. We know what those are, and we’ve just got to fix those in time for the next game.’’