Yes, the Kings are coming off a massive five-game, first-round upset of Vancouver, but disregard any thoughts that there might be any relaxation. Just a few minutes after the Kings dismissed the Canucks, Darryl Sutter frowned and talked about the St. Louis Blues. Today in practice, unhappy with the execution of a drill, assistant coach John Stevens issued a stick-banging lecture to a group of players at one end of the ice. In the locker room, the Kings are at least saying all the right things, about needing to execute better against the Blues than they did against the Canucks. Drew Doughty was asked about the areas in which the Kings needed to be better in this round.
DOUGHTY: “We played OK but in the first round, but I don’t think we even showed close to our potential, of how good we can play. We had some good parts of our game. Our penalty kill was pretty good for the most part, throughout the series, and our power play could be a lot better. We have a lot of ways to improve. We haven’t played our best, and that’s what we expect to do in these first two games.’’
After practice today, Mike Richards endorsed a reporter’s joking suggestion that this series isn’t likely to feature any 8-5 games, the type that Philadelphia and Pittsburgh played in the first round, and that the margin for error for both teams will be slim.
RICHARDS: “We know our system, and how we have success, and I’m sure they’re saying the same thing with their system and how they’ve had success. Like you said, I don’t see any 8-5 scores. It’s going to be tight defense, and the opportunities and chances that we’re going to get, we’re going to have to earn.’’