Fourth line will keep rolling
The Kings are in the Western Conference Finals, and the stakes are higher, but they’re not likely to change much in terms of the way they approach the game. Darryl Sutter likes to roll four lines, and isn’t shy about it, even in tight situations. In Game 4 against St. Louis, no Kings forward played more than 20 minutes, and the fourth line was taking regular shifts well into the third period. Not only that, but when the game seemed to be getting away from the Kings in the second period, the fourth line was the one that seemed to calm things down a bit, with good forechecking.
FRASER: “I know we got a goal in the last game, and obviously we want to chip in where we can, but that’s not our No. 1 thing. I think we just want to play as much as we can in the O-zone, and provide as much energy. If we need to turn the tables, hopefully we can have a good shift, just to get everybody else on board and create energy out there, and just do everything right. … Your top players have obviously got to be your top players, and they did their job, scoring lots of goals. I think our bottom-line guys chipped in too. Nolan got one. Richie [Brad Richardson] got one against Vancouver. Lewie got one. Stolly got a big one. Guys that work hard and try to chip in whenever they can. In the playoffs, you do need everybody. So far, we’ve done that I think, but we’re halfway there. We’ve still got a big series ahead of us here.”
Fraser also laughed when it was mentioned to him that he’s had his share of power-play time as well. Sutter isn’t shy, particularly when the “top players” aren’t producing, to put the fourth line on the ice for a power-play shift.
FRASER: “I think I’ve had more power-play shifts this year than I have in my whole career. I kind of always give Darryl the double look (when he calls for the fourth line), but I’m certainly not going to complain about going out there. If I’m on the power play, I’ll just try to stand in front. That’s Darryl. He plays four lines and he lets us all play in different situations. It’s good, as a player, because it gives you confidence and you’re not second-guessing yourself out there. You’ve just got to play, and when guys are playing with confidence, obviously that helps the whole team.”