`Reset and refocus’ mentality for Kings
“Reset and refocus,’’ Drew Doughty said after Game 3. “Refocus, recharge,’’ Anze Kopitar said. There’s no doubt as to where those words came from. Darryl Sutter is all about words and concepts such as those, and no doubt started stressing them to his players shortly after last night’s game. Throughout these playoffs, Sutter has tried to keep his players’ focus on the task at hand, and not on whatever storylines the media wanted to follow. Sutter’s challenge, now, is to get the Kings to play better in Game 4 than they did in their first three games, with the idea that the New Jersey Devils, desperate to keep their season alive, with fight harder than ever. It’s the constant drive for improvement and focus that all coaches stress, and perhaps none more than Sutter.
SUTTER: “They [players] have to understand where they are. Playoffs have been, from a scheduling standpoint, really disjointed. You look at the time off we’ve had — which is not normal between series — then the way the series have been broken up, even the start of the Finals. When you go Wednesday, Saturday — we were in New Jersey for five days and played one game. You have to be able to stay in a zone, or focused. If you don’t, you’re in trouble. Just because you win — I’ve said it several times — it doesn’t mean you played great or you played perfect. We won two games in overtime, 2‑1. If you lost one of them, or lost them both, you’re still looking at a huge battle. … Hey, we could have easily been down 2‑0 before we scored a goal last night.’’
At least in terms of public comments, no Kings player has perfected the art of not looking ahead than Jonathan Quick, who today brushed aside any questions about excitement level…
QUICK: “Just trying to win a hockey game. Same thing we’ve been doing for about eight months now. We’re going to continue to try to do that. … It doesn’t count any more than the rest of them did. It’s one game, so…we’re just going to play our game, work as hard as we can, try to be as prepared as (much as) possible, see what happens.’’