Kings focus on improvement, not confidence - LA Kings Insider

Players and coaches have grown tired of talking about confidence, about home and road records, about history and most everything else. In fairness, most media folks have grown just as tired of asking about all that stuff. With the two days between Game 4 and 5 completed, the focus can return to the ice tonight. The Kings have faced questions the last couple days about confidence, and how that intangible quality might have shifted after the New Jersey Devils won Game 4. Rather than discussing the macro, the Kings are trying to break it down to the micro, focusing on parts of their games that they need to improve rather than worrying about numbers or concepts. Justin Williams and Jarret Stoll talked about what the Kings will want to go in Game 5…

WILLIAMS: “You avoid doubt with confidence. You have to exude it, and we have it in this dressing room. We’re a very confident team that knows we haven’t played our best hockey yet. Now, in saying that, it’s disappointing that we haven’t played great yet. We have to get there, but at the same time, it’s encouraging that we’re up 3-1. … These games are so close. The big stat is, yes, we’re up 3-1, but it could very easily be turned, and we’re well aware of that. I just think we need to be better in every single facet of the game, not just one thing.’’

STOLL: “Winning battles, passing the puck. It starts with faceoffs. I wasn’t very good, last game, in faceoffs. I’ll be better in Game 5. There are a lot of areas. You’ve got to start with the puck. You don’t want to chase the game. Getting that first goal is obviously huge, too. Bearing down on our chances, just being sharper like that. Breaking the puck out cleaner, crisper passes, receiving passes. Just that little bit of sloppy play that we had.’’

And what about the physical play? The hit totals from a game are sometimes telling, but they’re also highly subjective, depending on the off-ice official who is tabulating them. The physical nature of a game isn’t always measured by hit totals, as Devils coach Peter DeBoer pointed out, but in the countless number of puck battles that take place.

DEBOER: “I think the discrepancy, you’re probably talking 10 hits a night. Both teams are playing physical. I don’t think that’s going to be the determining factor. Everyone’s playing hard out there. It’s a physical series. There’s a lot of puck battles. There’s a lot of fight for territory in the corners, in the front of the net. I don’t think there’s a correlation. I think tonight both teams will come out and be real physical.’’

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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

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

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.

Tyler Toffoli

#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.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

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


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

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


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.