Which team will find the `next gear’?
The Kings had seven off-days before the start of the Stanley Cup Finals, but tonight’s game will be their fourth game in the last eight days. At this point, any travel/rest advantage that either team might have has been mitigated. Both the Kings and the New Jersey Devils have faced long, all-night flights at some point, and it’s fair to assume that most every player is dealing with some type of bump or bruise, if not something more serious. Nobody is going to be 100 percent, in terms of health and energy, but the team that can push through that better will have an edge going forward. Dustin Brown and Darryl Sutter talked about the playoffs, which have been going on for almost two months, and the way to try to remain as energized as possible…
BROWN: “I think it’s been a long, long playoffs obviously. Emotionally and physically, you’re going to be tired. It’s a matter of finding the next gear. I think it’s pretty much an even playing ground when you consider fatigue, because each team has gone through three series and are battling as hard as they can. It’s really about just finding the next gear. The team that does normally wins.’’
SUTTER: “I think the nutrition and the hydration and those things are really important to the players. I think their routine of that is just as important as the time change. What you have on the plane, everybody travels so nice now, it’s pretty good. You’re checking on the pilots most of the time to see how fast they’re going.’’