Kings look to eliminate outside distractions - LA Kings Insider

The Kings now have a second opportunity to win the Stanley Cup on home ice. The first chance came last Wednesday, and it ended in a Game 4 loss. Before that game, Kings players talked about how they would maintain focus and wouldn’t allow outside distractions to impact them. In hindsight, it doesn’t appear as though that was totally the case. Drew Doughty gave some interesting insight today when he talked about the challenges the Kings faced before Game 4, in terms of friends and family getting prematurely excited about the situation. Often, these folks — understandably excited — don’t understand what a distraction they can be to players. That said, it’s the players’ jobs, as professionals, to set that aside, and Doughty discussed how the Kings intend to change their preparation for Game 6.

DOUGHTY: “I don’t think (playing in) Jersey was as big of a distraction as it was for Game 4. With the Cup being in the building and everything being at home, I think a lot of guys were distracted by flying their family members in, their friends in, making sure everybody was taken care of. We’ve talked a lot about it in the room. We can’t be doing that. Family is always first in everyone’s minds, but right now, at this point of the year, it has to be hockey first. All we’ve got to think about is getting ourselves ready, individually, to play our best hockey. After that, things will come a lot easier.’’

Question: It’s just about turning off the phone, that sort of thing?

DOUGHTY: “Exactly. You just deal with ticketing, and things like that, days before things start. From that point on, it’s all about the next game. It’s Game 6, Game 6. That’s all we’re thinking about.’’

On the New Jersey side, coach Peter DeBoer has been a media master, publicly pontificating about how the pressure is all on the Kings. A smart man, and a good motivator, DeBoer even talked today about how his team drew motivation, before Game 4, from driving to Staples Center and seeing “10 limos parked on the road, ready for the after-party.’’ Now, if DeBoer and the Devils truly encountered, on their bus ride from the hotel at 2:30 p.m., 10 limos parked on the street for a (presumptive) late-night after-party, I’ll drive the Devils’ team bus for them tomorrow. More realistically, DeBoer is trying to shift media pressure onto the Kings by painting his team as the scrappy little underdog with nothing to lose. His players are believing it, which only increases the importance of Kings such as Doughty and Anze Kopitar putting aside distractions.

KOPITAR: “We all know how big this is. It would certainly be nice to finish it off at home and get it done. … It would be really nice, but it’s going to take a big effort from everybody to finish it off.’’

DOUGHTY: “We’ve got to put all that in the back of our minds. It’s not about that. It’s about playing as a team and winning as a team. Whether we win it in L.A. or we win it in New Jersey, it really doesn’t matter to us. We just want that thing so bad, and we’re going to do whatever it takes.’’

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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.