Tight games not weighing on players
After a series against the St. Louis Blues in which the teams were separated by more than one goal for only 5:01 of playing time – or 1.2% of the total time played in the series – the Los Angeles Kings are locked again in typical, tight, low-scoring games against the San Jose Sharks. Of the 10 games played thus far in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Kings and their opponents have been separated by more than one goal for only 63:59 of a total of 622:55 of accumulated game time.
Nine out of 10 Kings playoff games have been decided by one goal. Though the lack of breathing room would appear to have the capacity to increase the players’ mental strain, veterans such as Robyn Regehr and Rob Scuderi articulated that it’s all a part of typically low-scoring playoff hockey.
Robyn Regehr, on whether continually playing in one-goal games provides any mental strain:
“Not really. It’s just playoff hockey, and when you look at the regular season too, as the regular season goes on and draws to a close, games tighten up. There’s more and more games that go into overtime. So it kind of progresses as the year goes on, and it’s at the peak right now. That’s usually the tightest hockey, lowest-scoring, tightest-checking, most physical. It’s playoff hockey.”
Rob Scuderi, on continually playing in one-goal games:
“That’s what the playoffs is about. You have to be ready for every single time you hop over the boards. You have to think that everything you do could have an impact on the game. Even though it’s been a one-goal game every time, it’s not something that you think about. You’re literally thinking about the next time you go over the boards, the things you need to do to be successful.”