You would think there would be some sort of link between the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks, the two most recent Stanley Cup-winning teams. Whether it be the aura in the dressing room or the accountability demanded by coaches and the team’s leadership committee, surely there would be something similar between the two teams that happen to employ different systems and styles of play.
Not so fast, according to Daniel Carcillo. The gritty winger joined the Kings over the summer after winning the Blackhawks last season and dismissed any type of leadership intangibles linking the two teams.
“It’s really different here. It’s totally different,” said the 28-year-old.
That’s not to say that Carcillo, who has 87 points (40-47=87) and 1,079 penalty minutes in 333 career regular season games, will be challenged in gaining a footing within the team’s methods and on the ice with his new teammates.
“It’s great. All the guys are awesome. Everyone in the organization has been wonderful,” said Carcillo, who has skated opposite Jordan Nolan on a line centered by Colin Fraser for the first two days of camp.
“The systems and stuff really fit my game. It’s go, go, go and it’s hard on people, and the attitude in this room is great, being gritty and being hard on other teams, so it fits me really well.”
Still, there’s a different feel from his two-year, injury-marred stint with Chicago.
“There’s not much similarity between the two teams. So there’s going to be some adapting with the systems and that sort of thing,” he said.
Part of the adapting took place on the Toyota Sports Center Ice Friday morning when Darryl Sutter briefly halted practice to remind the players in no uncertain terms that it was necessary to practice at a game speed – part of the “go, go, go” mentality that fits Carcillo and the Kings.
“In summer you skate, but you don’t have that structure, and it’s nice to have that structure and hold yourself accountable for every pass and play like it’s a game,” Carcillo said.
Echoing the assessments several players have provided thus far, the conditioning and early skates are providing the needed base that will allow the team to be ready to go for the season opener in Minnesota on October 3.
“It’s just getting into skating shape rather than workout shape, and now the tests are all done, so you can really concentrate on getting your legs going and getting your feet under you in the long skates and the transitions and the three-on-twos and some of the battles.”