The Los Angeles Kings will face the New Jersey Devils for the first time at STAPLES Center since Game 6 of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final, and though there is some shared history as Los Angeles captured its first Stanley Cup against the characteristically responsible and defensive team, those story lines are not at the forefront of tonight’s match-up.
“That’s a couple years removed, really. I think as players you kind of forget about that stuff pretty quickly,” Dustin Brown said. “I mean, even if we’d have played them last year, maybe it would have been different last year if it was early in the season. But I think we’re a quarter of a way through the season, and we’re not thinking about anything like that.
The teams played last Friday, with the Kings leaving the Prudential Center with a 2-0 win under their belts. On Thursday morning, Dustin Brown and Drew Doughty discussed the challenges presented by Jaromir Jagr and the Devils.
Dustin Brown, on the Devils:
Well, it’s just a really patient team. That’s probably the biggest thing. It’s probably…when you play them that you’ve got to be ready to just be patient with your game. It’s going to be an ugly game. You look at that game [last week] – it was a back-to-back for us, and we found a way to win with an ugly goal in front. That’s generally what it takes to beat a team like Jersey. They just kind of are very detailed in their systems, and it can be a grind. It’s just a matter of sticking with our systems and playing our game.
Brown, on how to effectively defend against Jaromir Jagr:
It’s just about containing him, really. I mean, I’ve tried to hit him. He doesn’t budge. I remember there was an instance at home last year against Dallas where Kopi was one-on-one with him, and Kopi’s a pretty big, strong guy in the corners. I mean, you have to ask Kopi, but he couldn’t even move the guy. A lot of it with him is just trying to contain him and limit his options. He’s one of those players that he’s so hard to eliminate.
Brown, on any similarities between Jagr and Anze Kopitar:
I mean, they’re similar. I think the difference – in the corners, they’re very similar. It’s just that Kopi’s quicker, fleet of foot off the ice. And then Jagr’s got the extra 30 pounds on Kopi – I mean, he can literally just stand there, and no one can move him.
Drew Doughty, on the Devils:
It’s going to be a tough team to play against. They play a great system. They work hard. They forecheck hard. They’re one of the toughest teams to play against in the east, in my opinion. They’re a very similar style to us, and it’s just whoever’s the harder working team, and whoever competesand wants in the most is the team that’s going to win.
Doughty, on playing against Jagr:
He’s such a good player…He’s so strong that there’s not a single guy on this team that’s stronger than him on his skates. He protects the puck so well that you almost have be going stick on puck. He’s however old, but he’s still playing unbelievable, so that just shows you how good of player and how smart he is.