Here’s the obligatory reminder that Justin Williams is very good in Game 7s. How good? He has five goals and nine points in the four decisive games he has been a part of, dating back to the 2003 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
In my weekly LAKings.com feature, I consulted with Darryl Sutter and several players about Justin Williams’ on and off-ice characteristics that allow the veteran winger to step up in important games.
Most of the Kings will tell you that past production is exactly that – accomplishments from days that have little bearing on tonight’s game. But if you ask any man in the room, like Quick they’ll be eager to spout the intangibles that the 32-year-old forward brings to a team that has played in 44 playoff games since 2012, the most out of any National Hockey League team.
“He doesn’t get a lot of credit for what he does for our team,” Drew Doughty said. “Justin is an unbelievable player. He’s a great guy in the room. He’s got the experience. He’s a good leader and a lot of little things – like getting under the other team’s skin – he’s really good at that. He gets guys rattled and you can see guys taking liberty at him.”
From LAKings.com: Game 7 Will
Also, from today’s morning skate:
Justin Williams, on the atmosphere around the team:
I think anytime you put two proud teams against the wall – win or go home – you’re going to get a heck of a hockey game, and that’s certainly what we expect tonight, is everything that everybody has left in their tank and for the right to move on.
Williams, on what Los Angeles has to do to excel:
We certainly can’t do what we did the first two games here, which was let them have a great start and let them carry the play for most of the game. I’m sure they’re pushing as much as we’re pushing on a great start to the game, and hopefully getting the first goal and not looking back.
Williams, on seeming to “embrace” pressure, and his approach to big games:
I don’t think I’m comfortable talking personal stuff right now. I think everybody on this team, regardless of who scores goals or makes saves, it’s everybody working towards the same goal, and everybody, I feel on this team, has the ability to rise to the occasion instead of wilting. I expect a great game for our team.
Williams, on the “trust factor” within Los Angeles’ locker room:
Yeah, I mean, I dont really think there’s much more to elaborate on what you just said. Exactly. I look around my room here, and it feels like it oozes confidence. It’s something that you can’t really touch. It’s like an intangible, and I feel that when push comes to shove, these guys are going to show up, and we’re going to show up, and we’re going to make a difference and win a big game.