Mitchell describes a mid-postseason return - LA Kings Insider

Willie Mitchell returned in Game 1 after having missed eight games due to injury and was assigned 16:49 of ice time, 1:27 of which was spent on the penalty kill. He logged a plus-one rating, having been on the ice for Tyler Toffoli’s goal, and was deemed by Darryl Sutter as having played a “solid” game. “I think everybody thought that,” Sutter added yesterday.

Mind you, these weren’t eight regular season games. Mitchell missed the entire series against Anaheim and stepped in to face a potent, puck-possessing Chicago attack. Having graded out quite well in his return, Mitchell was asked whether there’s any additional difficulty in returning after missing time in the playoffs as compared to the regular season.

“I don’t know…Sometimes in this game there’s no rhyme or reason to it,” he said. “Sometimes you can step out there, and you’ve prepared the same way. You’ve done everything the same way, and you feel real good. Sometimes you do it, and for some reason your legs aren’t there. Sometimes no, because your teammates are playing so well at this time of the year, and everyone’s in the right position, doing the right things, and so your reads are kind of maybe a little bit easier at this time of the year, where it’s only human nature during the course of a regular season that there are ebbs and flows as a team because it’s tough mentally to stay in the right place over the course of an 82-game schedule. I don’t know. It’s always tough stepping back in, and I think sometimes if you just kind of prepare and kind of remember where you were before you kind of step back in and kind of have that not cockiness, but confidence, then I think that transition becomes a lot easier.”

Mitchell, on where the team’s confidence comes from:
I think that always comes from going through adversity. Everyone knows the story on the year when we won the Cup. We faced a lot of adversity that year. We got a coach fired. We had to play with urgency down the stretch to get into the playoffs, and so I think over the course of a few years you kind of build that trust between each other, and sometimes it can work both ways for you. I think we’ve got ourselves in a position in these playoffs that we shouldn’t have been in…Only so many times you can get your backs against a wall and push yourselves to that where other stuff starts playing a factor, because you can go out and play the best game in the world with your back against the wall and it could be an unlucky call and it could be an unlucky call, a bad bounce or whatever, and you’re going home. I think how we get in that mode, and how we kind of get in that urgency, even with a little bit of calmness, I think we do that more often – not rely on that, like I say in situations, all the time. We’re a good group, and we can sense it when we need to do it, and we’re going to need to do that against a really good hockey team here.

Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
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.